11 romantic comedies that shine on the Bechdale test

Two female characters, at least, talking to each other, with something other than a male as the subject of conversation. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

This is the basis of the Bechdale test, a very useful test that measures the representation of women in the media. The idea, blamed on American cartoonist Alison Bechdale, was first published in 1985 on the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out. “I have this rule, you see … I only go to see a film if it meets three basic criteria. Number 1: There must be at least two women, Number 2: They talk to each other, Number 3: They are a man. Talking about something other than that “, Mo explains, a lesbian heroine from the comic strip.

After gaining popularity for its simplicity, this formula was applied to the film industry

Which was predominantly male-dominated in the 1980s. Since then, the Bechdale experiment has been used as a reference test on gender equality in the cinematographic world.

Some argue that film and gender equality have come a long way since the 1980s. Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel into space; Guerrilla girls champion feminist cause at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; Junko Tabei has climbed the Seven Summits; The Take Back the Night Foundation was created; Rwanda is the first country to have a majority female legislature; Saudi women have been banned from driving; The #MeToo movement has gained momentum; Malala Yousafzai has won the Nobel Peace Prize and the first female Oscar for Best Director.

Even before the introduction of COVID-19, although progress was made, gender inequality was a reality. But the epidemic has restored gender equality “by one generation.” All indicators show that women were much more affected by the epidemic: most of them lost their jobs, faced more barriers to accessing aid, and became more exposed to gender-based violence. Today, an estimated $ 400 million of girls are needed to fight poverty and urgently reach out to millions of young women. Join us in calling on world leaders to invest in girls’ empowerment right now.

The world of cinema is a reflection of this inequality. Many films still do not meet the Bechdale standard (less than half of all films according to the user database).

At first glance, romantic comedy is not a genre of film that seems to meet Bechdale’s standards. But several romantic comedies meet the criteria. Repressed lesbian, trainee playwright, mother or best friend, three-dimensional female characters exist and have constructive and rich exchanges with other women, all of whom are equally significant and credible.

Here are eleven international romantic comedies that pass the Bechdale test with flying colors.

1. ‘My Step-Family, Christmas and Me’ (US, 2020)

Let’s get started My father-in-law, Christmas and me Which is a lesbian romantic comedy, an unappreciated and unfortunately very rare subdivision.

Written and directed by Klein Duval, Kristen Stewart (Abby) and Mackenzie Davis (Harper) play the roles of lovers. Harper invites Abby to his home for Christmas to visit his conservative family, but Harper tells her on their way that he has not yet returned to his loved one. Harper tells Abby to pretend to be his “orphan friend,” which Abby reluctantly agrees to.

Added to this painful experience, with which many people identify, is the strange Christmas pop song of Sia and the pair Tegan and Sarah.

2. The Diary of Georgia Nicholson (UK, 2008)

Georgia Nicholson’s Diary Georgia and her friends, Jass, Ellen and Rosie, tell the story of their teenage lives in the southeast of England. Yes, “boy problem” is popping up as a topic of conversation. But this film is also a guide to how the unique mind of a teenage girl works.

3. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (USA, 2018)

With Singapore’s world-class plot, Crazy rich Asian Exploring the true meaning of family and tradition, as well as the power of (any spoiler) love.

The film peaked at the box office in its first weekend of release. He was particularly rewarded for his three-dimensional character, offering important roles to Asian and Asian-American actors who are under-represented in Hollywood. Between 2010 and 2019, the top ten American films entered the most, representing only 4.5% of lead or critical roles.

4. ‘Happiness is a four-letter word’ (South Africa, 2016)

Noseway is based on Cynthia Jail’s novel of the same name, Happiness is a four-letter word A romantic drama that tells the story of three friends, a glamorous housewife, a lawyer and an art gallery owner in search of happiness in South Africa.

It works exceptionally well with themes of Bonhood and Friendship. Thanks to its home box office success, Netflix has even announced that a second installment will be available soon.

5. ‘Single, How’ (USA, 2016)

The film is based on the best-selling book written by Liz Tusilo, which deals with today’s dating and relationships. The movie Single, instructions for use Here’s a few basic facts about a stomp pad and how it is used

Faced with lifelong possibilities as a couple, Alice (Dakota Johnson) advises her longtime boyfriend, Josh, that they should try dating other people. She then moved to New York to work as a legal assistant and met Robin (Rebel Wilson), a woman who is both confident and free. Robin takes Alice under his wing and teaches her to live a single life in a very funny tone.

6. ‘The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Pollen’ (France, 2001)

Jean-Pierre Junet’s magical romantic comedy takes French actress Audrey Toutou to the center stage with her unique plot and setting that has influenced directors for more than a decade.

Amelie is the embodiment of futility and purity. He grows up with a “suicide fish” that jumps out of his tank. He lets his dad fulfill his naughty travel dream by stealing his garden genome and sending back the Polaroid shown to him at various tourist spots. She gets the key to the wicked grocer’s apartment and replaces her toothpaste with foot cream. And, of course, he fell in love with a strange character like her.

Although Amelie Poulain’s fictional destiny Bechdale passed the test little by little, thanks to a few brief conversations with other women, we can’t help but think that the picture could have been better if Amelie had had a close friend.

7. ‘If You Knew …’ (US, 2020)

Eli Chu is a shy, heterosexual Chinese-American student who writes essays to her classmates for money. One day, Paul (Daniel Deimer), a popular high school athlete, asks her to write a love letter to Aster (Alexis Lemir) with whom he is secretly in love. Then follows an epistolary romance between Aster and Ellie, and extension Paul, the inexperienced lover.

This makes it a contemporary and bizarre interpretation of the French play Cyrano de Bergerac.

The film deliberately acknowledges the traditional emptiness of female characters when Eli asks Paul what he likes about Aster. “She’s beautiful and smart,” he replies.

In fact, Aster is the least developed character in the film and therefore, although the film passes the Bechdale test, it is only narrow.

8. ‘We were songs’ (Spain, 2021)

Fashion assistant Maka’s life is back on its feet after the breakup, when the man who broke her heart reappears (this is always the case, isn’t it?)

Directed by Juana Macias, We were singing A Spanish romantic comedy where we get to know the Maca character through his frequent on-camera. The presence of his two best friends, whose whimsy and quick wit make the film even better, made this movie a test.

9. ‘Ragi Bharatiya Devi’ (India, 2015)

The movie Angry Indian goddesses Highlights a group of seven women. Frida, a photographer, invited her college friends to her family home in Goa. The eclectic group of friends includes all sorts of different personalities, professions and interests. Finally!

This fantastic Bollywood film deals deeply with the fight against gender inequality in their respective worlds, ranging from the male-dominated world of macho cinema to misery in the boardroom.

10. ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ (USA, 2017)

With women’s empowerment as a single thread, Incredible Jessica James Newlywed playwright trainee Jessica James and her best friend Tasha feature conversations about vibrators, sexuality, patriarchal illustrations, and more.

This movie starts with a breakup without starting from the beginning of the romantic relationship. The Sundance hit evokes the generality of traditional romantic comedy in a refreshing way. Spoiler: At the end of the film, Jessica chooses one of her friends over a man and moves to London for a new opportunity.

11. ‘Fifty’ (Nigeria, 2015)

Fifty Bechdale passes the test with flying colors not only because it studies the lives, work, and romantic lives of four powerful women, but also because these women are approaching their fifties, a period of women’s lives that is largely represented in the film.

Tolu, Maria, Kate and Elizabeth live in Lagos and everyone lives a busy life. Tolu is a reality TV star whose marriage is breaking up; Maria has an affair with a married man, which results in an unwanted pregnancy; Kate is suffering from a terminal illness; And Elizabeth is a midwife and passionate toy boy.

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