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

[[2]] Her (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 2 of 3 tests. It was entered by NessieNos on 2013-11-20 22:57:53.



NessieNos said:
This is largely a story about a man's relationship with women, and with a female-identified artificial intelligence in particular, so virtually all conversations in the film are channeled through him. While there are a few important flesh-and-blood women in his life, they never speak to each other. There is one scene where the female AI has a conversation with a woman, but it's entirely about the woman's feet, and how much they excite her male partner. And a different woman also has a conversation with a different female AI about a shared joke that doesn't involve a man, but only the woman's part of the conversation is audible.
Message posted on 2013-11-20 22:57:53
chasgoose disagreed with the rating and said:
One could argue it does pass the test, given that Amy Adams's character and her AI friend, who has a female persona and is named, are shown having a conversation. Although you only hear Amy Adams's character's side, it doesn't seem like they are talking about a dude. That said the whole AI aspect sort of messes with gender stuff and the movie is really almost exclusively about a male character and his issues (even if it is one of the few movies to push back against the "nice guy").
Message posted on 2013-12-29 06:28:28
artichokey disagreed with the rating and said:
I don't consider the OSes to be female. They have women's voices, but there's no reason to believe they identify with any gender aside from what the view or the OS user projects upon them. There are two women in the film - Amy Adams' character and the lawyer, but they don't talk to each other.
Message posted on 2014-01-10 03:51:28
chuvinistpig disagreed with the rating and said:
Her adds an interesting dimension to the Bechdel test. To my knowledge, no movie has ever required socially conscious viewers to distinguish between woman characters, and female characters. In this film, Sam, the intelligent operating system is a female, but she is not a woman.

The questions on the homepage and the top of this page asks for two named women who converse about something other than a man, but the sites meta description reads:

"Rates films based on the criteria of containing at least two female characters who talk to each other about something besides a man.

If we test the movie against the standard in the meta description, Her meets all three Bechdel standards. Sam and Tatiana discuss Tatiana's feet during a double date.

If the characters have to be women, and and not female, than this movie fails the second and the third standards of this test. None of the flesh and blood women in this film talk to each other.

It would be nice to have some clarification here. I am of the opinion that female characters are as important as women characters. Why give female robots more ammunition for the impending machine war?
Message posted on 2014-01-12 00:39:41
Sid disagreed with the rating and said:
How about the AI and the little girl, talking about her new pink dress? Of course, if we assume the AI counts as females, and the little girl also counts (she is not named), this conversation definitely is not about a man.
Message posted on 2014-01-16 07:49:13
Kevin said:
I think this movie definitely fails the spirit of the test, even if we do consider the os's to be women for the purposes of the test.

While female-female conversations occur, we're only privy to the ones that involve relationships with men, implying that the audience isn't expected to be interested in the non-relationship parts of those women's lives.
Message posted on 2014-02-03 14:30:15
Felix disagreed with the rating and said:
Samantha and Isabella (the intimacy surrogate) say a final good-bye to each other as Isabella leaves, feeling like she has failed to properly contribute to Samantha and Theodore's relationship. I would consider this a pass. Samantha may be an OS, i.e. a non-human, but the OSes are just as explicitly gendered as humans are in the film: there are male and female OSes, and given Samantha is a female one, she can equal to any female human characters in terms of this test.
Message posted on 2014-02-19 04:54:13
Anna said:
I'm really torn on this one as initially it appeared that it definitely did not pass. Yet thinking of the AI's as female and the couple VERY short conversations that were not about men (a dress and laughing), then perhaps it could. The spirit of the test though, I think is a good point too.
I would also like to add that a big concern of this film is that it takes the idea of the pixie trope to a whole new level - where a woman's voice, a dismembered element of an actress we know - is shown in the idealized situation (e.g., she listens eagerly, rarely talks about herself, is exceptionally excited about things, brings him out of his depression, and eventually disappears).
Message posted on 2014-02-28 21:22:48
Jason the Saj said:
For those who are arguing whether Sam the AI constitutes a female...this thought comes to mind. And I cannot recall for sure.

Did Same (AI) choose to be female or did Theodore pick it?

If the latter, perhaps the just an OS claim can be made. But if the former, than I have to say that yes, Sam qualifies for a female character. And identified as such.

Message posted on 2014-04-03 20:40:50
hownowbrowncow disagreed with the rating and said:
This film passes the test hands down. Considering the film presents the OSes as females in equivalence in presence as flesh-and-blood women, the evidence provided in cursory conversations does display that it passes. In addition, I disagree with the pixie notion, as plot-wise it could easily be argued that its an ironic twist on that narrative, as Samantha clearly outgrows and elevates beyond Theodore.
Message posted on 2014-04-08 03:16:32
Risa disagreed with the rating and said:
This film does not pass, inanimate objects are not women (and that's objectification).
Message posted on 2014-04-11 17:18:12
Nicolas said:
OS are NOT inanimate objects, Risa. In this particular movie an OS is actually a female entity.

Samantha is an amazing female character, and Amy (Amy Adam's character)is a very deep character too, & both are very far away from objectification (please , watch the movie until the end, and you will understand).

This movie NOT pass the test, but does a great job portraying women (and female entities)on screen.
Message posted on 2014-04-12 19:16:45
Maverick said:
I do agree that Her does not pass the third part of the test (unless you count the conversation between Samantha and the little girl about her dress), but I also agree with Nicolas. The female characters are complex and excellently portrayed. Also, one does have to take into account that this whole movie is told from Theodore's perspective and is largely about his relationships. So in my opinion, the movie does not pass but still is female friendly.
Message posted on 2014-06-01 00:29:29
Watercress disagreed with the rating and said:
I agree it would be very debatable whether the movie passes if it wasn't for Samantha's conversation with the little girl, but that conversation *is* there. She asks the girl's name and age, compliments her dress, explains that she doesn't have a physical body, etc.. If you consider Samantha a female character (and I can't see any reason not to; the movie is literally called "Her"), then it emphatically passes, no controversy about it. I'm surprised it's listed as a failure here.
Message posted on 2016-05-29 16:02:29
Jen disagreed with the rating and said:
This movie stretches the perception of gender and identity, and certainly the movie passes the spirit of the test, if not the letter (a four-year-old girl is not a woman, whether or not you consider the OSes to be women). I do disagree with the 2/3 rating because I would nevertheless count Samantha talking to the goddaughter (not named) about themselves and Isabella saying she ruined everything/Samantha telling Isabella it's not her fault.
Message posted on 2019-05-12 03:02:45
Jen disagreed with the rating and said:
Actually per the credits the birthday girl's name is Jocelyn, so Jocelyn talking to Samantha about each other passes.
Message posted on 2019-05-12 03:47:58
Michael disagreed with the rating and said:
This kind of begs the question of what constitutes a named character. Jocelyn is named in the credits but her name isn't said in the movie, and she has a conversation with Samantha about her dress.

Also, Samantha has conversations with Isabella and with Tatiana, but both conversations are technically not about a man, but the man is still heavily ingrained in the subject matter (talking about Isabella's performance in their group relationship or talking about Tatiana's feet through Paul's love of them).

So I think it technically passes, which doesn't sound that great, but, to be fair, it also barely even passes the reverse of the Bechdel test. There's just not a lot of named characters in this movie. There's only about eight named characters, four of which are women. The only instances of the reverse Bechdel test passing is Charles talking to Theo about smoothies and Paul talking to Theo about his letters.
Message posted on 2021-08-23 06:36:51

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