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]] Veronica Mars (2014) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by James on 2014-03-14 21:30:57.



James said:
Although the story is about Veronica clearing her ex-boyfriend of a murder there is non male related female interaction.

When Veronica attends her high school reunion she verbally spars with a former female tormentor.

And more specifically a scene towards the end where Veronica has an at length discussion about a murder (of a woman) with a female suspect in that murder. The conversation leads to a male suspect, but it takes a while to get there, and they discuss things other than the murder, such as a stolen tablet computer.

Veronica's friend Mac has some scenes with her, but either Wallace or Keith are the primary people communicating with Veronica in those moments.
Message posted on 2014-03-14 21:30:57
a said:
I haven't seen this yet but was a fan of the tv show. It's a huge bummer to read that Veronica and Mac don't have any non-male-dominated conversations.
Message posted on 2014-03-15 02:58:14
Rebecca disagreed with the rating and said:
The conversations between women either related to the case (which centers around a man) or angry barbs between Veronica and her ex-nemesis. I would say this is a feminism fail.
Message posted on 2014-03-16 03:12:41
James said:
It is shaky logic saying that the case is "about a man." Veronica's personal motivation for solving the case is to help Logan. But to help Logan she has to solve two murders (both victims are female)that don't have anything to do with him other than that a woman set him up for the second one.

The letter and spirit of the test are satisfied several times (Veronica and Della talk about Bonnie's music. Veronica and Madison verbally spar at the reunion. Gia tells Veronica about the boat incident.). And the whole draw of the movie is watching Veronica intellectually dominate people.
Message posted on 2014-03-16 22:23:43
Sarah said:
I don't understand how someone could disagree with the rating.

At the beginning, Veronica is in a job interview and a women is asking her questions about her past sleuthing skills and how it relates to what kind of person she would be for their law firm now.

This same employer calls later on and lets Veronica know she has been accepted for the position and she wants her to start on Monday.

There are also a few scenes where Veronica is sparring with her past classmate Madison.

Gia and Veronica also talk when Veronica is trying to solve the murder and though the suspect leads to a male, that doesn't negate that their conversation was about solving the mystery and Veronica being clued in by Gia about what is really happening (and what happened a few years ago).
Message posted on 2014-03-17 17:30:01
Mike said:
First, I haven't seen the film yet.

But, I wanted to say that I think there's a lot of misconception about the 3rd, conversation that is not about a man, rule. Personally, I've always interpreted this as a conversation that does not illustrate a woman's worth as being dependent on a man. For instance, two women talking about how great a man is, or two women arguing about a male romantic love interest etc.

It seems as though some disagreements concerning the 3rd rule are because the conversation relates tangentially to a man. If Veronica's case is about her ex-boyfriend, does that mean that every woman she speaks to concerning the case (whether or not the person the case is centered around is mentioned) is a conversation where a man is the topic?

Like I said, I haven't seen the film yet, so there very well may be no conversations between two women without the expressed focus of a male character. I've just always interpreted this rule to mean that a conversation that either serves as exposition for a male character, or a conversation that implies that a woman's worth is measured by a man, or that women only think of men. I never interpreted it as a mother who has a conversation with a doctor about her son (an example I have read before in comments on this site), or for a more hyperbolic example, two lawyers arguing over the interpretation of an amendment of the constitution (which was written by men).

The Bechdel Test is also not a pass/fail kind of test for feminist film. There are a lot of films that fail that test that are female-positive (Gravity for instance), and films that pass the Bechdel Test that are absolutely HORRIBLE from a feminist perspective. If there were such an exam for portraying feminism, the Bechdel Test would merely be the roll call conducted before that exam was passed out.
Message posted on 2014-03-21 04:30:47
D said:
This gets an exclamation because 1 person who doesn't seem to fully know what the Bechdel Test is disagrees? No exclamation needed. This film passes the test straight up.
Message posted on 2014-05-22 06:32:00
David disagreed with the rating and said:
I totally get what D says. This movie does clearly pass the basic Bechdel test. Two women, talk to each other, about something other than a man.

I'd like to offer the Rebecca Amendment which is what Rebecca raises. Wherein the conversation between the two women is both constructive and positive. I don't believe that two women in a fight, and that is the only qualifying scene should gain full merit of the Bechdel.
Message posted on 2014-05-30 23:25:39
J said:
I have no internal conflict about two women arguing being a pass, or even negating the spirit of the test. Let's not pretend this movie had a bunch of male bonding in it and unfairly portrayed women as being catty and vain.

Also the reunion scene is far and away not the only passing sequences.

If you want to argue that the movie is less feminist and therefor less good because Veronica's major positive relationships are with Keith, Logan and Piz then I'd say you only have half an argument and the half you have is sort of unfair.

Message posted on 2014-06-06 03:08:44
Pamela said:
People are always forgetting that at the end of the film, Mac gives up her job at Kane Software to come work for Veronica at Mars Investigations. With Keith catastrophically injured, Mars Investigations essentially becomes a solely female owned and operated business.

Both women, in fact, shun what society is pressuring them to do (corporate jobs, safe boyfriend), to enter into a male-dominated field where they will be physically at risk.

In fact, if he were a woman, the Bechdel Test would be most often failed by Wallace/Veronica. He is constantly bringing up the subject of Piz/Logan, prodding her to discuss her romantic entanglements.

And even though Veronica returned under the guise of helping Logan with his case, she obviously came for herself, too. The siren call of the PI biz was luring her, and it wasn't a coincidence that she kept extending her stay in Neptune at the time when she was expected to start a new job (that she obv didn't want).

I've often heard people criticize Veronica for 'staying in town for a guy', but I think it's important to point out that Logan shipped off for six months right after they got together. She could have continued her relationship with him from NYC and taken the law firm job. She came back to Neptune for herself.

I know this last part isn't technically part of the Bechdel Test, but I feel it's important to mention, because so many people use this as an example of how the franchise has gotten less feminist.
Message posted on 2014-06-08 22:55:10
J said:
Yeah Pamela, it is very clear that Veronica stays in Neptune because she enjoys being a detective. It is plainly ridiculous that anyone would to go out of their way to critique the character for also being romantically involved with a boy there.

If the script were endorsing some sexists, backwards, "get in the kitchen"/ "oh you need a man to be complete and happy" stuff with Veronica/Logan that would be one thing.

The reality is it is a movie with a romance in it. That in itself is innocuous.

I also read "Thousand Dollar Tan line" recently, a book that follows the movie and more easily passes the test. You even get to experience the new status quo of Veronica and Mac running the detective agency without Keith or Wallace around.
Message posted on 2014-06-18 05:07:38
DG said:
Why would anyone disagree with the rating? This is the type of movie that Bechdel was pointing out rarely exists. Female detective investigating the murder of a woman with the help of a female computer hacker and half the suspects are women.
Message posted on 2014-08-28 03:38:35

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