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Geek Girl in Hollywood: I cried watching 'Wonder Woman'

It was everything we could have hoped for.
Wonder Woman
We're so thrilled that "Wonder Woman," starring Gal Gadot, is excellent. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

By now, you’ve read the reviews of “Wonder Woman.” Even if you haven’t, you’re probably aware that it’s getting great ones. I was lucky enough to see the first press screening and go to the premiere, so I feel like I’ve had my emotional viewing, plus one where I was able to watch more critically. I loved it both times. There are so many subtle things in it that, as I said in my review, that it will benefit from a rewatch. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so this post will be SPOILER FREE. (It will include things from the trailers though.) I don’t want to go into plot detail, but I do want to talk about the impact it had.

I cried. I’m not going to try to hide that. (Well, I did during the premiere, but when I left, everyone else had been as well.) To be able to see my childhood hero on the big screen, headlining her own film — well, it was mind-blowing. I am not a crier by nature, especially not during films. This took me by surprise. So, without spoiling anything, here are some reasons why.

First, after dressing up as Wonder Woman as a little girl, having a Wonder Woman birthday party, learning her spin exactly from the TV series, writing chapters for a book about her, editing the book and covering women in geekdom, you can see why seeing her might strike a chord. That’s a given, I guess.

The second thing was: this Wonder Woman isn’t the same as every other superhero. You know what I mean — the characters that could just as easily have been men, angry and brooding, with dark revenge in mind. She wasn’t dark at all. Wonder Woman is joyous, powerful, naive about war (she’s never seen it in her lifetime), desperate to save everyone. In a way, it’s a child’s state of mind when they first learn about suffering. And watching her grow and still maintain that sense of purpose and optimism, despite what she’s seen — we haven’t had a superhero like that before.

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Third, she wasn’t shot to be sexy. Now, no one in their right mind would say that Gal Gadot is anything but hot, and she’s certainly shot beautifully. But in her fight scenes, she’s shot to look strong. Watch the scene where she’s about to go into battle in her Wonder Woman armor — she looks powerful, not sexualized. And yet, she looks wonderful. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Finally, that “save me” trope — you know, the one where the woman is super-strong until the very end when the guy rushes in to save her. It’s not there. Everyone helps each other, but she is the superhero. Wonder Woman is the strong one. She’s powerful, full of compassion, smart and determined. She is everything I always wished for as a kid. The fact that kids of all genders now have this film to watch — there go the tears again — means more to me than I can say. Please go see this film opening weekend (June 2) and show the studios that we need more.

Follow Jenna Busch on Twitter @jennabusch and visit her site, Legion of Leia

 
 
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