horns

by rantywoman

Last night while cleaning house I came across the DVD of the film Junebug, which I hadn’t yet gotten around to seeing, so I popped it in. Interestingly, it contains scenes of discomfort surrounding a childless, married, professional woman who encounters the inevitable questions about her childbearing status in a small Southern town.

It’s a more nuanced film than this blistering review suggests (for a better review check http://www.rogerebert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/REVIEWS/50726004/1023), but I was a little miffed by some of the subtext in the ending:

http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/1356/junebug/

And while Ashley is the film’s heart, Madeleine is its brain, which is, as expected, her great curse. Hell, she’s not even American! She’s lean, pretty, and such a striking contrast to the locals that she all but sprouts horns in the middle of the baby shower. She too is well-intentioned (she’s never callous or snooty, even though she’d be more than justified), but she questions, doubts, and just might place her job over the feelings of others, which cannot stand in such a world. The deck is further stacked when, during her attendance at a social gathering, she refuses to bow her head in prayer. She even manages to maintain her composure when the chaplain comes over to the table and asks God to make her marriage a spiritual one, despite never having considered her feelings in the matter. And I’ll be damned if she doesn’t skip church the next day, further alienating her from the mother! The father might also care about her lack of deference to Jesus, but he’s too busy drooling in the corner to register a response. She’s also assumed to be defective because she doesn’t have any children (she’s asked several times, all with incredulity), and I can only imagine the outrage if she were to reveal that she doesn’t even want them.

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