Why I hated Trainwreck (or time to re-write the rom-com)


I was so looking forward to seeing Trainwreck. I’d seen the shorts and it seemed like it may have a different take on the rom-com. It looked like it could show a woman who was slutty, wild and having a shitload of fun…sort of like men are regularly portrayed. I thought Amy Schumer could be the one to do this, take it up a step, take the Hollywood rom-com to where it needed to go.

But no, I was wrong and I was very disappointed. It did what rom-coms do so [cough] well: show a slutty, out of control girl who can only find happiness in the form of a “good” man. I know rom-coms do the reverse as well but I’m kind of sick of it. Is it not time to look at relationships differently? To examine other possibilities for how it could all be done?

I certainly don’t have the answers. I’m old and have grown up to be conditioned for the one man, one woman, eternal love, eternal happiness, blah blah blah, bullshit bullshit. It’s not that I’m a negative nelly or just plain old bitter and twisted (well, a little of both actually). I’m talking about the reality of my own life and the lives of most people I know, I’m talking about the news and social media and Ashley Madison.

Monogamy is a lovely ideal but I have come to believe that serial monogamy is truly the best we can hope for. We have all been socialised to believe monogamy is how the world works and how relationships should work. But it has historic and sociological roots (pardon the pun) related to “ownership” of children, descendants, estates, etc. All the moral stuff is just tied up to the ownership of women, children and real estate. Nothing more, nothing less. Love and romance have just been overlayed onto that bleak reality to make it a prettier, more palatable package.

So as a 47 year old, twice divorced single mother I know there isn’t much hope for me to truly live by a different model. I still yearn for that “my one and only true love” crappola. My logical self wishes it was otherwise because it’s really not got me very far but it’s been hammered into my DNA. I don’t know how to think in a different way.

But I would like for my children to grow up thinking about things in a different way. To value themselves as individuals and not crave the love of another person to validate them. To have sex with as many or as few people as they want to and not feel that makes them a good or a bad person. Just a person.

Getting back to Trainwreck. Having seen some of Amy’s comedy I thought she may have the skill set to take things up a notch on the rom-com. Take the slutty girl and make her the hero. But she did no such thing. She took the slutty girl, shamed the fuck out of her and gifted her with “happiness” in the form of Mr Dullsville. That’s right slutty, drunk girl… clean up your act, douche the old vag and you might be worthy of being Mrs Doctor and have the house in the burbs and the 2.3 kids and the Volvo… because fuck knows there’s no other way of being happy.

I’m not sure if she actually wrote something edgier and it was watered down by the Hollywood powers that be or if she’s really just wanting a piece of the Hollywood pie and beige is good enough. Either way it’s kind of sad and kind of a waste of time.

Old dog, new tricks

It’s refreshing and exhilirating that even in middle age one can try something different; something one may have been worried about, been scared of or had simply avoided because of the fear of the unknown. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be a very small thing, but it can live in your drawer labelled “taboo” and can easily be avoided and ignored. But then you try it because the opportunity arises and the world doesn’t end, an ambulance is not required and, in fact, you realise it’s actually really fun, wonderful actually.

Such moments don’t come along every day but when they do a new little door opens, a new little part of you is discovered. A personal tiny fireworks moment. I’m so thankful for such moments.

I hate to keep quoting that modern sage but as Justin Bieber says “never say never”.

Fallacy of fantasy

Let’s take a sharp turn away from muffins and onto another topic I find fascinating. Fantasy. I have touched on this issue previously but now I’m going to get a bit adult about it.

I want to take a moment to talk about bedroom fantasy. Are you with me? Can you handle the truth? If not, look away now.

I am really interested in how people manage to play out their fantasies with other people. I am going to assume most other people have fantasies of a sexual nature; whether it’s your hubby doing the dishes in nothing but a frilly apron or you doing [insert celeb of choice here] in nothing but a pair of cowboy boots. These are fantasies which play out inside your head when you’re doing the old horizontal folk dancing, thinking about doing it or are just on your own enjoying a little DYI.

My problem is with people who are able to transform their fantasy into reality by getting their partner to act things out. It’s just that I find it hard enough to translate my desires to my partner on any given day. Normal household tasks never get done the way I like, so taking that scenario into the bedroom generally results in disappointment… or so I assume.

You see the ideal sexual partner would need to be totally telepathic for me to be truly happy. By the time you manage to say “more, to the left, faster” and they manage to grunt “what?” and you manage to squeak “forget it!” the moment is long gone and you may as well be loading the dishwasher.

If your partner is not telepathic how do people manage to have fulfilling sexual lives where they bring their fantasies to reality? If you like dressing up or enacting different scenarios how do you explain that to your partner and have them act it out in the way you find satisfying? I just can’t imagine it.

In my mind it would play out like the set of a Francis Ford Coppola movie: “stand here, walk to there, say this… no, no, let’s try it again”. That does not scream sexual excitement to me. Either we would be laughing hysterically or it would come to fisticufs.

So I like to let fantasy stay in my head. It’s the best place for it. In my head people do what I say, when I say it. In fact there is no need for nasty old conversation at all… luckily everyone is telepathic in my fantasies and know where to stand and when to put what where. Except sometimes, even in my fantasies, my own brain conspires against me and throws in stupid thoughts mid-good part (that toilet isn’t going to scrub itself, don’t forget the athletics carnival note tomorrow, did you remember to set up the PlayStation to tape The Voice for next Monday)… what a killjoy.

Is it just me? Am I the weird one? Do other people manage to happily enact their lewd fantasy scenarios with their partners without anyone getting hurt? I’m not being all pervy, I’m being genuinely anthropoligcally curious. Help a deepkickgirl out here.