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

[[1]] Source Code (2011) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Nimravid on 2011-04-02 08:31:16.

Reviews

Comments

Nimravid said:
Literally every single thing that the only two named female characters do involves the main (male) character, and it's generally in a revoltingly fawning way. They never speak to each other. Even the one who is not the main love interest flirts with him. The women only exist to sympathize with him. The love interest is also a damsel in distress who has to be rescued a ridiculous number of times. The lead gets romantically involved with her under false pretenses. Tricking her into this relationship is presented without any awareness of it being problematic; in fact, we are supposed to root for it to happen so that the lead can get her as a prize. The main character also bizarrely demands that both of the women be substitute mommy figures for him, commanding each of them to reassure him with the phrase "everything's going to be OK." It's truly weird, but they instantly jump into maternal mode at his request.
Message posted on 2011-04-02 08:31:16
The Werewolf disagreed with the rating and said:
Uhm... the two main female characters were in two different parallel universes - makes it kind of hard for them to "speak together".

Even if they were in the same one - one of them died hours before the other found out about the first one's existence.

The "love interest" is in a time loop that lasts 8 minutes then repeats. She wasn't even saved in every loop. It's also made clear that she was already interested in the main character's original personality long before the movie starts.

Sorry - but I really think either you didn't actually watch the movie (ie: you went looking for problems and kind of skipped over the details) or you didn't actually see this movie at all.
Message posted on 2011-04-04 06:31:40
Nimravid said:
Werewolf- you seem to disagree with my comment about the weaker points of the movie, not the rating. You agree in your comment that it didn't pass.

The Bechdel test is a quick measure of female presence and of whether women drive the action. For instance, if the writers thought a woman was worthy of being a lead character, the villain, or even a bit character on the level of the stand-up comic, this movie would have passed easily. In this film, men drove the action. This is why named male characters constantly spoke to each other about things other than women, and drove the action of the movie. There are named male characters who defuse bombs, fight, a supergenius who invents technology, a comedian, a supergenius nihilist bomber, etc. They speak to each other frequently about things other than women. There are only two named female characters. One exists to be a sympathetic ear, and (once, crammed in for no apparent reason) to flirt with him. The other exists only to flirt with him, and to be saved by him-she is on a never-ending loop of stock damsel in distress; the only way it could be more cliche is if she was tied to the tracks instead of on the train. Due to the storyline, it is ridiculous that there should be a love interest at all, but the writers apparently thought that if a woman was going to be included, then she had to be a love interest or cheerleader for the main character (why else put one in?) so the convoluted story of a man who falls in love in 8 minutes, and the woman who never notices a complete personality transplant, was born.

She was not interested in the main character's personality, of course- she did not meet him for more than 8 minutes, and even then he was pretending to be someone she knew. I'm not saying it was his fault that she mistook him for someone she knew at the beginning, nor even that he played along for his mission. However, it is his fault that after knowing her for 8 minutes at a time, and her not really knowing who he was, he decided to score a date with her by pretending that he was someone she knew and was interested in. It stuns me that the makers of the movie were oblivious to that being sociopathological behavior-but apparently they knew some of their audience would be OK with it.
Message posted on 2011-04-10 03:17:22
Jeff said:
Nimravid, I think you're looking into things too much. Though the Bechdel test is a useful tool, it isn't always the best way to tell whether or not a film features positive portrayals of women. I think Vera Farmiga's character is an excellent example of a strong female main character with non-romantic motivations. Regardless, "Source Code" is still a good film. Both audiences and critics enjoyed it. Remember, a film isn't trash just because it doesn't pass the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2011-05-30 09:22:41
Nimravid said:
It's not a bad movie because it doesn't pass the Bechdel test, but for the reasons listed above. A good movie that didn't pass the Bechdel test- Moon.
Message posted on 2011-06-04 02:07:36
j said:
@The Werewolf

Since you agree that the women didn't speak, you clearly agree with the rating, and your disagreement should be withdrawn. Please focus on the rule and not on whether someone else watched the movie (there are other possible explanations for differing opinions about it).
Message posted on 2011-07-08 05:21:58
Matt said:
Should Nimravid's off-topic review that was unrelated to the film also be withdrawn?
Message posted on 2011-10-20 00:09:41
Nimravid said:
Duncan Jones directed both Source Code and Moon; the point was I don't give one movie of his that I liked a pass and the one I didn't like a fail just because of personal preferences. The movies have to be scored on the criteria, not on whether we like them or not. If it looks like the comment is just a plug for Moon then I don't mind if it's removed.
Message posted on 2011-12-19 08:52:33
Tom said:
Just a note on the 'women in parallel universes so they don't speak' point

That's kind of the point, writing can justify gender relationships in a thousand ways. This one does it in a slightly contrived physics kind of way. Just because there is a justification, doesn't mean its not sexist.

I find the role of women in this film half sexist and half not. The love interest is unrealistic and objectified: sexist. The physicist woman has greater character development. Plays a more influential role morally and in a authoritative sense.

Either way this film does not pass the test and definitely reeks of autonomous male bravado.
Message posted on 2012-02-16 23:56:21
GregDinskisk said:
I agree with what your Bechdel Test rating is, however, with you saying it is sexist I firmly disagree with. Yes, there is one strong woman character in Source Code. One of three characters in the film longer than 5 minutes, however. The main character does start a relationship with her under false pretenses, as you said, but at the point he does so, at the end, I feel that he thought that it would be an eight minute relationship.

Also, if he told her the true pretenses, would you believe him, personally? "Hey you! Oh, I forgot to mention, I come from another reality, so the 'me' you knew before? Yeah... he's gone. You died in another reality, and I was sent back to relive 'my' last eight minutes over and over so I can uncover a terrorist plot. Oh, the coffee is about to spill! Ticket?"

She probably wouldn't have taken that real well. It was not made to be sexist in anyway, and, to most, did not appear to be that way.

Duncan Jones, the director, has a tendency to make films centering on one character, with a small cast. This one, and his one previous, happened to be about a man, and thus, from a logical point of view, should not have to be following the test. The exception would have been if the main character was a women, which would not have worked as well for this specific film.

For his next film, it will be in a similar style, of centered around one character, but don't fear- that one character is a woman.
Message posted on 2012-02-28 22:30:15
Coroxn said:
GregDinskis

It was kind of hard to understand what you were saying, but

1) Having a woman exist just for a man to 'win' (she serves no other purpose) IS objectifying and sexist.

2) Why couldn't the soldier have been a woman, and the person she assumed the body of a woman? Why would that have 'Not worked well'?
Message posted on 2012-06-13 03:46:32
James said:
This movie doesn't pass the test, but I think some of you are over analyzing Vera Fagrima's part in it. In this kind of story there is always that one person that sympathizes with the main character and one that does not. If she switched places with Jeffery Wright, or if his character had also been female, it wouldn't have changed anything.
Message posted on 2013-01-26 15:55:49

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