Who cries at a summer blockbuster action movie?
Several times in fact.
Blame it on “Wonder Woman.” The movie is that powerful.
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I was excited to see “Wonder Woman.” I’ve had posters on my office wall for more than a year, eagerly awaiting the movie. I’ve loved this character since I was a little girl watching the TV show starring Lynda Carter. I even broke my arm when I was 7, pretending to fly in my invisible plane when I leapt from my swing set.
I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming emotion that gripped me during the 2-hour, 20 minute movie. And I’m not alone. Women all over the world are sharing similar reactions. I think we all collectively have a sense of pride in her power. In her achievement. And what she represents. That feeling of finally. Finally an entire movie dedicated to a woman who holds her own, who snubs conventions and conquers on her own terms -- without apology.
I was teary-eyed and emotional talking about the movie with my husband afterward. He rightly said he could never truly understand my emotions, but he embraced them and all my insights.
Before the movie, he posted a photo of me in front of the movie poster to mark the occasion, understanding this meant a lot to me. So after the movie, I had friends asking me for my review. I still had emotions swirling, so I was short with my words (and mindful not to give anything away on opening day!). I simply wrote.
Since then I’ve told friends about one scene in particular that really got me. Dubbed the No Man’s Land scene, it in itself, I’ve learned, has a powerful story. Director Patty Jenkins, who is crashing through glass ceilings with this movie, told the Los Angeles Times she had to fight for the scene that nobody understood. “I think to some of the people I was working with it was confusing. ‘Who’s she fighting?’ [But] it’s not about that, it’s about her.”
Yes, that’s it.
It’s about her owning who she is, coming into her power and saying I will decide what is best. It was a moment I’ve waited a lifetime to see on screen. And it hit me in that moment how much it matters to see that decision clearly represented in pop culture.
See, we tell girls they can do anything a boy can. But the reality is that each and every day women face obstacles. Roadblocks are real. I don’t know many women who haven’t dealt with harassment, whether it’s cat calls or something more sinister, come-ons or being treated differently. We deal with it. We move on. And we try to not let it set us back.
But it’s everywhere we go. Our society still marvels at the “firsts” women accomplish. Many got excited about “the first woman to run for president of the United States.” Last week, it was that Jenkins was the first woman to direct a high-priced successful superhero movie. And this week, it was “the first woman hired to lead the Fresno Philharmonic.”
So when women all over the world see Wonder Woman throw off her cape, ignore men telling her no and march into battle and kick ass, we get a little emotional. And we cheer.