Saturday, 3 May 2008

Made of Honour

Made of Honour...well, this isn't a review, so I'll just say it's a fairly friendly romantic comedy, with the usual hearty helping of people being total bastards. This bothers me about romcoms - they're usually full of jerks. Anyway, that isn't really the point of this post. There will be spoilers ahead.

The point of this post is the totally gratuitous and unkind treatment of the single fat person in the film. I guess you could argue that it's a rare thing to have an actually fat person IN this kind of movie, but to be honest, I'd rather that we weren't represented than that we're represented like this.

The fat person in question is bridesmaid Hilary, played by Emily Nelson. She's pretty cute, right? Certainly not freakish in any way. She's short and plump, with one of those hourglass figures. She's not done any favours by the fact that she has to stand next to two very tall, slim women, but she's pretty normal looking, and for a brief flickering moment I thought, it's nice that she was included in her friend's ceremony because she's her damn friend.

The moment didn't last, because Hilary's presence in the film is purely "comic" relief, and all the "comedy" revolves around her being fat.

First it's "funny" that she's a size twelve, but she wants to wear a size eight bridesmaid dress. It's "funny" that she's on some kind of liquid-only diet throughout the film - people comment once or twice that she should eat, and she clearly isn't feeling one hundred percent, but they also think it's normal that she should want to be thinner, so they don't really make a thing of it, and certainly no one says, "Hilary, you're fine as you are", because they don't think she is. She's funny because she's fat, y'know.

Then, to add insult to injury, it's funny that she manages to squeeze into her size eight dress, only to have it split down the side, revealing hilarious fat flesh, when she sits down.

And really, that's it. She doesn't have any emotional moments. The bride isn't ever seen with her. No one tells her she looks fine. She declares early on that she's going to meet a Scottish man and be happy, and that's supposed to be funny too, but they don't bother to let her actually meet the Scottish man, which might've made me feel slightly better about it.

It's just a case of, shit, we need some comic relief in this supposed comedy...let's make fun of the fat chick!

I came across some site the other day with "BBW" romance novels. Unfortunately, the samples I read were absolutely horribly written, so I didn't spend any more time on it. But this kind of thing makes me wonder - how well would a romantic comedy about a fat chick do? If she was just the lead, and no one made a huge deal out of her weight, if she just met the hot guy and fell in love and had all the usual stupid romcom crap happen, and she was just a normal, beautiful, fat woman. Well, I suppose My Big Fat Greek Wedding did very well, but she's not fat. On the other hand, she is pretty normal looking. Would fat women everywhere go "hooray" and run to the cinema to see Patrick Dempsey make out with a woman they thought they could actually be? Or are our fantasies dependent upon our being thin, so we'd rather see him make out with the skinny chick we could never be? I really don't know the answer to that.

Either way, is it really necessary to pretend that public humiliation like having your dress rip in church is funny, that it wouldn't really embarrass poor Hilary and, since, given her liquid diet, she clearly is not accepting of her own body, destroy her self esteem further?

I would probably have enjoyed this stupid movie in the way I generally enjoy stupid romcoms, but it's left a bad taste in my mouth.

No comments: