As Sundance kicked into gear, I took the little downtime I had to think about Girls on Film, and what I would write to coincide with the festival. There were a myriad of options that flew through my brain, but one quote continued to repeat itself louder than any thought. The repeating and insistent drum was left by this tweet from The Hollywood Reporter:
Part of me was ready to rant about Hollywood's obsession with this premise, but since I haven't seen the film, that's an argument for another time. However, the tweet does leave something else to talk about. This film isn't just a case of a young actress striving to be taken seriously by playing a stripper, because Welcome to the Rileys is just one of Stewart's two racy Sundance features. The other is, of course, The Runaways -- the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll biopic where Stewart takes on the iconic Joan Jett.Kristen Stewart's compelling in Welcome to the Rileys in #Sundance, but the film is a massive cliché about whores and their male saviors.
In one, she's the quintessential, sexually plagued victim -- desperate, destroyed, and in need of a male savior. In the other, she's the sexually progressive rocker who paves her own course. Together, they offer two polar opposite views about sex and vulgarity, only one of which can be truly challenging.