Women as commodities in film
Year of the Woman or not, we think Hollywood still doesn’t get it. In three recent films, including Indecent Proposal, women have become a commodity again. In each a female character is either sold or lent, like chattel, to a man. Is this the postfeminist movie heroine? Here, the art of the deal:
Indecent Proposal The Goods: Demi Moore, the loving wife of sensitive architect Woody Harrelson. Deal/Price: To help pay their mounting debts, Moore agrees to spend the night with billionaire Robert Redford for a fee of $1 million. Selling Point: She’s beautiful, sexy, and susceptible to seduction. Renegotiation Option: The couple’s cagey lawyer insists he could have gotten them at least $2 million. Caveat Emptor: Moore still loves Harrelson.
Honeymoon In Vegas The Goods: Sarah Jessica Parker, the sexy schoolteacher fiancee of noncommital detective Nicolas Cage. Deal/Price: After a high-stakes poker game with gambler James Caan, Cage gives Parker to him for a weekend to settle $65,000 debt. Selling Point: Parker is a dead ringer for Caan’s deceased wife. Plus she looks good in skimpy outfits. Renegotiation Option: Caan eventually offers Parker $1 million for her hand in marriage. Caveat Emptor: Parker still loves Cage.
Mad Dog and Glory The Goods: Uma Thurman, a female bartender indebted to small-time hood Bill Murray. Deal/Price: Murray gives Thurman to lonely police photographer Robert De Niro as a week-long gift, then offers her permanently for $75,000. Renegotiation Option: Murray knocks price down to $40,000. Selling Point: By saving her from her fate, De Niro can feel like he’s taking a stand. Plus she looks good naked. Caveat Emptor: Thurman may only be using De Niro.