Scott Pilgrim - The SSL Review

It is clear from the bags of mail I'm getting about this that all 2 of my blog readers are dying to know what I think about Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Well if you must know, then here goes the SSL review. By the way, I am now calling my particular brand of reviewing (you know, mostly focusing on depictions of female sexual pleasure) the SSL Review.

For starters, I didn't have a lot of interest in seeing this movie mainly because Michael Cera's basic character that he plays all the time has been getting a little old. However - glad I went. I really enjoyed the pace of this movie and the brazen style of the effects. I even found that the quick editing kept Cera's acting in check and gave his old schtick some peppiness. P.S. The following tells details about the movie. Nothing that will really spoil any ending for you, but if you don't want to know about the movie at all don't read further...

As always though, I have a critique of the depiction of female sexual pleasure.
I say "the" because it was only 1 depiction and you may have missed it. Not me though, I am hyper sensitive to these things. It may be my super power. First, however, let me express my slight annoyance with a related event in the movie. It all took place during Pilgrim's battle with the 4th Evil Ex. It was a girl, and Pilgrim couldn't fight a girl. In fact he actually said, "I can't hit a girl," give or take a word. I mean really, do we still need to accentuate the already common cultural belief that females are helpless and physically inferior to males. I could accept this as comic irony if he did actually fight his obviously more than worthy opponent. However, he actually never does hit her. His girlfriend, in annoyance with this evil ex thing, fights her, but then use's Pilgrim's body like a puppet to hit Evil Ex #4 when she realizes that only Pilgrim's fists can defeat an Evil Ex. During the whole battle he seems kinda freaked out that one of the Ex-es is a female. He uses the word sexiness accidentally a few times making it seem like the idea of her being with a woman is arousing, but he also seems distressed too as if a lesbian ex is somehow more of a hurtful idea. I found this depiction of the fighting ex lesbian girlfriend to be juvenile, a touch homophobic, and a bit misogynistic. My original gripe with female sexual depiction is included in that assessment also, and it goes as follows...

Pilgrim and his girlfriend, who had been puppeting Pilgrim's body as she fights with Evil Ex #4, get split apart. Pilgrim is still oddly freaked out about fighting his girlfriend's ex lesbian lover (even though he had -as agreeably as expected- recently fought 3 other male lovers including a popular action movie star), and is now laying on the ground as Evil ex 4 is flying at him with the final death blow. Pilgrim's girlfriend yells that her weakness is the back of her knees. So, he lifts his finger up so it just touches the backside of Evil Ex's knee as she comes in to land the blow. This apparently orgasms her to death. She explodes into coins (as all defeated Evil Ex-es do). "You can never do this to her," give or take a few words are Evil Ex 4's last words, slipped sneakily into her orgasm death noises. My problem with this scene is that it reinforces the dichotomy stereotype of female sexuality. We are usually depicted either way less sexual than men (as in most TV wives) or insatiably hyper sexual (as in most slutty women from TV and movies past and present). And those hyper sexual women can just orgasm from anything, a breeze, a back rub, and ass slap, non-clitoral intercourse...you know the drill. Truthfully though, women can orgasm from tickling the back of their knee about as easily as a man could, but somehow it seems odd to depict a man in this way yet somewhat natural to depict a woman in this way. That is because we have stupid incorrect ideas about female sexual pleasure and depictions like this only hammer those misconceptions harder into our cultural knowledge. It would have been much cooler if this movie had written a fresher, less stereotyped fight and death for the only female Evil Ex.

So there you have it; the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World SSL Review.

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