I read today that Swedish movie theaters are reviewing movies based on the Bechdel test. Awesome.
And then I started watching the movie “Timeline” (2003) starring Paul Walker, Gerald Butler, Billy Connelly, Ethan Embry, David Thewlis, and Frances O’Connor. Frankly, it’s bumming me out. Not because it’s a bad movie but because of some bad casting choices.
In Michael Crichton’s 1999 book of same title, there are 5 named women characters to the 15+ named male characters. In this movie - they’ve changed 3 of the women to male characters. THREE! And I don’t see any necessary reason. One was a doctor who makes a brief appearance in the beginning, the other is a former marine, now private security guard, and the third is a VP of a high tech company. What? They couldn’t find enough women in Hollywood to fill these roles? People watching this movie wouldn’t be able to believe that women could be a doctor/marine/VP?
I just don’t understand why they had to cast men in these roles instead of women.
Blerg. Usually I take issue with movies not following the narrative plot of a book but this is different - this is just gross sexism. I am a lady, I like action movies, I’d like to see more women in action movies. To be honest, I’m not sure if I would have noticed the lack of women if I hadn’t read the book first - which is a statement to the under-representation of women in film BUT when the source material offers you a lovely guide on how to cast women in a movie - it’s a shame the casting director went in this direction.
Normally, I’d say “end rant” following something like this. But I refuse to end my rant on this. This is ridiculous. Granted, in the whole scheme of things, how many women are portrayed in one (10 year old) movie that got widely panned by critics is not that big of a deal - but I just feel that is indicative of how people (in and out of the entertainment business) feel that women can be easily replaced by a man. We’re not. We bring something different to the table - and we work better with a more diverse group. I certainly am not about to advocate replacing all men with women - not at all - just a more fair representation would be nice.
Ok back to the movie, let’s see how this goes…
p.s. They also ADDED a male character not found in the book but I think merely as a redshirt. I don’t see this guy living much past the 30 minute mark.