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]] Much Ado About Nothing (2012) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Ourobouros54 on 2013-06-27 02:23:18.



Ourobouros54 said:
Whether you think this film passes depends entirely on how strict you want to be on the 'something besides a man' rule.

Most of the dialogue between the women is entirely about men and marriage, but one conversation between Hero & her maid Margaret is about Beatrice. While the content is about the women the context is about how she should behave to get a man.

With something like this you have to remember that 17th Century concepts are not 21st Century concepts.
Message posted on 2013-06-27 02:23:18
luminum said:
The play does have the scene between Hero and Margaret, where she bids that she tell Beatrice where she is. Claudio and Don Pedro are only mentioned as the people Beatrice will be with ("There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice/Proposing with the prince and Claudio"). Margaret responds that she will do as instructed.

There is another brief scene where Hero tells Ursula to wake Beatrice and tell her she wishes to see her. Ursula responds two times that she will do as instructed.

Immediately following, Margaret and Hero discuss at length which dress she should wear. Afterward, the conversation switches to Hero being in love:

Troth, I think your other rabato were better.

No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.

By my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant your
cousin will say so.

My cousin's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear
none but this.

I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair
were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare
fashion, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's
gown that they praise so.

O, that exceeds, they say.

By my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect of
yours: cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with
silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves,
and skirts, round underborne with a bluish tinsel:
but for a fine, quaint, graceful and excellent
fashion, yours is worth ten on 't.

God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is
exceeding heavy.

'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.

Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?

Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not
marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord
honourable without marriage? I think you would have
me say, 'saving your reverence, a husband:' and bad
thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend
nobody: is there any harm in 'the heavier for a
husband'? None, I think, and it be the right husband
and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not
heavy: ask my Lady Beatrice else; here she comes.

Once Beatrice arrives, she and Margaret trade some lines that range from men to Margaret's wittiness and Beatrice's barbs, so that could also be a toss up. Hero and Beatrice likewise discuss love and men, but also trade greetings and talk on other subjects, like dressing.

Ursula also tells Beatrice that all is has been revealed about what happens, which means she lists all characters affected. This obviously includes the male characters and Hero, so that could be a toss up, since it's about all involved.

So depending on how the script is edited, if at all, then the play affords some possibilities for it to pass.
Message posted on 2013-06-27 08:08:30
Alex disagreed with the rating and said:
Yeah, I actually came here because I was thinking of the Bechdel test. I think it fails BIG TIME, obviously and noticeably, on criteria 3. Everything that they talked about could be very directly linked back to marriage or men. Don't give it a pass just because it's Shakespeare!
Message posted on 2013-11-08 01:52:14
Ashley said:
I think that by changing the characters of Conrad and the Sexton (traditionally played by men) into female parts, this movie created the opportunity for the otherwise 16th century love story to pass all three tests. There is, during the interrogation scene of Act IV, a group discussion involving both women that focuses on the crimes in question. Although the dialogue is male dominated, both women speak and the Sexton directs several of her comments at Conrad herself.

I think its also important to note that the focus on the opposite sex occurs for an enormous percentage of male dialogue as well. This is a Shakespearean romance. The only scenes I can think of where men discuss something other than women are the scenes again involving the crime investigations. For a hetero-normative exclusively Caucasian adaptation of a 16th century British play about romance? It didn't fail as spectacularly as I was expecting.
Message posted on 2014-01-04 09:06:17

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