14 Sep


Vivian Rhodes

Vivian Rhodes

Vivian Rhode, who holds an M.S. degree from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication, is a published mystery novelist and Emmy-nominated television writer. Her Lifetime movie, Stolen from the Womb aired in June 2014. Her recently republished novel, Groomed for Murder is available as an e-book on Amazon and is now being considered as the basis for a pilot for an online video service. Vivian lives in Los Angeles and writes about all things nostalgia- from film noir to vintage toys- on her blog, Rhodes Less Traveled.
Vivian Rhodes

1995 was twenty years ago and yet to me it seems like yesterday. In the past twenty years we have undergone not only a technological revolution, but a revolution in attitudes as well. Whether it’s the general acceptance of gay marriage or unwed motherhood (hard to believe this was a huge and controversial storyline in the television show, Murphy Brown, back in the nineties) many of society’s attitudes and acceptance of social policies have evolved.

As with any evolution, however, there are bound to be negatives. Texting has taken the place of speaking as a means of communicating, the Internet has allowed for bullying while retaining anonymity, and what passes for humor today is often more vulgar than witty.

I realize that the recently released film, Trainwreck was a huge success and that I am probably among the minority of people who didn’t enjoy it; therefore, my opinions here are highly subjective (but then that’s the whole point of a blog isn’t it?) Rather than point out what I didn’t like about the film itself, I thought it would be interesting to contrast and compare the female protagonist of Trainwreck, with the female protagonist of the 2001 film, Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Let’s begin with the similarities. Both Amy (Amy Schumer) and Bridget (Renee Zellweger) work in the field of communication (of course Amy works for a men’s magazine with the offensive name S’nuff while Bridget works for a book publishing company.) They are both young, attractive blondes, although neither one conforms to the super thin body type of most film heroines (a plus for both of them.)

They are each comfortable with their sexuality and yet here is one of the major differences in how they go about enjoying that sexuality. While Bridget would like to have a boyfriend and be involved in “an adult relationship” Amy, because of daddy issues that go back to her childhood, prefers playing it loose and free, and she prefers one-night stands.

Amy smokes too much, and drinks too much, and puts down her sister for living a more conventional life. Her foul language, behavior, and general outlook make her a less than appealing character to most of the men she becomes involved with as well as to the audience. Her transformation into a more likable figure emerges in the last ten minutes of the film but by that time who cares?

Bridget Jones also drinks too much, and smokes too much, and sometimes puts her foot in her mouth. But here’s the difference (and it’s a significant difference.) Bridget is likable. She’s vulnerable. She cares about the feelings of others, often to her own detriment. We root for her.

Amy comes off as selfish and tends to treat men in the off-handed, casual way in which men are frequently depicted as treating women. Some might argue that she is stronger than Bridget because she doesn’t take B.S. from anyone and treats men as callously as many men treat women. But these are the men we generally think of as jerks aren’t they?

Bottom line is I’d much rather spend an evening in the company of Bridget than in the company of Amy. But maybe that’s just me.

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