Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[3]] Bridesmaids (2011) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Observer on 2011-03-18 12:34:34.

Reviews

Comments

Marielle disagreed with the rating and said:
I'm not sure that you could find a single interaction between these women that wasn't about the wedding, and isn't that still talking about relationships and, by extension, men. This movie is very much male-centric
Message posted on 2011-05-17 15:26:59
Billy said:
Although the bulk of the conversation was about the wedding there were many other subjects most notably the main characters life and her relationship status was only a part of that.

Othr topics such as flight anxiety or puppies are found.

additionally it fails the reverse Bechdel since no two men every talk to eachother.
Message posted on 2011-05-18 08:53:30
Queen of Sheba said:
A lot of the relationship-talking was about the relationships between women--which is unusual. It was pretty male-centric, but at least it let the women speak for themselves.
Message posted on 2011-05-18 15:27:26
Hector said:
There's probably 50-60 someodd instances where this movie passes the test. The cop is only male character with more than a few minutes of screentime. The Bechdel Test is about whether women talk about something besides men, not whether a movie exists in an alternate reality hermetically sealed from the existence of men.
Message posted on 2011-05-19 12:45:48
Dawn said:
Most of the conversations between the women are NOT about men and most do not even reference men. They do reference the wedding as an event NOT as the ultimate fulfillment of a woman's hopes and dreams. The groom, in fact, was notably absent and the main character's relationship troubles were part of her life crisis, (which included job, home, friendships, family relationships) and not central to it. Given that it's a mainstream movie, I was impressed.
Message posted on 2011-05-21 20:05:18
Claire said:
"... not whether a movie exists in an alternate reality hermetically sealed from the existence of men."

Hilarious, Hector.

I have nothing to add to this discussion because Dawn already said exactly what I was thinking.
Message posted on 2011-05-24 03:15:45
Lara said:
I thought this movie was great because it wasn't really about the wedding at all, it was about the relationships between friends and the way to dig yourself out of the downward spiral that we sometimes take in life. I thought the women were portrayed as strong and the men were practically nonexistent other than the cop who treated her like she was a smart and funny human being and also powerful. It was fantastic to see a movie actually treat this subject that way. I laughed my ass off.
Message posted on 2011-05-29 03:57:32
Kelly said:
I was a bit bothered by the typical role placed on the just sex relationship. I would like to see women in roles that clearly show that they are enjoying the sex and also an independent life. Too often the woman is portrayed as being taken advantage of and I don't think that is always the case. After the films opening scene, when the two women were having lunch, it was unfortunate that the conversation had to go to the typical place of her feeling crappy about feeling good. The film did touch on this aspect a bit when the main character exited from the car and the man yelled back that he was being used too. I often think that women talk about men with their female friends as a way of bringing the friend into an intimate part of their lives. I think it's a terrible flaw for women to do this. The most desirable time to talk about a man is when one is with him, not behind his back and not with a friend...if female characters on screen could follow this simple rule, the possibilities to reveal really deep characters qualities would be endless.
Message posted on 2011-05-30 03:29:25
Jeff said:
I don't know how anyone could disagree with this rating... The entire main cast is female. There's no way that every single sentence of dialogue is about men and/or weddings. I saw the film myself and trust me, a lot was talked about besides just those two things. There's too much to list and it would be ludicrous to do so anyway.
Message posted on 2011-05-30 09:14:56
Katie said:
Kelly,

I agree that we need to see women in more roles where they are enjoying sex and not stigmatized for having/desiring sex. I definitely gave an eye-roll at "the woman-continuing an unsatisfying tryst because she has low self-esteem and/or no other options" role. However, I don't think she felt crappy about feeling good- that guy clearly was a terrible lover- of course you are going to feel badly about sex if it was BAD sex.
Message posted on 2011-06-03 18:37:13
Kelly said:
Katie, Great POINT! I completely missed that and I would because I close my eyes for movie sex...Of course, she would feel crappy because the SEX was CRAPPY...! Now what would it take for that little gem to be part of the conversation? Meaning, over the meal with her friend, because that was not implied at all. What was implied (at least how I saw it) was that she was going back for someone who she didn't feel good with...and I suppose, now that I spell that out, I can see where it might be overkill to spell out that such an attractive man is such a lame lay.
Message posted on 2011-06-04 03:34:12
Alyce disagreed with the rating and said:
Billy Said:
"Othr topics such as flight anxiety or puppies are found."

WOW! Those are really important, deep, and meaningful conversations. I'm so glad this movie touched on the topic of puppies! Good thing woman only need to talk about cute and pretty things or stuff that scares them (hope everyone senses the sarcasm)

and he said "additionally it fails the reverse Bechdel since no two men every talk to eachother."

There isn't a need for a reverse Bechdel test since nearly every movie revolves around a man in one way or another.
Message posted on 2011-06-05 16:17:16
Sandi said:
@Alyce: First of all, women discuss other things in this movie. Can't be sure, but I read Billy's summary there as a bit tongue in cheek.

Secondly, the Bechdel test does not address quality or depth of conversation, merely subject matter.
Message posted on 2011-06-07 12:22:48
Andy said:
On the wedding day, Annie and Lillian talk about Helen's interference in their friendship since the engagement for a pretty substantial amount of time. That's once conversation that's as meaningful as anything can be. Another good example is Helen spilling her guts to Annie in the car previous to this scene.
Message posted on 2011-06-11 17:09:55
Erica said:
the women also talk to each other about shopping, food, planning trips, their living situations, and several other subjects. The larger point is that the main story isn't about the relationship between annie and the cop, it's about the relationship between annie and the bride, and how she feels about another person intruding in it.
Message posted on 2011-06-14 01:36:01
Emily said:
The focus of most of the interactions was the relationship between the two main female characters. It was about their friendship - which was grounded in plenty of other things besides man-talkin.
Message posted on 2011-06-17 18:01:23
Desda said:
I think this film was essentially about the friendship of the two female characters rather than either relationship with a male. I think the relationships with males were a second story line to the main one, which was about two female nest friends becoming friends again
Message posted on 2011-07-03 00:29:20
The Grumpy Buddha said:
One has to have serious brainal issues to claim that this movie fails the test.
Message posted on 2011-07-06 03:13:48
j said:
@Marielle

Even if everything you said is true (and it isn't), that wouldn't make this fail the test, which says "About something besides a man" -- nothing there about "by extension". The test is *objective* ... subjective opinions like " very male-centric" aren't relevant.

@Alyce Your hostile snark is not helpful. Puppies aren't men, so your negative vote is wrong, period, and should be withdrawn.
Message posted on 2011-07-08 04:45:37
Ilodie said:
I can't believe people are a) disputing this, and b) have totally forgotten the entire conversation held between Megan and Annie about how Megan 'doesn't associate with people who blame the world for their problems'.

That entire conversation revolves around Megan calling Annie out for not fighting for her shitty life and wallowing in her pity party.

I say Bridesmaids passes times 1000.
Message posted on 2011-07-20 20:27:53
Michelle disagreed with the rating and said:
The subject matter of the conversations in this movie matter little because every single interaction is done under the context of a wedding, under a man. None of these conversations would be occurring if a man were not involved at some point, even if behind the scenes, so no matter how you spin it a man is being referred to somewhere along the line, even in a conversation about puppies.

This absolutely does make a difference as to whether or not it passes the Bechdel test. #3 is supposed to mean that female characters' conversations occur in their own right, not under the context of a man. Why can't women in film have their own conversations under their own circumstances? Why does a man always have to be involved at some point? This is blatant patriarchy and it's foolish to claim that something like this should pass the Bechdel test. I'll grant you that it's a step up from most movies, but it's nowhere near acceptable.
Message posted on 2011-07-21 09:55:02
arlene said:
Michelle misses the point. This test doesn't rate subject matter, so her comment isn't very relevant to the rating of this movie. Also, she clearly didn't pay attention to the film. It's called Bridesmaids. Obviously, there's going to be a wedding involved. Michelle seems to think that that is detrimental to the movie and makes the conversations all the female characters have irrelevant because they are made "under a man". Well guess what? Marriage takes TWO people, Michelle. In this case, it happens to take a man and a woman to say the vows. So the movie and it's conversations occur under the context of a man AND a woman. And the man that's a part of the wedding isn't even in the movie except for a shot or two; the real point is Annie's reaction to her friend entering a new stage in her life, and possibly leaving Annie behind. Your comment, at best, is misguided and bitter. There are only two sexes on this planet; why completely ignore the affect we have on each other? It's very hard to have movies in which women characters are completely isolated from men and have zero interaction with them. That's not how it works in the real world. True, a lot of movies establish worlds in which men are the main characters and are isolated from women, but does that mean we have to have it that way for "female-oriented" movies as well? I understand wanting to watch the female perspective (and this movie shows a wedding from the pov of females)...but to classify this movie as entirely unacceptable is ridiculous, especially since marriage is so very common and being a bridesmaid is something many women experience. It brings up many issues, especially questions about the stability and longevity of friendship, and in this movie Annie learned things about her life and things she should change. Is that all irrelevant because it happened because of a wedding?

Th answer: no.
Message posted on 2011-07-22 05:20:09
Michelle disagreed with the rating and said:
Arlene, what point am I missing? Obviously female characters did have conversations between each other that were, on surface, not about men. But that isn't my point, which you seem to be missing.

Fact is, none of these conversations and none of the events in this movie would have occurred if it were not for a man. The whole life changing bit and learning to cope with that only came about as a result of a man, even if off screen! How is that giving women screen time in their own right? How is that feminist?

You talk about how you supposedly can't divorce men from women, yet you see Hollywood do it from almost every movie they create by pretending women are irrelevant in the world. Unlike those however, the sad part about this movie is that it's so subtle about it. Again, the ONLY reason these conversations are happening is because of a man. That man could just as easily stop all of that from happening by a quick decision on his part by stopping the wedding. And I don't say this just because it is a wedding - it would be totally different if it were a lesbian wedding. But you can't deny the reality that, even if behind the scenes, a man is very much in control of everything going on in this film.
Message posted on 2011-07-23 07:09:25
Victor said:
Michelle: "Obviously female characters did have conversations between each other that were, on surface, not about men."

Problem solved then. It passes the Bechdel test.


Michelle: "Fact is, none of these conversations and none of the events in this movie would have occurred if it were not for a man."

Even if that were true, so what? Fact is, none of the conversations and none of the events in most movies that don't pass the test would have occurred if it were not for a women. That doesn't make those movies any better, so this doesn't make this movie any worse.
Message posted on 2011-07-23 16:47:54
jesse said:
Michelle is a terrifying individual who completely and spectacularly fails to understand both (A) the Bechdel Test and (B) human social interactions.

The fact that you think anything involving marriage is inherently 'patriarchal' because marriage 'occurs under a man' demonstrates your laughably warped worldview, which is completely at odds with every loving and respectful heterosexual union in the history of the species, and makes it clear there is no way for a movie to satisfy you unless it is about lesbians raping and killing men. In that case, I recommend BAISE-MOI.
Message posted on 2011-07-24 16:18:20
Michelle disagreed with the rating and said:
Victor -

Clearly, the 3rd point also refers to the context the conversation is in. If the conversation at ANY point has something to do with a man, or is somewhere down the line controlled by a man, even off screen, it fails. If we consider it passes, then the Bechdel test is worthless for it essentially accepts men subtly controlling everything women in film are saying and doing. That's the problem, that's the part you're ignoring and why this film should definitely not pass this test.


Jesse -

Marriage is inherently patriarchal. Go read up on the history of marriage and its purpose. Marriage has been used to force women into defined gender roles in the home and to force them to bear children. Marriage has been used as a tool of rape by essentially legalization of a husband raping his wife. Speaking as a woman who has endured spousal rape that society refuses to recognize, I can attest to marriage being used in such a oppressive and malevolent manner.

Regardless though, I can recognize that happy unions exist between men and women. However, don't pretend that marriage itself isn't rooted in patriarchy and cannot be divorced from it. And no matter what, this kind of marriage DOES deal with a man, hence somewhere along the lines in this movie, a man is controlling the interactions of everyone because, like I said, if he just said he doesn't want to marry anymore then nothing in the movie would occur.
Message posted on 2011-07-25 07:45:45
Victor said:
Michelle: "If the conversation at ANY point has something to do with a man, or is somewhere down the line controlled by a man, even off screen, it fails."

That is neither the letter nor the intent of the Bechdel test.


Michelle: "Marriage is inherently patriarchal."

This is objectively false. Just because marriage has very often been patriarchal does not mean that it is inherently patriarchal, so you cannot assume that any particular marriage must be patriarchal just because it is a marriage. Not all marriages are the same, especially not nowadays.


Michelle: "And no matter what, this kind of marriage DOES deal with a man, hence somewhere along the lines in this movie, a man is controlling the interactions of everyone because, like I said, if he just said he doesn't want to marry anymore then nothing in the movie would occur."

But the opposite is also just as true here. If the woman just said she didn't want to marry anymore, then nothing in the movie would occur. This is exactly why in the context of this marriage, both people have collaborative control.


Now, I admit that I have not seen this film, but that really isn't necessary to know that the sweeping generalizations that you're making about marriages in general are absurd.
Message posted on 2011-07-25 18:00:20
Sky said:
"That man could just as easily stop all of that from happening by a quick decision on his part by stopping the wedding."

I think even if the groom did pull out of the wedding, Michelle, many of the issues would still continue, not just stop. For example, the change in friendships, and the jeaousy and stuff, would have already occured, and would not suddenly stop because the wedding did. The wedding may have been a catalyst in the acknowledgement of some of these issues, but it wasn't the sole cause.

Also, there are interactions before the engagement even occur. For example, there is a short chat between the two main characters about the end of the bakery. The mother and one of the main characters have some conversations about living together, and about AA, etc.

Even if one wants to agrue the film is still sexist, you can't say it fails this test.
Message posted on 2011-07-26 02:35:23
Michelle disagreed with the rating and said:
Victor -

Quit twisting my words. I never said the intent is what matters here, but the context the conversation is spoken in does matter. I never said that those two women talking about puppies is meaningless - I said that because there is a man pulling all the strings somewhere along the lines, the conversation is therefore made in the context of a man. This entire movie is in the context of a man. It doesn't matter if the woman could just say she doesn't want in anymore just as easily; the fact is that the women, their lives, and all their conversations in this movie is revolving around a man. And you're trying to tell me this isn't sexist?


Sky -

You forget that the reason the bakery failed was because Annie's then-boyfriend pulled out, somehow causing her to lose her focus. You forget that Annie's financial troubles are the result of what her boyfriend did. The context of everybody's situation revolves around a male, and this is why it should most definitely fail #3. Passing or failing the Bechdel test would mean NOTHING if this movies passes. Even worse is that Annie apparently needed a new guy to fix herself for her, subtly suggesting that women are a mess until they're with a man. Is that not offensive?

Women in film should be able to have their lives revolve around their own circumstances and their conversations in their own context; not that of a man's, even if behind the scenes. Men in Hollywood get this, why not women? I find movies like Bridesmaids even worse than movies like Die Hard for this reason; it makes everybody think they're feminist / pro-woman when they're really detrimental to women. Feminism is becoming conflated by stuff like this.
Message posted on 2011-07-26 19:23:08
Victor said:
Michelle: "I said that because there is a man pulling all the strings somewhere along the lines, the conversation is therefore made in the context of a man."

Absolutely absurd. Any conversation in any movie at all that exists in a world with both men and women will be able to be traced back as having something to do with men in some way. Heck, any conversation in any movie at all that exists in a world with both men and women will be able to be traced back as having something to do with women in some way too. Just because a conversation is six degrees separated from having to do with a man doesn't mean that the conversation is being had "in the context of a man", whatever that's supposed to mean.


Michelle: "And you're trying to tell me this isn't sexist?"

No, I'm trying to tell you that is passes the Bechdel test. That's not the same thing.


Michelle: "Passing or failing the Bechdel test would mean NOTHING if this movies passes."

If you really think that, then you do not understand the purpose of the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2011-07-27 06:08:47
Hector said:
If this movie doesn't quality as passing the Bechdel test then I can't think of a single film outside of 1939's The Women and its terrible 2008 remake that does. Might as well go through this whole site and mark every other movie as failing.
Message posted on 2011-07-29 07:12:12
Dan said:
Michelle, Annie's bakery did not fail because the man in her life left her. It failed because she tried to open a bakery in the middle of a recession. Once it went under, then he left her. The background info was added to show that she once dated a scummy guy who really hurt her. It does not suggest that she can't focus without a man.
Message posted on 2011-07-29 10:55:08
Jules said:
Ah, Michelle, now that I read your last post, I think I understand the problem - we are arguing at cross-purposes: you are arging that the film is sexist because it revolves around men. Fine. I can definitely see your point - why did these talented female comedians choose to make a film which, although ultimately about the sisterhood between close female friends, revolves around a wedding?? I was a little disappointed too. However, and this is key, as I think Victor is also pointing out above, passing the Bechdel test doesn't mean a film isn't sexist. (See for example, the discussion about the film 'Sucker Punch' - it's definitely open to accusations of sexism, but it equally clearly passes the test). The Bechdel test is a feminist tool to see how well-represented women are in the film industry, but passing it is *not* a 'feminist seal of approval' for the film.

Though I agree that it's a shame it had to be about a wedding, I really don't think you can argue that it doesn't pass.
Message posted on 2011-07-31 19:46:45
marlee said:
If you want to say that the institution of marriage has historically been a tool of patriarchy, fine. But it's absolutely absurd to suggest that there is ANY MINUSCULE IOTA of contradiction in the fact that a movie about women's relationships has a plot involving a wedding. Women who are not lesbians typically marry men! There are plenty of loving, accepting, awesome men out there. There are lots and lots of very successful, lasting, RESPECTFUL marriages.

Frankly, I think it's hilarious some of you are so myopic that you're upset this film revolves around a wedding. In the modern world, people are busy. A wedding is one of the few times you get to force all your friends to be together with you for a while. So it's the perfect place to explore relationships among women ... AND THIS MOVIE DID!!! There are barely any male characters, they barely show up in the film, and some of you are still whining!?!? Absolutely crazy! Michelle is crazy! How can people like you ever watch a movie and be satisfied with it, if you're completely turned on by the mere fact that a wedding is coming even though the entire film is about women interacting with women? Good grief.
Message posted on 2011-08-10 01:28:43
Jesse said:
Marlee: completely agreed.

By Michelle's logic, every movie ever made is automatically a fascist weapon of male oppression. The mere presence of women in a film is horribly sexist -- those women had FATHERS who might even have been MARRIED to their mothers! EW!! (lol)

So obviously every human being on the planet is a living breathing artifact of masculine evil, since we all came from a female parent and a male parent.

The comments here are ridiculous. Many of you obviously have no understanding of film, of the Bechdel test, of (rational) feminism, or much of anything else.
Message posted on 2011-08-10 19:28:30
Charles said:
@Jesse. I was about to say exactly what you said until I got to your post. Right on.
Message posted on 2011-10-06 10:44:54
Kayleah said:
I'm sad that so many people can't see this movie as a huge leap for feminism in hollywood. Its about time for a hit female-centric film that wasn't about magical pants that get you laid, some sisterhood of bickering women or figuring out which daddy you should invite to your wedding.

Films are a reflection of life, and life isn't perfect. Some times we will see gender bias and double standards on the screen, its a fact of life and no one wants to watch a movie based in utopia that no one can relate to. I just want to see fair representation across the board and bridesmaids finally shows the comedic power women can have.
Message posted on 2011-10-15 07:56:51
Anne Francis said:
By Michelle's logic, I am the offspring of a man and a woman and, considering the patriarchal society in which I am brought up, everything I in my life is the result of "a man pulling the strings" because a man has something to do with it with the origin. Therefore, my life does not pass the test. Puh-lease. Spare me the patriarchal bullcrap mumbo-jumbo that makes me not independent and not a free thinker, because that's what your logic assumes about this movie. Nice way to invalidate a woman's choice to marry anyone, man or female. Your viewpoint is far more anti-feminist than you realize.

I agree that the film passes with flying colors, but I have to point out: This film could have EASILY been about a lesbian wedding - the counterpart to Maya Rudolph's wedding was neutered, at best. This is a movie about female friendships - the fact that she's marrying a man is superfluous because that character does not even factor into the conversation ever between the two leads. To think that he is somehow "pulling the strings' in anyone's life in this movie is utterly ridiculous and shows a bitterness and bias on the interpreter's part.
Message posted on 2011-10-18 06:12:14
Paul said:
To michelle's logic of "pulling the strings": It is tragic how easily you give up the agency and independence of women by framing all things in a world of men. By that logic, women are under the thumb and unable to be rational actors for themselves without men - that is, unless they are acting completely ignorant to men and everything involving men.

By seeing the world that way, you paint men into every picture in a way that devalues women.
Message posted on 2011-11-14 06:22:07
Sarah disagreed with the rating and said:
Paul -

You're attacking Michelle for being the messenger and consequently are ignoring the problem itself. It's clear that she claims that what you said is the reality of patriarchy. You don't like it? That's why you should be feminist! You cannot be feminist and deny patriarchy, as it is expressed in this movie as Michelle has clearly laid out for you all.
Message posted on 2011-11-27 00:56:01
A Completely Different Charles said:
Honestly, the groom had less characterization then the puppies. In what universe is that cardboard cutout of a person behind the scenes somehow pulling all the strings?

@Jesse: I think only a couple people are having trouble understanding the Bechdel Test.
Message posted on 2011-11-29 02:35:04
TCro said:
Well since God is a man, doesn't everything go back to men?
Message posted on 2011-12-07 19:56:01
Megan said:
Okay, first of all, I haven't seen this movie, but I've heard it's awesome, and I'm having trouble figuring out why a movie revolving around a wedding in today's society automatically has to be sexist.

To Sarah- I understand what you're saying to Paul about denying patriarchy, but I think the point still stands that Michelle is basically arguing that, because a man exists in the movie who is a large part of the life of one of the characters, and the movie revolves around an event which includes him, everything that occurs in the movie is because of him. And this argument is ultimately reinforcing patriarchy, because it denies that any of the women in this movie have any free will outside of him. Just because we live in a patriarchical society does not mean women don't have any ability to think and choose for themselves, ever. It means that it is more difficult to do those things. My father contributed semen to my birth. Does that automatically invalidate all of my life choices because I wouldn't exist without a man?
Message posted on 2011-12-30 04:44:48
Hank said:
Wow, I've got to believe that Michelle was trolling with that kind of vitriolic absurdity. If not, someone needs the number of a good therapist. Michelle, your problems are real, and the internet's anonymously therapeutic value not withstanding, you should probably go talk to someone real. If your (assumed) ex's behavior left the kind of scar, I (not to sound "holier than thou") apologize as profusely as is possible, for a sin that the rest of humanity shouldn't be held accountable for...

That having been said, this was the first film that came to mind when I discovered this test today. As many have represented above, the depth of conversation shouldn't have an effect on the passing of the film. This argument confuses me, especially when compared to "male-centric" films. A typical conversation between men in these movies is about killing bad guys, or bathroom humor. I remember a scene, correspondent to this, where the female characters are definitely, speaking to each other, and definitely NOT speaking to each other about men. It takes place at the fitting of the bridesmaids' dresses. lol.

I'll say this, while, perhaps not being the most tasteful, or intelligent banter, it's grounds alone for the removal of any dispute of this film's passing of the test. It is a dialogue completely unhindered by any sort of chauvinistic female stereotype. And is perhaps one of a very limited number of conversations that could be had without acknowledgment that societal patterns throughout history lie under an umbrella of arguably disdainful patriarchal behavior. (Were that even necessary for a valid argument for the dismissal of this film.)
Message posted on 2011-12-30 18:53:39
Beth said:
Hector said:
If this movie doesn't quality as passing the Bechdel test then I can't think of a single film outside of 1939's The Women and its terrible 2008 remake that does.

Sorry, Hector, by the standard of Bridesmaids not passing the test, neither does The Women, since the whole movie is predicated on one of the women's marriage falling apart.

Bridesmaids is far from the most feminist movie ever, no one is arguing that it doesn't carry sexist baggage. But it passes the test.

Sarcastic comments about how puppies is a deep and meaningful topic do nothing to undermine the movie's passing.
Message posted on 2012-01-12 00:11:51
Leslie said:
The women talk to each other about intestinal discomfort and their childhoods. The main character speaks with her mother about subjects having nothing to do with men. I agree that the passing rating should not even be considered controversial. The Bechdel test is an objective fact-based test that doesn't gauge a movie's feminism or social value (consider, for a moment, that 5ive Girls passes). People are entitled to their opinions about whether the movie is feminist, but not to their "facts" about whether the women are talking about a man when they discuss instestinal distress.
Message posted on 2012-02-03 20:16:44
Wayne said:
I can't see that anyone here has considered a REVERSE BECHTEL TEST for this movie. That is, are there: 1. Two men in the movie who 2. talk to each other about 3. something other than a woman? No, there aren't. Not that anything's wrong with that. In fact, it's nice to add a new film on the other side of the ledger. But I think it should be noted that this film is as singularly gender centric as the scores of other films the Bechtel Test seeks to critique.
Message posted on 2012-02-04 19:01:57
Cynthia said:
I completely agree with the rating. Of course it's a 3 out of a 3. The Bechdel test measures women's presence in movies, not whether the movie has feminist, sexist, or patriarchal values. Perhaps we could come up with a Bechdel test version 2.0. In addition to "1) 2 or more women in a film, 2) women holding a conversation with each other, and 3) women holding a conversation with each other about something other than a man," we could ask:
4) Does one or more women in the film demonstrate agency (taking decisive action when encountering problems)?
5) Does the movie refrain from showing women as passive sex objects of men?
6) Does the movie refain from showing women as passive lovers, girlfriends, and wives of men?

Anyway, that's my revised Bechdel.

With the revised Bechdel, I'd give "Bridesmaids" 4/6. At various points along the movie, Annie, Helen, and Megan definitely demonstrate agency (point 4); however, Annie is definitely portrayed as a passive sex object to a man (point 5) and passive lover (point 6).

Any critiques of my revised Bechdel? Do others have better models? I do know that it's hard enough to find movies that pass the original Bechdel; finding movies that pass the revised version will be murder. "The Help" might be one...a 6 out of 6?
Message posted on 2012-02-22 01:11:30
Meg said:
Michelle. There was a conversation about pooping in the street. That was not about men. It was about poop. And streets.
Message posted on 2012-02-28 08:11:31
Xav said:
I think Precious and The Help also qualify as "reverse Bechdel" failures. I don't recall two men talking to each other in either of those. Possibly Steel Magnolias as well.

Michelle has issues. Her main contention is that nothing in the film would unfold if not for the wedding. Not true. Annie's crises stemmed just as much from the failure of her bakery, that awful job selling jewelry. And those hideous roommates would still have been there, wedding or not
Message posted on 2012-03-09 06:25:50
MLB said:
Cynthia : your revised Bechdel is interesting. And I think that Bridesmaid could pass it anyway !
Megan can't honestly be considered as a passive sex object or a passive lover, although she's not the main character...
Message posted on 2012-03-19 15:08:00
Khody said:
I just have to add support to the fact that #3 clearly states that they need to not be talking about a man. Not that there can't be a man involved in the movie in any way. By that logic, none of these women should even have fathers.
Message posted on 2012-10-24 00:24:25
Kelly said:
By Michelle's standards Alien would definitely not pass the Bechdel Test.
Message posted on 2012-11-09 01:48:46
Ken said:
This is such a ridiculous thread of comments. I love it.

It's worth noting that while the film is directed by a male...it was written by TWO WOMEN.

If the film fails for you on a level of sexism, it's the fault of those female storytellers. I think the film is rather successful, but let's not go around blaming our patriarchal society for the supposed failings of two women screenwriters.
Message posted on 2012-11-25 01:42:29
Mastro said:
Isn't there a scene where Megan gives Annie a kick in the butt/motivational speech? I remember her talking about having a good job and owning property.

Unless I misremember it- and its all about men (I think its more about Annie being broke) - it totally makes this movie a pass.

What mainstream movie has a woman lose her business?
Message posted on 2013-01-10 00:12:06
stella said:
Damn, whoever disagreed with this has a poor memory.

1. Annie's discussions with her English female housemate over whether she should be paying the rent, tattoos, and diaries.

2. Her discussions with her mother over AA

3. Her discussions with Lillian about her failed bakery

4. Her discussions with Megan over Megan's odd problems and Annie's dysfunctional life (motivational speech!)

5. Her argument with the bratty teen in the jewelry store

6. The fight that ensues during Lillian's bridal shower after Annie's Parisian idea is ripped off.

And probably more.
Message posted on 2013-01-24 02:55:46
James disagreed with the rating and said:
It has been a while since I've seen this but at the very start of the film Kristin Wig and her friend come across her failed bakery, and they have a conversation about it. That's two women, talking about a failed business.
Message posted on 2013-01-26 15:33:11
Lizard said:
The movie is about relationships between women. Of course, one of them is about to marry a man. Their conversations about the wedding are barely about the husband. This movie passes the test in my opinion better than hardly any other movie, that is not a lesbian movie.
Message posted on 2013-03-03 16:44:13
Eric said:
@Ken:
Patriarchy isn't about what men to do women. Even if no men had taken part in the making of a film, it would still be possible for a film to support patriarchy. When we talk about patriarchal society, we are talking about the biases and assumptions of the society. Men and women both absorb these. For the most part, no matter who is behind the camera, the lens of the camera tends to be "male."
Message posted on 2013-03-24 18:52:11
Eric said:
@Cynthia:
I like your new version of the test, but I think you should name it after yourself or someone you admire, not Bechdel. The only reason the Bechdel test is interesting is because so many films fail it. No one should get a cookie for making a film that passes it. Passing the Bechdel test just means that you haven't failed a test so easy that it shouldn't even need to exist. A film that passes your test would have achieved something close to treating women as actual people.
Message posted on 2013-03-24 19:04:52
James said:
I can't see how anyone could disagree that this is a pass.

One of the first scenes between Kristen Wiig and her friend is when they pass by her failed bakery and she laments trying to star a niche business in a crap economy.

Message posted on 2013-05-04 16:28:33
Matt said:
This is a fascinating thread, and like the majority of the posters here I think that Bridesmaids was a refreshingly female-driven, if not feminist, film.

That said, I would like to watch a film that is completely divorced from the world of men and patriarchy. If no such film exists, then I would like to chip in should someone ever decide to crowdsource such an undertaking. I'd do it myself, but I am a man, so I think that would defeat the purpose. But, seriously, if a talented woman director/screenwriter can create a movie that is unequivocally, indisputably, and compellingly feminist, I and probably a lot of other people would gladly donate funds to capitalize it and then purchase tickets to watch it. Michelle: please show us what a truly feminist movie looks like. Give us a true basis for comparison.
Message posted on 2013-05-15 00:04:29
Foggen said:
Bridesmaids is a banner example of a movie that blows past the Bechdel requirements without even noticing. It's about women figuring out their identities, relationships, and roles in society. Guess what, weddings are a prevalent part of society that embodies standard female gender roles. Having a group of women grapple with how they are going to relate to those roles only strengthens the pass.
Message posted on 2013-05-15 17:43:48
Dougie Lastname said:
This movie fails the opposite bechdel test. Two named male characters exist only as love interests for the female lead.
Message posted on 2013-06-07 11:14:06
C said:
I can't even believe the men crying 'reverse sexism' because it fails the 'reverse Bechdel test'. The reason there isn't such thing as a'reverse Bechdel test' is because more than 99% of movies are already male-centric and there is no need to increase male involvement in films since they already dominate them.
Message posted on 2013-06-22 06:43:43
smeared ink said:
I thought it was good that she got her shit together on her own and with the help of her friends and *then* got together with the cop. He didn't swoop in and save her from herself--ie, it seemed like she would have been ok at that point even if he hadn't turned up at the end.
Message posted on 2013-07-19 18:05:32
Alex said:
This is one of the best discussions I've read in a long time. You've won the internet for me today!

and by strict bechdel test standards, it passes. If you actually read the comic that the 'test' is derived from, it isn't about the quality of the feminism in the film, but about whether the movie is worth one's time.
Message posted on 2014-04-02 20:24:30

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