A few weeks ago I went to see a new release movie with my husband. Admittedly, in order to find what we think we might like all we do is see whats on. That Saturday we had two choices - "Entourage" and "Spy". Both were in the race for being a big seller at the box office. I heard that Entourage was just a male version of Sex and the City and I thought 'Bleh' so we decided on 'Spy" instead. If you want to read a Christian review of 'Spy prior to watching it yourself (or prior to critiquing it) please click on the link - Plugged In review.
movie is essentially a comedy with Melissa McCarthy as the lead actress
with Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart carrying the
weight of the supporting cast. McCarthy plays a character that initially
gives you the impression that shes the Bridget Jones of the CIA world.
Dumpy, passive but smiley and a tad gullible with a rather pathetic
crush on her James Bond 'ish colleague. People patronize her, belittle
her, walk past her, cold shoulder her, take credit for her ideas, her
creativity and her intelligence. Meanwhile its the rough 'n tumble, ever
swearing, oh so humble (*cough cough) Jason Statham and Mr Sauve Nice
Guy (*cough cough) Jude Law take the credit for bravery and everything
else but the rotation of the sun.
Essentially, an accidental mess up happens, someone is (*ehem) killed, agents identities become
and known to terrorists and theres no one left to save the world from
nuclear annihilation. Except McCarthy who tentatively and bravely steps
up to the plate of secret agent. Even as she enters the process of
joining the Cool Spy clique shes still undermined, made fun of and
deliberately given unflattering aliases with gadgets disguised as
hemorrhoid cream and stool softeners. You really feel for her. Watching
this movie, Im sure we in the audience were all thinking 'These people
are really harsh to her.'
a good portion of this character that I really identify with. We find
out that she wasn't always so passive and showed promising talent as a
(somewhat) aggressive but capable secret agent in the making. We find
out that over time, Mr 'Bond' (Jude Law) recognizes and is intimidated
by her talent and takes her down and out of his way, by way of
denigrating insults disguised as pity kindness, add to that her comments
about her Mom's horribly disparaging remarks she got growing up. As
women we have all experienced this kind of painful social ostracism
whether by men or other women. We see in the movie and we know rightly
and think "That's not right."
a day of entering her new spy post in Paris McCarthy's character is fed
up and goes awol with the pre planned hands off role. She gets rid of her grandma alias and invents her own.
story short, she saves the day, proves her worth, removes the doormat
she was lying under and encourages herself with a new boldness and
beauty (Parisian fashion and a make over help) and tenacity that makes
even the cocky Jason Statham admit she's pretty cool. But is that it?
really enjoyed the movie but for one thing - the swearing (and the
completely disgusting and irrelevant penis glimpses). Of course I knew
there would be ouchee moments in the fight scenes, the movie does say
"SPY" after all. No doubt McCarthy has come along way since her perky
cuddly Gilmore Girls/Mike 'n Molly days. No doubt shes trying to prove
her worth to the movie world that shes beyond type casting as the token
fat girl and I agree, she is way talented beyond the dull roles that
Hollywood typically forces on plus size women. And by the way I do not
EVER think she is not gorgeous the whole way through (FYI).
does a woman have to be crass a million times over to prove herself
that she is talented? I know what you're thinking - But boys swear and
are adored! Why can't we swear and be admired too? Well here I am to
debunk this stupidity. Quite frankly Im also out to debunk the theory
that boys who swear are admired by women. Maybe so, but not by
intelligent self respecting women. This argument of 'boys do something
gross, crass, disgusting, immoral, dishonourable so we should be able to
do it too' is a total cop out and shows a spiral down, unintelligent,
'lets jump off the cliff too' lemming like reasoning.
Its an insult to the strong men who choose to actually respect
themselves, the women around them and the world amongst them without an
attached F* word. The other problem I have with this movie is that it
paints only one route for women to take in order to be bold, brave,
inspiring and gorgeous - be aggressive, no, not just aggressive, be
disgusting. Its the same weak mentality that little immature boys have
in the playground - who can piss the longest, spit the furtherest and cuss the loudest. We all know they're a joke.
me tell you, those little boys who unfortunately can also grow a beard,
drive a car and impregnate a woman - is (and let me be emphatically
clear) - extremely unattractive and in my definition, a failure of a
man. They are representatives of a class of people who do far more hurt
than good. In reality they are not funny, they are hurtful and abusive.
They are not strong, they are weak. It is the perverted imagination of
Hollywood who attaches the facade of an abusive man to a Jason Statham
or a Jude Law, add a dash of American slapstick humor and the world laps
it up and women are sadly convinced that in order to prove that we are
truly "free" and "liberated" as women that we need to act like THAT.
saddened both me and my husband was that we agreed that we think we
still could have immensely enjoyed the movie had they chosen not to put a
single profanity in it, probably more so. And we think the movie still
would have knocked box office records and made a ton of money too.
Melissa McCarthy nor Jason Statham for that matter don't need a toilet
mouth to prove to me how talented they are. I KNOW they are talented in
their craft and I respect them for that alone.
studying both the pendulum behaviours of passivity vs aggression, both
are ultimately destructive and dysfunctional and overwhelmingly
unhelpful. Neither are sustainable. Neither are healthy.
In Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner, the author talks about powerful women - fierce women:
"I never wanted to be a wimpy woman, I've always been drawn to strong women - aren't you? A refined strength has an alluring appeal. I love to see a fierce woman in action. Nothing fazes her. She's
indomitable, detirmined and she's a passionate force beyond
contention... Im not talking about ugly fierceness that is really just
aggression. There is a beauty to the right kind of fierceness. Not the
brand that recklessly walks over people or is rooted in self centred
goals. Not the fierceness that produces Ice Queens or conniving shrews but
a fierceness that is humble strength and power under control. The kind
that grabs on the hem of God's will and won't let go. One that
determinedly stands strong in a gale of opposition. The kind that looks
fear in the eye without blinking and confidently forges ahead."
Then she explains its unrestrained ugly side:
"Characteristics of a destructively fierce woman:
She establishes herself as her own authority. Her identity flows from
the false pretension that she's in charge of her own life and her
independence is her highest value.
- She's always pulled by the lure of "more." Her desires are never satisfied so she does not know contentment.
- She's unaware that ingratitude, pride and fear are the driving components of her life.
- She's obsessive about things that matter to her. She lives with a self centred agenda.
- She longs for love and affection but often goes in too hard and comes out swinging.
- She goes to battle often, mistaking her belligerence for heroism.
- She grabs for power, and no one and nothing prevents her from getting her way.
She uses her strength to bully others. She does not recognize it as
bullying, but her continual criticisms, negative perspective and harsh
tones eat away at people like acid.
- She is often involved with conflicts with others.
- She is harsh in her honesty with others and is proud of it.
She walks in arrogance and pride but is blind to her own lack of
humility. She views meek behaviour as a sign of weakness. She sincerely
believes her personal conflicts stem from others ineptness, lack of
spirituality or inferior behaviour.
- She craves power over others and has mastered the art of controlling others through subtle manipulation."
Phew, what a list!
thing is, fierceness has both a wonderful and a horrible side of it
which ever way is bridled and encouraged. I fear that young (and older)
women are being mistaken into thinking that movies like 'Spy' are always
representing a positive fierceness. There were wonderful examples of it
in the movie no doubt about it, but they were imperceptible nuggets in
comparison to the tsunami of destructive fierceness and blatant F bombs.
Theres nothing cool or even liberating about that word. It doesn't make
you strong when you say it. In saying it you're not joining the world
of strong men but weak men.
woman that watches her mouth watches her purity. She is modest. She is
not weak or passive but strong. Purity and modesty have just as much to
say about the tongue than just her anatomy and we women are particularly
bad examples for
ripping down rather than building up our sisters and brothers verbally.
We know the weapon we bear. And if you think your tongue and how you use
it is not a big deal then think about Amanda Todd.
am not perfect of this either. I have failed at this time and time
again. I know it is an issue because I am often convicted by the Holy
Spirit, not by man or my words. My fear is not whether I said enough but
if I said too much or in a poor way. As women we are life givers. Not
just biologically but emotionally and intellectually and spiritually as
well. Ladies you might not know it but men (especially our husbands)
search and crave after our verbal acknowledgement of them, our
encouragement of their presence and thankfulness of their giftings. We
need to do it with each other as well. We need to fiercely love each
other but not in harshness. Call each other to repent but with
Let our words be life.