So, I’m going to rant on this. This is something that has bothered me since.. well, I started writing screenplays. It’s something that I don’t understand and it makes me angry. This is especially true because there are certain things about character writing that are lacking.
Now, I could go on and on about how female characters have been sorely lacking since… well, the fifties. However, that’s not my problem. It’s not just female characters.
All characters seem to be lacking depth. Men are crude stereotypes of what should be manly. However, men are often the most fleshed out characters. They have been the sensitive and… well… motherly characters as well as the lunk-head as well as the brave superhero.
Women, on the other hand, have had only had two things for their motivation: looking for a decent man or their children (or in some cases being motherly to a sibling). Even movies like “Working Girl” was about getting the handsome, upwardly mobile man. It’s not about how she doesn’t care about the guy.
And that’s the real shame, where are the female characters that don’t care about getting married or don’t feel any kind of maternal drive?
It’s been some time since I’ve seen a woman who was written with any sensitivity or even any complexity let alone a woman who wants to do things for herself.
Hell, it’s been some time since any character coming out of Hollywood (as opposed to the indies) has had any real depth or vulnerability.
That’s what I don’t understand. Is it because Hollywood thinks that people don’t want to see people who are… well… human? That seeing real human vulnerability is seen as a flaw instead of something that everyone has? Or is it because most people are taught that emotions are bad and something to be hidden.
Do I think I’m the answer to this problem?
I don’t know. I like to write characters that are realistic and vulnerable. I don’t know if I ever succeed. What I do know is that maybe that’s what needed. We need original characters that are written with vulnerabilities, sensitivity and multifaceted. I think there needs to be a writing renaissance in Hollywood.
I’m just not sure how possible Hollywood will make that as long as they try to play it safe for profit.