Download Fairy Tale and Film: Old Tales with a New Spin by Sue Short (auth.) PDF

By Sue Short (auth.)

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The narrative challenge is issued by a well-meaning yet overprotective dad, who affirms that only if his oldest daughter gets a date for the prom can her popular younger sister attend. The names of the principal cast alert us to the Shakespeare references. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is the sharp-tongued ‘feminist’, who archly deters any likely candidates, and Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) is the new boy at her high school, lured by money to court her – as well as curiosity. ). Still more lamentably, when she realises the financial agreement made to woo her to the prom her response is not the anger we might expect from an adolescent virago (already hurt by the rich kid now trying to bed her sister) but despair.

Rowe’s hyperbolic view of marriage ‘as the victory of patriarchal culture itself’ (1984: 221) exemplifies a need to be cautious Finding Love and Fulfilling Dreams 25 about making critical evaluations solely through contemporary mores. We also need to consider the diversity of responses that have been made to such tales and the impact feminist criticism has had in generating alternatives. In some respects there seems to be a vested critical interest in not seeking alternatives, largely in order to repeat the same negative assertions.

I would argue, however, that the message of these updated tales is too positive to ignore, with central protagonists who may experience loneliness and ostracism yet are also made responsible for improving their own futures. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Joel Zwick, 2002) provides another ‘Cinderella’ update in which romantic interests coincide with the heroine’s career ambitions. Toula (Nia Vardalos) is another outsider character, lacking self-esteem and stuck in a rut until night school offers a means of gaining control over her life.

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