It should surprise absolutely no one who has met me for more than twenty minutes that I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie the minute I was able, which was actually the day before the wide release premiere. A movie theater near me was doing a special sneak preview, complete with a woman dressed like Wonder Woman in the lobby available to take pictures with.
I wore my Wonder Woman cuff bracelet. I wore my Wonder Woman watch. I wore my Wonder Woman earrings. Because if you can’t wear them to the premiere of the Wonder Woman movie, when can you?
I really wanted to like this movie. Which means one of two completely opposite things – I was going to like it either way because I wanted to like it so badly, or I was going to hate it because it couldn’t possibly live up to my inflated expectations. As it turned out I loved it, but whether I did because I wanted to or because it really was good, I’m not quite objective enough to say. But consider the following observations:
- Let’s just get out in front by saying that Chris Pine (who plays Steve Trevor) might be the most beautiful and perfect man ever to grace the Earth, and that I would eat him for breakfast if he were presented to me on a platter. The fact that he can act (and sing! Remember him in “Into the Woods”?) is gravy on that particular biscuit.
- The one thing that actually bothered me about the original Wonder Woman was the immense impracticality of her outfit. Girlfriend was well endowed, and there is no doubt that jumping around and generally kicking tail would cause a wardrobe malfunction in her bustier-like uniform. Plus, patent leather boots? Can you say sweaty, stinky feet? In this version, her outfit is more like an armor-plated leotard, designed for protection and flexibility. Diana chafes against the impracticality of pencil skirts and high necked collars and the like that a woman in the 1940s would be expected to wear. “How can you go to battle wearing this?” she asks.
- She is, of course, a feminist icon, but doesn’t seem to know it, which makes her more powerful. When Steve Trevor tells her to stand back in the face of bad guys, and pushes her behind him, she doesn’t rail on about how she can take care of herself, and how DARE he put Baby in a corner. Rather, she simply reaches around him and saves his life by deflecting a bullet from penetrating his chest. She says nothing to his, “stand back.” He responds to himself when seeing what she can do, “Or not.” This is the first rule of writing – show don’t tell. Don’t tell me you can take care of yourself, show me you can, and the message will be that much more powerful.
- In some of the intense and exciting battle scenes, I found myself suppressing the urge to yell, “Wonder Woman! Heck yeah!” (Only not actually the word ‘heck.’ A much more powerful word that I would punish my children for saying in a crowded theater.)
- I liked the mixed message of love and power – that love is ultimately the answer, but you’d better to be able to back it up with force and sometimes bad guys need killing. It was complicated and true.
- When it was over, I wanted to go home and put on a costume and POW POW POW run around and scream and
fight imaginary bad guys in the front yard. I wanted a Wonder Woman lunchbox and back pack and pencil case to bring to school. I wanted every other little girl in the world who had outgrown insipid princesses who dreamed of princes to want to be Amazon Warrior Princess Diana Prince and to play in the yard with me.
- Diana wasn’t just a butt-whipper. She was smart – spoke over a hundred languages and boasted of being well read. Her knowledge put the military’s code breakers to shame.
- Loved the casting. Princess Buttercup/Claire Underwood as Antiope? Remus Lupin as Ares? Inspired!
- Ok, ok, there were hokey parts. Steve Trevor infiltrates the Nazi stronghold by pretending to be a Nazi Colonel and getting away with it by….speaking English with a German accent. But it’s a super hero movie. Cut it some slack.
I’d write more, but I’ve got to go. I’ve heard a rumor there are bad guys infiltrating my office, and my golden lasso needs to be taken out and exercised. You WILL tell the truth! Ka-POW!
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.