Opening 26 Jun 2014
Writing credits: Steven Brill
Principal actors: Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, Sarah Wright, Ethan Suplee
I’m old. I ran through the streets of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco back in the early ‘70s, embodied the spirit of Woodstock, giggled at being called a hippie and to this day check the box on forms that say ‘Ms.’ (instead of Mrs. or Miss – really whose business anyway if I am married or not). I support Planned Parenthood and believe that my daughters should not have to be labeled or discriminated against for being a woman – so yeah, I guess you could call me a feminist or as I like to think of myself as a ‘humanist’.
So, to see the comedic and talented Elizabeth Banks (Meghan) playing the lead character of a ditzy (of course blond) un-empowered Barbie doll who falls into spiraling depression over a broken engagement where the only solution is to put on the “slutiest” dress she owns to go out and get drunk, leaves me shaking my head in disappointment. Banks’s character (Meghan) then goes on to sleep with the bartender and wander the streets of downtown Los Angeles where a chain of slapstick events occur. ‘Really?’ haven’t we had enough of perpetuating negative female stereotypes from a male perspective? The film title says it all: “Walk of Shame” – Tsk tsk is the implied underlying macho tone of the film title.
When viewing the film, I knew I was in trouble when I was following the sequence of locations closer then following the story line. From my days of living in Los Angeles I have visual connections, yes to having traveled along Western Avenue, yes to having walked in McArthur Park, and no to stumbling into a crack house, running with gang members or trying to sell crack back to drug dealer. Dare I point at here that Steven Brill (director/writer) continues from negative women stereotypes to full on racial stereotyping of Asians, African-American and Jewish people.
If you get past the genital jokes, sexual innuendos and 12-year-old boy-brain humor, there might be a few laughable moments. Great cameo performances by comedian Tig Notaro (Impound Woman) and Kevin Nealon (Chopper Steve) who add good humor to a struggling film.
If I knew then what I know now about Walk of Shame – I would wait until this film is on TV and have it as background white noise while doing the dishes. (Abby Myers)