The Messenger's Positive Message About Women

A few days ago I blogged about the film Avatar and how it reinforced gender stereotypes and dominant ideas about body images. I also saw this week a very different sort of film, one that I was pleased to see presented a much more realistic and healthy idea of what female bodies can be like, in addition to a more realistic vision of male/female relationships..  This sort of thing is so rare in the film world that I just have to mention it.

The film is called The Messenger, and it has a lot going for it other than the subtext I'm focusing on here. It's a really wonderful story of two military men assigned to death notice duty. Their mission is to inform next-of-kin when soldiers have died in battle. To make a long story short, one of them becomes romantically interested in one widow that is the recipient of his bad news.  She is a refreshingly not-gorgeous, not-fashion-model-like character, and their hesitant, conflicted courtship is refreshingly measured, realistic, and bittersweet.  At the end of the film they have barely even kissed and are still both struggling with the grief and guilt and confusion that comes when love strikes with bad timing in the middle of loss.

That's all I wanted to say. It just really made me happy to see something that wasn't typical fairyland Hollywood drivel.  And it was a really great, non-didactic film about war and grief. See it. Go.