The Bitch High-Five: What's Your Least Favorite Summer Blockbuster Trope?

Every month in our newsletter (sign up on the homepage!), we survey our staffers and readers on their top five in a given category, complete with options, results and further comment space here on the Bitch blog. Lend a vote and give us five, or share your own idea below!

by Deb Jannerson
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19 Comments Have Been Posted

I can only pick one?

I can only pick one?



Four words: Manic Pixie Dream

Four words: Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Seconded. Enthusiastically

Seconded. Enthusiastically seconded!

To that, a resounding

To that, a resounding "indeed."

This brightened up my day

This brightened up my day when I first read it. Definitely the second one.

Why isn't there and "all of

Why isn't there and "all of the above" button? I'd pick that one.
Now I'm imagining a summer blockbuster with all of these features, like, a nerdy frat guy who can't get a (female) date and his token black friend discover that the nerdy guy's surprising abs hold the key to magic powers, and hilarious frat-dude hijinks ensue as they battle demonic supervillains from outer space, and find tepid, conventional love with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl at the end. Brought to you in 3D. Also there are some vampires.

A blockbuster idea!

Owl, you have to make that movie! I bet it would bring in millions. Maybe it could be called "Abs-solute" or something.

You would be rolling around

You would be rolling around in money if you made that movie.

My least favorite type of

My least favorite type of blockbuster? Those crappy action movies that cost millions and millions to produce yet have absolutely no meaningful plot or storyline. They also usually have bad acting and direction, yet the players get paid more than 95% of the population will make in their lifetimes. It's embarrassing that these turkeys make so much money, when little gems made for next-to-nothing come and go without much notice. I'll take 'Brick' over 'Transformers 2' any day.

All of the above!


Thai Trans sex workers? i wonder if anyone wants to touch that subject. I accidentally went to see Hangover 2...i have few words to explain what on earth was going on there in terms of offensive representations and exposed body parts...i hear it is doing well at the box office this summer.

My least favorite trope is

My least favorite trope is the action or comedy movie that has an mostly male cast except for the token "hot chick" who's only ever shown in the trailer for a few seconds taking off her clothes or wearing a bikini. The girl is not a developed character, as her main purpose is to titilate the audience, or serve as the catalyst for obnoxious caveman behavior when the characters ogle her. Insulting to both sexes in my opinion.


I was basically going to say everything you said in your post, haha. So true!

some more...

Does "the Transformers franchise" count as a trope? How about "anything having anything to do with Michael Bay"?

Have you seen The Island?

Michael Bay may have directed the movie, but so much of it is unlike the usual stuff Bay has done, you'll be surprised that it's not a mindless action movie. The first half actually focuses on characterization and some legitimately sublime moments, and though the second half does go through some typical action movie cliches, it never goes as overboard as Bay's other films, or most action films for that matter. I admit, The Island ain't perfect, but it's uncharacteristic of anything Bay has done before and after it.

#1 It drives me crazy. Could


It drives me crazy. Could anyone name 5 movies that don't have a love story? Didn't think so. So often it seems like it's just tacked on. Or if there's a group of people, it's just a matter of choosing one to get with, because that's how it works. So stupid!

I can (five off the top of my

I can (five off the top of my head: Withnail & I, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Shawshank Redemption, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Airplane!) but the tradeoff is that they are among the most failtastic there are when it comes to the Bechdel Test. I adore all those movies, but two of them don't have ANY women, period.

Most annoying for me is the

Most annoying for me is the teenage girl who is a member of every club in her high school, is captain of some sports team, plays in a band, works in a quaint cafe, spends hours hanging about with her friends, shopping, and perfecting her makeup, and also manages to be the valedictorian and class president. Despite all this, no one notices her and boys think she's gross even though she's conventionally gorgeous under those huge glasses and paint-globbed boots. It's most annoying in Mary-Kate and Ashley movies and on the Disney Channel, most over-the-top and humorous in Twin Peaks. I get that this sort of characterization is usually included in movies directed at teenage girls because people want the main characters to be inspiring role models and not shallow beauties, but it's employed so excessively that it's insulting. I take issue with the perfect grades aspect, because I pour all my efforts into academics and as a result am mediocre at everything else. But I'm proud because I've found something I love and that I'm good at. I also take issue with this because in such movies, it's only okay to be smart or nerdy if you are also fashionable, beautiful, and thin. I like to think I am all three, but I also like to think that people would still value me as a smart and interesting person even if I weren't. But these movies teach girls to think that intellect, athleticism, artistic expression, musical ability, volunteering and activist projects, and other interests and creative outlets are just accessories to complement beauty and defend against a shallow image. Surely they are more important than that!

Action movies: Women's most important function: be sexy

My least favorite trope is when action movies contain one girl - and she's naturally smoking hot. Or the alternative version, where we have this e.g. party scene or similar that's filled with hot women apparently just hanging around for the boys. The inclusion of a woman/women with the sole purpose of being extremely sexy/eye candy/wank material.
A couple of examples:

- The stripper girl in Triple X who shows up in Vin Diesel's bedroom. What irks me also is that he just takes her for granted. Eeew, unsympathetic.

- One of the Fast and the Furious movies that I saw - I think it was number 4. I recall this drag race/party scene with all these model-type women hanging about. Um, that's not what drag races look like where I come from.

- A final one - the poster for the latest X-men film. Why are all the male characters properly dressed/their suits are all zipped up, whereas we have one female character in garter belt and skimpy clothes, and Mystique with her track suit unzipped to show cleavage?

So overall - my hate trope is that it's more important that women are sexy than they are kick-ass characters.

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