Bright Wall/Dark Room February 2022: A Down with Love Girl, level three! by Merritt Mecham | Characteristics


“If women stopped falling in love, it would mean the end of the human race!” shouts one of the middle-aged white editors.

“Not at all,” Barbara replies, “I said women should abstain from love…no sex.”

“Isn’t it the same thing?” replies the man. “I mean…for women! »

Of course, this is not the case. In step with the sexual revolution, Barbara claims that women can enjoy sex “à la carte” just like men do.

Like its predecessors, I’m done with love never has a sex scene, but is entirely preoccupied with sex. The film uses the classic generic styles of sex comedy to prove that women and men are equal when it comes to arousal and consistently centers women’s pleasure. One of the most effective techniques is the genre-defining split-screen, famous for its Pillow talk to suggest that prospects take a bath together. In Down with love updated socket, the split screen is used in an elaborate phone call; Barbara preens and stretches after sunbathing while Catcher practices after the shower and invites her over for dinner. As he bends down and wipes his wet hair, his head disappears, apparently between Barbara’s legs; exactly at the same time, Barbara says, “No man has ever done this for me before! How thoughtful! Moments later, Catcher is doing push-ups, seemingly on top of Barbara’s leaning body. “It is with pleasure,” he said, referring to the organization of a dinner party, “So you would like to come?” “Oh yes!” Barbara said, the moment accentuated by Zellweger’s breathy tone. “Yes Yes!”

Instead of the delicate insinuations in which Day and Hudson indulge, I’m done with love pulls out a barrage of double meanings that come as close to being explicit as possible. So close, in fact, that the lack of clear discussion of sex becomes the ever oppressive elephant in the room. The gymnastics of constantly circling the topic at hand draws much more attention to sex than a clear acknowledgment of it ever would. In this way, I’m done with love pokes fun at the chastity of its 1960s counterparts by making sex absolutely ubiquitous. This is evident in a long discussion on “[mens’] hose” (socks), a sequence where Catcher gives a series of veiled nods to his many fellow flight attendants, and in reference to the “tail-riding” marketing department of a queer coded designer. The sheer volume of double-means makes audiences expect sex, constantly teasing them and setting them up for failure. In one scene, near the climax of Barbara’s romance with Zip (Catcher’s alter ego), the camera pans suggestively into a room where Catcher and Barbara have taken off their shoes. Offscreen, Barbara gasps with pleasure.

“Tell me when it’s good for you,” says Catcher (as Zip). “Put your hand on it and guide me until I have it in the right place.”

“Almost”, breathes Barbara. “Almost! Ah Zip! I’ve done a lot of that, of course, but never with such a powerful instrument! She gasps abruptly: “That’s it!

That’s when the casserole ends. Barbara and Catcher are simply looking through a telescope together. The audience was played once more.

In addition to using these nifty movie tricks, I’m done with loveThe script also constructs an effective shorthand to suggest sexual arousal: chocolate. Barbara explains early on that while following the steps in her book, women should eat chocolate to curb their sexual urges. Therefore, any character eating chocolate becomes highly suggestive. After their date – the one with the telescope – Barbara and Catcher share a kiss, the first of their deceptively chaste relationship. They part awkwardly, their hips far apart to prevent their physical moment from progressing any further. Barbara, pissed off, takes all the chocolate soufflé as she leaves. Catcher, once alone, hobbles over to the porch and throws a bucket of ice cream over his head.


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