Sunday, October 09, 2005

In Her Skeleton

So... let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed In Her Shoes and generally speaking I adore Toni Collette. But how exactly is she fat? Or ugly? And why does Hollywood keep wanting me to view her this way? To me she is on the thin side of being a normal sized woman. And she is pretty. Maybe not model/generic pretty but undeniably attractive. So, no matter how good of an actress she is...It's a major narrative stumbling block for me while watching In Her Shoes to feel/understand/believe that she is ugly and fat. Because... she. is. not.

Oh sure there are a couple of scenes where it seems like she was a tiny bit heavier than usual and a couple of unflattering outfits early on. And, of course, she is brunette and wears glasses which is still Hollywood's stupidly sexist and anti-intellectual shorthand to help an audience understand that the woman they're watching is sexually undesirable. The film is constantly referring to her unattractiveness... and her appetite. Even after she starts wearing more flattering (and in some cases really beautiful) outfits, we are reminded that she is not pretty.

If we are to accept that Hollywood thinks that Toni Collette is a huge heifer, than it indirectly stands to reason that people like Linday Lohan and Renée Zellweger will continue to get uglier. I had already given up on Renée, who used to be cute, radiant, and pretty (particularly in Nurse Betty and Bridget Jones) but I had hoped that Lindsay Lohan would gain back the weight she recently lost which took her from Mean Girls bewitching to her current skeletal fugliness. Sigh...

10 comments:

Rodney said...

I was thinking the same thing about Collette when reading reviews of the movie. I don't understand how she was cast as the ugly sister. I saw the same publicity shot as everyone else and didn't think she looked either fat or ugly. Hmm...makes you wonder what Hollywood thinks about actual ugly women (nonexistent?).

javi said...

In Her Skeleton.... LOL!!!

Toni Collette is definitely a beautiful woman, but this problem of suspension of disbelief is apparent in many other films.

How are we supposed to believe, for instance, than the gorgeous Cameron Diaz was some sort of bohemian or whatever in "Being John Malkovich"? Or that the shatteringly gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer was an anti-social low-paid second-hand secretary in "Batman Returns"?

It just doesn't make any sense, doesn't it?

adam k. said...

For the record... I like this post and I agree. I just have nothing to say. : )

damian b. said...

i totally agree. it was really a road block for me, as far as plot goes, that toni's character is supposed to be fat...i mean she was pushing a size 10 at the most. while i love toni, reading the book i had a very different look in mind...like say a younger kathy najimy or something? i don't know...the idea in the book, is that she's one of those women with a pretty face but is heavy. i didn't like how she became some frumpy women with a little t&a. anyway, what did you think of the film? check out my blog.

Gerry said...

Toni Collette is simply mind-numbingly gorgeous in a very "normal" way. I couldn't help but thinking, while watching "In Her Shoes", DAMN, I'd take her over Cameron Diaz any day.

Anonymous said...

She the thinking man's sex bomb!

Toni Collette is very beautiful and I also don't see how she can be considered fat and ugly. Sure, she gained weight for the part but...

well, I won't go further because I haven't seen the movie (only publicity). But, it does seem pretty silly.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, Lindsay has gained weight! She's even out there advocating that girls don't get to the point where she was.

Man, I love Lindsay.

-Glenn

Joe R. said...

See, for some reason, I didn't read the movie as saying that Toni's character WAS fat and ugly, just that she saw herself as fat and ugly, mostly because her family (esp. her sister and step-mom) saw her as fat and ugly. Because she's clearly not. I really loved her in this movie.

NATHANIEL R said...

joe r
that reading is definitely valid as well. that occurred to me while writing my article (and even during one love scene when the camera and Toni herself seem to have forgotten that she's not supposed to feel beautiful -great moment) ... but it's probably past association combined with this.

Plus, my general dismay at how size two is now deemed as fat.

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