No Boys Allowed

No Boys Allowed: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

No Boys Allowed: Introduction

“In Douglas Sirk movies the women think; it’s something that gives me hope.” – Rainer Werner Fassbinder I’m just a little bit bothered by people referring to certain movies as “chick flicks.” These are the movies marketed more toward women/girls, and are often love stories, rom/coms (romantic comedies), or musicals. I’m not bothered by the term itself, but the fact that there isn’t a label for movies marketed to men/boys. (The way “Penis Pics” or “Dick Pics” rolls off the tongue, it surprises...

Read More

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 1 comment

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Disclaimer: While most Disney films are mildly racist or sexist, this is at least a little progressive. It does, however, have some scary parts. Beauty and the Beast is Disney’s crowning achievement, combining the enchanting magic of Snow White, the musical genius of The Little Mermaid, the striking fear of Fantasia and Pinocchio, and a visual ecstasy all its own. Instead of the simple two-dimensional style that has characters and action move in and out of frame, the picture often swirls in a...

Read More

Whale Rider (2002)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Whale Rider (2002)

Disclaimer: Some ripe language, but nothing to worry about. I can say, without a doubt, that Whale Rider is the best feminist film since The Piano and is one of the best, if not the best, movie of 2003. But the mere mention of feminism turns many potential viewers away as they envision bra-burning, man-hating lesbians parading about and pushing their political agendas. But after winning audience awards at Sundance and Toronto film festivals and an Oscar nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes,...

Read More

Mulan (1998)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Mulan (1998)

Disclaimer: Spitting, butt-slapping, skinny dipping, grunting, punching, fighting, cross-dressing, and other prototypical “manly” behaviors. Sadly, Disney’s unprecedented string of hits that began with The Little Mermaid and ended with The Lion King came to an end in the mid-90s, making way for a phase of mostly paltry releases dealing with “historical” figures. Though not as strong in the music category as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Hercules, Mulan more than makes up for it...

Read More

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Disclaimer: Wild beasts and wild southerners in the wild south. They are somewhat scary and adult-themed. But mostly they are wild. The setting of Beasts of the Southern Wild is a place called The Bathtub. An area defined by its burst levee, its flimsy shacks flooded up to the ceiling, and its poverty-stricken residents stranded on roofs or make-shift boats. Images still fresh in our collective unconscious from the Katrina-hit New Orleans. But with its dreamlike visuals, apocalyptic...

Read More

Tangled (2010)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Tangled (2010)

Disclaimer: Some comic violence, drunkenness, and nowhere near the amount of horror the Brothers Grimm originally penned. For once we have an orphaned princess who is strong in her convictions and challenges authority. For once she does it for herself, and not for love. For once she actually uses the man, instead of the other way around. For once we have someone who spends her days painting, reading, and rocking guitar, not just cooking, cleaning, and sewing. For once we have a supposedly...

Read More

Ever After (1998)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Ever After (1998)

Disclaimer: An unruly display of girl power. In order to truly appreciate Ever After for what it is, we must first get past one thing – it cannot simply be dismissed as “a Cinderella story.” Ever After rewrites the entire fairy tale and this time not from the perspective of a pair of males (The Brothers Grimm), but from a woman or, even better, reality. Ever After opens with an old woman looking to set the record straight on “the little cinder girl” story. With The Brothers Grimm on hand, the...

Read More

A Little Princess (1995)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

A Little Princess (1995)

Disclaimer: This feel-good movie with a teary ending includes racism and child slave labor. Before Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Y Tu Mama Tambien, Mexico-born director Alfonso Cuaron set his sights on this reworked and polished adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book (he also penned The Secret Garden). The film is technically a remake of a 1939 version starring Shirley Temple, but this far superior installment is a breathtaking mixture of melodrama and...

Read More

Pollyanna (1960)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Pollyanna (1960)

Disclaimer: The first thing you see is a swimmer’s bare butt and, later on, an adult offers to buy a juvenile a beer. No wonder the reverend responds with fire and brimstone. From the moment Pollyanna steps off the train and into a town divided by class, the members of the proletariat greet her with stink-eye stares and members of the bourgeoisie incessantly bark orders. “Be grateful.” “Don’t touch anything.” “Never be late for dinner.” “Don’t spill your milk.” “Walk like a lady.” “Stand erect...

Read More

Madeline (1998)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Madeline (1998)

Disclaimer: Children should never operate heavy machinery, unless they REALLY have to. It all started quite simply for Ludwig Bemelmans: “At an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines.” When he published Madeline in 1939, I bet Bemelmans didn’t expect the whirlwind that followed. The author’s successful story led to sequels throughout the 40s, 50s, and even to this day (via Bemelmans’ grandson). They are very simple stories, obviously meant for...

Read More

My Girl (1991)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

My Girl (1991)

Disclaimer: Some swearing, sexy poetry, and lots of non-violent death. On the surface, My Girl is a lighthearted comedy about childhood that intends to recycle the appeal of films like Stand By Me, A Christmas Story, and The Sandlot by topically reaching current adolescents and nostalgically reaching their parents (since it’s set in the 70s and has a classic rock soundtrack). But somewhere beneath the innocent exterior the film unveils deep, dark truths about life, made even more touching when...

Read More

The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998)

Disclaimer: The updated version may encourage girls to pierce their own ears and sip wine. When many filmgoers see a preview or hear/read a movie synopsis involving twins switching places, they immediately think of Disney’s The Parent Trap. The reaction is a warranted one, since it’s the most well-known, but the formula can be traced back further with Erich Kastner’s book and film versions such as 1950’s Das Doppelte Lottchen or Emeric Pressburger’s Twice Upon a Time three years later. If one...

Read More

Now & Then (1995)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Now & Then (1995)

Disclaimer: Consistent filthy language and sexual topics of conversation. How unladylike. When Now & Then came out, ads touted it as the female version of Stand By Me. I understand the comparison, with realistic pre-teen conversation and the quest to find the story of a deceased young boy, but a more accurate analogy would be the female version of The Sandlot. The film follows four women who were once childhood BFFs and have now reunited in their hometown of Shelby, Indiana because they...

Read More

No Boys Allowed: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

No Boys Allowed: Other Recommended Titles

Akeelah and the Bee (2006): If it wasn’t for the predictable and utopian ending, this against-all-odds movie about an underprivileged black girl on her way to Scripps National Spelling Bee would be great. Bright Eyes (1934): Cutie pie Shirley Temple stars in this feel good tragicomedy where class struggles and custody battles take center stage – along with a hilarious wheelchair-bound old coot and the song I’m the Good Ship Lollipop. It is odd, however, that all her friends are middle-aged...

Read More