My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a movie from 2006 starring Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson. The basic premise is that a man ends up dating a woman with super powers, and once he dumps her she becomes the crazy ex. She then proceeds to use her super powers to try and wreck his life because he is so terrible for dumping her. When I first saw this movie, it was on TBS or TNT and just something that was on. I watched it and did not think much of what it was, it did not seem bad or good – it just was.
Recently it has been on HBO and David and I have been catching little bits of it. As I am re-watching pieces of it I am realizing how kind of horrible this movie actually is, especially in some of its treatment of women. Not only is the movie all about the guy who gets the hot super hero, the woman falls under all the stereotypes of a crazy ex, but has superpowers. Instead of giving us a strong female character she is physically strong, but kind of a vapid excuse for a human being at times.
All About the Guy
I think the big issue with this movie is that it is all about the guy. In this day of people begging for a female-led superhero movie (Black Widow, Captain Marvel) and it seeming to take way too long to get there, this movie is just an insult. I know that it happened before all of the hype around superheroes, but it still demonstrates the problems with the representation of women. The funny part is that this is still a movie seemingly targeted towards women, but it is about the guy. He is the focus and it is all about how he is dealing with a crazy woman who happens to have super powers. Then the shenanigans as he tries to survive the psycho ex girlfriend (which in my opinion is one of the more annoying tropes).
The Psycho Ex-Girlfriend
This is an issue with the movie that I recognized more when I first watched it and now it just annoys me even more. The whole idea of the psycho ex, in general, is used way too many times. It is not that they have their own feelings and that there might be a reason, it is just they must be crazy. Now I admit in the movie she just is crazy, but that is also a problem. This woman who has super powers and is incredibly smart, is so insecure that a guy breaking up with her makes her go nuts. This makes absolutely no sense to me. I guess it is meant to be that she is just a normal girl, but really, is this how we want to represent women with super powers? That they just fall apart at a guy dumping them, instead of working through it because they are awesome?
Stereotype of Beauty
Something that I really had not thought about with this movie is why did gaining super powers change her appearance so much? I guess it happens with guys too, but for the most part it gives them muscles.
“Lightning gave me abs?” – Barry Allen, The Flash
Now muscles is somewhat an attraction thing. The thing I cannot understand is why the heck would she become blonde with bigger boobs? I can understand the better eyesight and even her teeth getting corrected, but then her boobs get bigger and she becomes a blonde. It is not that she gets a 6-pack of abs and becomes toned, oh no. Instead she becomes the stereotypical blonde bombshell. I guess with what you see in comic books a lot of times this makes some sense in terms of looking like that, but couldn’t we strive for more?
In today’s world where we see issues of representation and a strong desire for a female-led superhero movie, My Super Ex-Girlfriend just demonstrates the insult to female superheroes in general. Luckily now we at least get a Black Widow who is a bad ass and keeping up with the boys. We just need to go that next step, which we will hopefully get in 2017 with Wonder Woman and 2018 with Captain Marvel.
We need people to look at this movie and figure out all the things not to do. For one thing I really would love a female-led superhero without a male love interest. They should be able to take names and kick ass without needing to search for love.