Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

I finally got around to seeing My Super Ex-Girlfriend and it's nowhere near as bad as I feared. Of course after all the negative things I'd heard about it my expectations were very low, so that wasn't a difficult thing to achieve.

The biggest problem people have with it (especially those who haven't actually seen it) is that it it takes the cliche of an ex-girlfriend who cannot let go and makes a comedy of it. I think the attitude would be the same regardless of whether she had super powers or not. They say it wouldn't work if the roles were reversed, but there are plenty of movies where the ex-boyfriend won't accept it's over. The only difference is that they tend to be the cuddly stalker type, rather than the cuddly psycho. That and they usually end with the woman realising her mistake and going back to him.

In many ways this movie is more realistic in it's treatment of the relationship than that particular cliche, or perhaps it's just a bit more cynical. The guy never loves her in the first place. He was just looking for some sex to tide him over while he works on the girl he really fancies. She doesn't really love him. She's just desperately lonely and clinging to anyone who shows her some attention. It's not quite my idea of comedy, but I'm definitely on her side when he dumps her.

Throughout the movie the boyfriend (whose name I've forgotten already) is the point of view character, the sympathetic character we are supposed to identify with, but the fact is he has treated this woman badly and her overreaction does not negate that.

Jenny, herself is very inconsistant at times. Characterisation and plot coherency is dumped in favour of comedy. The woman who has chosen to spend her life using her powers to help others is prepared to let millions die at one point because she's in a sulk and wants a night off.

On the plus side the movie does portray a romantic relationship between a superhero and a regular person that focusses on the petty difficulties that are glossed over in other superhero movies. Superman might be a creepy stalker in Superman Returns, but you know he's not going to do anything petty or spiteful to Lois. And it's never going to occur to Lois that pissing off someone who can move planets might be unwise.

The worst thing about My Super Ex-Girlfriend for me was the lack of consequences to the actions we see. Everyone is happy at the end and they seem to have forgotten that ex-boyfriend has lost his job and his appartment is full of holes. And no one seems to have a problem with evil villain Bedlam hanging around. Admittedly we haven't seen him do anything very illegal, but you don't get a reputation as an evil mastermind without doing something society frowns on.

So not a great movie, and a little annoying at times, but if it was on TV I'd still prefer it over most sporting events. Or reality shows. Or chat shows, soap operas, quiz shows, game shows, political debates, worthy dramas, breakfast shows, and gardening programs.


Anonymous said...

I posted a review of this movie to the FSF Blog a few months ago:

Anonymous said...

I've never understood the vast numbers of movies about women stalking men when every news story you ever read in the real world is... just the opposite!

S Bates said...

Re: That last paragraph.

Ee, yer a cheery soul, aren't you? TV isn't that bad. Some of it's actually quite entertaining.

As to "the lack of consequences to the actions we see", it's a fictional comedy movie. There don't have to be any consequences. Yes, everyone's happy at the end even though they've just been through hell - just as it should be. It's supposed to be light hearted and fun and unrealistic.