Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Runaways

Wanna join an all-girl rock band?  You do now.

While the past is often romanticized, The Runaways captures an era of androgyny that had everyone re-thinking gender roles. The movie has two really great quotes that create a second wave atmosphere and remind the audience that we are, indeed, in the midst of a revolution;

"This isn't about women's lib.  This is about women's libido."

And then; "Men don't wanna see women anywhere except in the kitchen or on their knees."

Both were used to help band members realize their full potential and "rock out with their cocks out."  While phallic analogies are problematic, the duo of lead characters illustrate the dichotomy of what it means to be a woman musician, then and now.  Cherie, the original cherry bomb, conveys the sex appeal while Joan personifies the music.  Ultimately, Joan is the one with a lasting career.  Joan and Cherie are both young and tragic, lost in world of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll.  Yet Cherie's tragedy is self-destructive, while Joan's seems to fuel her creative ambitions.  One life was lost while the other was admittedly saved.  Mais, c'est la vie.

There's a strong message about friendship, which is convincingly portrayed by two actresses for whom I have a newfound respect.  Seriously.  I heart Kristen Stewart as Joan as much as I hate Kristen Stewart as Bella.  That means she's redeemed herself back to neutral... until the next installment of her vampire-werewolf-love-triangle.

And I am still in awe of Dakota Fanning crushing pills beneath her platform heels and snorting them off the floor.  And her feathered hair.  And her affinity for sequins, which apparently can be worn anywhere.  Even the grocery store.

Is this movie feminist?  Um, does Joan Jett drink vodka from a squirt gun?!  The answer, to both, is HELL YES!  So run and get a copy of The Runaways-- now!

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