After last night’s Cinema Society screening of rom-com “No Strings Attached,” the film's actresses took to the Soho Grand Hotel after-party where they riffed on the fuck-buddy concept and the gender reversal the FWB status allows.
The film stars Natalie Portman as sexually charged woman afraid of too much commitment; she endeavors to have a solely sexual relationship with her friend (Ashton Kutcher).
Excluding Judith Butler analysis and Lilith allusions, Abby Elliott, who plays Joy, a lesbian waitress, had high praise for screenwriter Liz Meriwether and her new take on female sexual empowerment
“She’s such a voice for the women,” Elliott enthused. Meriwether “really just wanted to make a movie where women are as funny as the guys. There have been a lot of movies out lately that are great and have their place and really showcase funny, dorky men – and real men, too – not cookie-cutter handsome types. And this movie is very real, in terms of what’s going on between Ashton and Natalie and the people in it.”
Of course, Meriwether, who is perhaps still better known for being a part of “The Fempire,” has turned the tables and redefined the woman from a submissive character of emotional fragility to a more rebellious, unfeeling creature who is unafraid to be an asshole and live for pleasure.
Greta Gerwig, who plays Patrice, the best friend to Natalie Portman’s character, appears to be continuing her rise from mumblecore acclaim to stardom, which began with 2009’s Greenberg; this trajectory, in many ways, traces the route of this extended definition of the rom-com woman in love.
“What I like about this movie is that it was written by a woman, so the female relationships and the way that they talk – it’s more true to life than a lot of movies portray it to be,” Gerwig explained of the augmented verisimilitude. “I think there’s a real surge of hilarious, awesome women who are not only acting in things but also writing and directing them and that’s important, because that’s who decides what gets made…there’s a groundswell of people who want to see better female characters.”
Could it be that we’re getting closer to seeing some comedic female characters in the vein of the many male ones we’ve been given courtesy of Apatow and company? Gerwig thinks so.
“I think it’s the backswing [to Apatow],” she said. “I think we need some ladies who are maybe kind of jerky and not that attractive but somehow lovable. Lady slackers!”
[Image via Brother Cyst]