What problems can a rich, blonde university professor residing in Malibu possibly have in her life? A lot, as Suzanne Nicholson depicted in this romantic comedy, directed by and starring; Cathryn Michon. She plays a Women’s Studies Pop Culture professor whose marriage falls apart after she fails to conceive a child. With hormone pills adding to her insecurities and body image issues, Suzanne embarks on a journey to find herself again, through thick and thin. (Literally)
The purpose behind the film was clear. A female empowering story with a reminder of ”loving yourself.” Every feminists dream, isn’t it? As Suzanne demonstrated the stress of having a muffin top, a failed marriage, and a renewed sex life, many emotions come to mind. First of all, there’s nothing like the unstable feeling of your guts overflowing out of your jeans. Wearing spanx and temporary breasts implants may seem sexy on the outside, but can cause for some embarrassing moments during late night romancing. The story will hit close to home for most women, however, it does prove to be lengthy. From a complicated love triangle to not-so-subtle messages about feminism, its a lot of information to take in under 2 hours.
The characters lacked depth. It was difficult to feel anything, despite the Michon’s attempt of getting us to ”love ourselves.” Suzanne’s husband, who so wrongly left her for a thinner, conceivable woman, was in the film for a total of 10 minutes, leaving no chance for audiences to gather the same hatred and loathing that was seen by Suzanne herself. Her various flings that took place after her split were awkward and lacked the chemistry required to effectively demonstrate her ‘sexual re-awakening.’
As for Suzzanne herself? Ugh. Girl, can she whine! Whether she’s digging in her bags for M&M’s, telling her BFF about her latest life problems, or sulking about a husband who isn’t worth the time, Suzanne was the stereotypical female that all feminists are striving to break away from. And for a female empowering film, having a more likable protagonist would have definitely sent a more transparent message. She went on to solve her problems with the help of liposuction and botox, which to the average audience – just makes her more unlikable.
Yes, it did create an interesting twist as to what feminism means to each and every individual. But it also glorified the concept of white feminism. You will notice, there are no significant characters involving women of colour in this film. It’s about problems white, rich people face and the solutions they bring from a white, rich people perspective. And with the scrutiny that white feminism is currently facing in society – this is definitely not a film that will advance the feminist movement.
Verdict: Catch Muffin Top: A Love Story on Netflix to educate yourself on the controversial subject of white feminism- just don’t expect to be moved. Great flick to have on while you’re completing that knitting project for fall, though.