Two movies came out on DVD recently — “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Devil Wears Prada” — that are super About-Facey (that is, they take on issues of women’s and girls’ body image and media influences), so around the kitchen table the other night, we decided to make up a special rating system. Check it out — and let us know what you thought of these flicks.
Little Miss Sunshine (R, but should be PG-13)
The good: “This is for my grandpa, who taught me these moves.” Olive’s performance in the beauty pageant and more in that scene I can’t reveal here lest I spoil the fun. (Oh, and Alyza thinks Paul Dano is lovable.) Olive (Abigail Breslin) is the little girl we all remember ourselves being.
The sad: Whoa, the beauty pageant scene with the little freaky girls! Scary! (And the directors’ commentary reveals that they are for real.) And when Olive’s dad breaks it to her over breakfast that ice cream is going to make her fat. Heartbreaking. Luckily Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), Grandpa, and Dwayne, show her they love ice cream, even if it does make you fat.
Up in the air: Grandpa’s misogyny.
Reckoning: A funny, sweet comedy. Do four Oscar nominations (including one for Best Picture) lie? Also great to watch with your mom.
RATING: 5 out of 5 About-Faces
The Devil Wears Prada (PG-13)
The good: Meryl Streep being perfectly evil. Was she just having fun, or was that just me? (Oh, and she’s up for a Best Actress Oscar too…)
The sad: Emily (Emily Blunt) says to Andy (Anne Hathaway) “I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight” as they enter a gala. Andy tells Nigel she is now a size 4 (down from 6) and they toast with Champagne. C’mon people, seriously.
Up in the air: Doesn’t really take on the insane thin ideal fashion-y people and models feel they must conform to at all times. But at least it kind of makes fun of those ideals. It also makes it seem that Andy can have either a high-powered career or a boyfriend, not both. (The older women we know dispel that myth handily.)
Reckoning: Eh. We’re not so thrilled from a hard-core chick perspective. But it’s pretty entertaining, especially if you REALLY like fashion. Or you’re contemplating the work/life balance. Or both.
RATING: 2 out of 5 About-Faces
Some other About-Face-approved movies:
Lovely and Amazing: Serious body-image talk, with a mom having liposuction, an actress being self-loathing, and a little fat girl trying to make sense of it all.
Drop Dead Gorgeous: If you’re into black comedy, this movie represents some of the blackest. Its take on beauty standards is nothing short of skewering.
If you’ve see any of these movies, tell us what you thought! Just click “Add Comment” below!