They call themselves the Fempire: Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlistscribe Lorene Scafaria, What Happens in Vegas writer Dana Fox, and playwright-turned-screenwriter Liz Meriwether, a newcomer. An article in Sunday's New York Times makes the point that while they're all young (between 27 and 32), stylish, and attractive, these four friends aren't making it big in Hollywood because of their feminine wiles.

Then again, the article appeared in the Fashion & Style section and makes constant references to the womens' physical appearances and clothing choices. But that sort of thing should have nothing to do with it! The Times swears! They're just successful screenwriters who happen to be women -- and the Times just happens to want to keep mentioning what they look like!

I don't know if this is pre-feminism, post-feminism, or something else. I'm not a woman, so I think I'm not allowed to talk about that kind of thing anyway. But it's an interesting article about how women in Hollywood are perceived differently from men (and the article itself is an example of it), and a fun glimpse into the lives of four females who have managed to break into the boys' club. Having a screenplay produced by a major studio -- any screenplay, even What Happens in Vegas -- is a significant achievement that comparatively few women get to experience.

I also like the idea of screenwriters hanging out together. When I was a theater nerd, I liked to imagine Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, and Stephen Schwartz having dinner, maybe with Neil Simon popping in to crack a couple hoary jokes. It calls to mind the old days of the Algonquin Round Table, when wits like Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman, and Robert Benchley would sit around having lunch, drinking booze, and cracking wise. I can't imagine the dialogue exchanged between Diablo Cody and her pals is quite that witty, but it would probably be fun to eavesdrop on.
categories Cinematical