Ricky Gervais likes Girls and Girls Like Status
So I’m not living in a place where my social life includes television or movie theaters or talking about things that aren’t terrifying. As a result I was not reduced to watching Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying by myself; I was reduced to watching some guy on the Internet’s camcorder recording of Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying by myself. I may have some commentary on the slow, low-contrast world of Internet movie piracy at some point in the near future. There’s also maybe something interesting about The Invention of Lying‘s rather sloppy contribution to contemporary debates about religion.
For now, however, just a quick note on gender. So, throughout the film, Jennifer Garner’s character likes the cute, roundish Ricky but rejects his advances for fear of their union producing “fat, snubbed-nosed children.” In the long run, of course, he gets the girl and the final scene features the happy family, years in the future, with the pregnant Garner serving dinner to Ricky and their fat, snub-nosed (yet cutely roundish) son. The message is rather simple it would seem: fat, snubbed-nose guys can be charming or wealthy and, really, what’s so bad about fat, snubbed-nose little boys? Heck, they might just grow up to be charming or wealthy.
My only real observation is that this scene would have been utterly different were it a fat, snub-nosed little girl. The fat, snub-nosed boy, the movie teaches us, can grow up and marry Jennifer Garner. Pretty sweet deal. However, the female version, the movie tells us…well it doesn’t tell us anything cause fat, snub-nosed girls aren’t in movies. However, it’s probably safe to say that the warm, aww-shucks feeling the film’s final scene offers would have been severely mitigated were the audience subjected to thoughts of the chubby girl’s potential future difficulties as a result of being overweight and plain-looking (at least in comparison to the rest of the film’s women). So guys go for looks, girls go for status and if you’re a guy who writes movies, well, pretty sweet deal. Best not to mention what it implies for everyone else.