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Hear Me Out: Wild Things Is Surprisingly Feminist

When you think of the 1998 cult favorite Wild Things,you probably think: boobs.大胸部。Smaller boobs.Boobs under a wet T-shirt.干T恤下面的胸部。Boobs coming out of a pool.Well,guess what.You're also thinking of a modern feminist masterpiece!No,我不是开玩笑。It might be hard to recollect because it came out 18 years ago (yes,as of today the movie is officially legal!)—but upon review,Wild Things is about so much more than the previously mentioned mammaries.It's the premier feminist film of our time (in my opinion),and here's why...Warning: some spoilers!首先,in case you've never seen the film and are for some reason still reading this,let me sum up the plot for you: Wild Things revolves around a sex scandal in a small town in Florida between two high school girls (Denise Richards and Neve Campbell) who accuse their guidance counselor (Matt Dillon) of rape.Two cops (Kevin Bacon and Daphne Rubin-Vega) are assigned to the case and soon find out that not all is as it seems.Now,right off the bat you might be thinking,性犯罪?这不是

When you think of the 1998 cult favoriteWild Things,you probably think: boobs.大胸部。Smaller boobs.Boobs under a wet T-shirt.干T恤下面的胸部。Boobs coming out of a pool.Well,guess what.You're also thinking of a modern feminist masterpiece!No,我不是开玩笑。It might be hard to recollect because it came out 18 years ago (yes,as of today the movie is officially legal!)—but upon review,Wild Thingsis aboutsomuch more than the previously mentioned mammaries.It's the premier feminist film of our time (in my opinion),and here's why...

Warning: some spoilers!

首先,in case you've never seen the film and are for some reason still reading this,let me sum up the plot for you:Wild Things围绕着佛罗里达州一个小镇上两个高中女生(丹尼斯·理查兹和内夫·坎贝尔)的性丑闻展开,她们指控自己的指导顾问(马特·迪伦)强奸。Two cops (Kevin Bacon and Daphne Rubin-Vega) are assigned to the case and soon find out that not all is as it seems.

Now,right off the bat you might be thinking,性犯罪?This is not the feminist movie for me.But unlike much popular entertainment today,the crime in question is not seen and serves as a major plot point—not some lame device meant to titillate (coughGame of Thronescough).

A huge problem withfemale characters in moviesare that they are often flat—they portray women as "nagging wives," "supportive girlfriends," or "dead hookers" and that's about it.Their sole purpose is to support the guy.But inWild Things,the female characters are not only multidimensional,but head-spinningly so.Spoiled Floridian princess Kelly (Denise Richards) and drug-addled swamp priestess Suzie (Neve Campbell) are two of the most well-rounded,fascinating,and exciting characters to ever grace the screen.They're smart,conniving,dark,layered,而且很搞笑。They fight,they love,他们做爱,they scheme—often with each other—and they love every second of it.These women have agency and points of view—how many times can you say that about a woman in a Marvel movie?

Hilariously,the men inWild Things恰恰相反。Every man inWild Thingsis an inept patsy who can't get ahead of the game.The men sit by while the women play them like fiddles.Sure,the guys provide some laughs (Bill Murray plays a supporting role,so how could he not?) and some eye candy,but that's about it.

Speaking of eye candy,yesWild Things当然,uh,celebratesthe female form.But it equally glorifies the male form!Denise Richards may go topless,but delightfully,Kevin Bacon bares all too.The camera ogles Matt Dillon's tight chest just as much as Neve Campbell's.When the gaze is widened from male toeverybody's,then everybody wins.

Which brings me to my next point: The sexual politics inWild Thingswere ahead of their time.All of the female characters enjoy sex,要求它,and want actual pleasure,not some gross middle-aged loser pumping them from behind.The attractiveness gap is simply non-existent inWild Things.Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon didn't show up to this shoot with some JV-league dad-bod situation.These guys got cut.They were probably doing push-ups in between takes.伙计们?我们很感激。

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So next time you're in need of a hot,deliciously evil movie to watch,don't be afraid to getWild Things.It'sGloria Steinem-approved (probably,I can't be totally sure).