When women do things that were previously reserved for men, does that suddenly make their actions feminist, or just, uh, well, whatever those things men were doing? Two years ago, Jennifer Lopez was all the rage with the “feminist stripper movie” scammers, about a group of strippers who defrauded Wall Street bankers, but in the heist and buddy flick genre, tried to paint a slightly more complex picture of American culture that glorifies power. , desire and greed. From the same production company there is now Bowling, the poor little sister in a way: the former Olympic champion Connie and her friend JoJo have set up a scam for coupons. True story elsewhere.
In the United States, these coupons are quite one thing, not to be confused with food stamps. These are free calling cards with the purchase of toothpaste. Because of the idea that if you don’t go to Paris today, you can eat out tonight. To save unspent money. There is an ecosystem behind this that exposes social and class differences. Filling your baby’s entire room with free cereal and shampoo isn’t a long-term strategy. But this is not true Bowling interested initially. And it’s the mix of satire and slapstick after that Catch Me If You Can-model it is immediately much less fun, because less layered, and therefore less poisonous.
It would be so wonderful if comedies got more into their characters. “Women’s crime is plugged in”, as one of them put it, is not a sufficient motive. There is even a moralizing side to all of this. Because that’s where that childless nursery is around the corner: Connie fills the void in her existence with stuff, she has a “high coupon” (a serious phenomenon). Should she have listened to her husband, who is after all a tax inspector: take a job? Or not spend all your money on expensive IVF treatments?
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on September 15, 2021
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of September 15, 2021
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