March 14, 2012

Tell Me Something

Two young men and an attractive, slightly older woman go on a spontaneous road trip. There's lots of sex, lots of cursing, lots of drinking and pot, lots of FUN. Y Tu Mama Tambien was one of the best movies of 2002. called it "one of the handful of great erotic films the movies have given us" (Charles Taylor). Rolling Stone's Peter Travers called it a "hot-blooded, haunting and wildly erotic film [that] revels in the pleasures of the flesh."  And there's no counting the critics who called it "sexy" and "sensual."

But how can a movie be one of the great erotic films if, amid all the coupling and tension and release, the female character, Luisa, never once has an orgasm? The boys are popping themselves blind, but Luisa, the object of their fantasies and lusts, gets NOTHING. In a movie that celebrates sexual pleasure, why was it so important to deny even one little orgasm to this woman? As great as this movie is, and as forward-thinking as its makers may be, its refusal, refusal, to allow it is baffling and disturbing.

One of the many things I liked about Breaking Dawn Part I is its respect and portrayal of female desire. Bella and Edward have a deal that she will marry him in order to have sex on their honeymoon, but in the book it happens only once, despite her pleadings. In the movie, the screenwriter has Edward cave to her desire, which felt so much more healthy to me. Critics often miss the deeply feminist nature of her desires and their gradual, incremental fulfillment, which are really at the heart of the Twilight stories.

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