August 12, 2013
The Spectacular Now and the Problem with Geek Girls on Film

Geeks are guys. Or so many geeks would have you believe. A girl at a comics convention dressed as Batgirl isn’t really a geek, according to one popular line of thinking; she’s just a fake geek girl, “poaching attention” (in the words of outraged geek Joe Peacock) by pretending she knows the names of all the Doctor’s companions in chronological order or by quoting great swathes of Harry Potter. Geeks, the logic seems to go, are awkward social outcasts; pretty girls are not. Therefore, the two can’t go together, and it’s only natural, for example, to tell someone condescendingly at a con that she knows a lot about the Legion of Superheroes for a girl.
But The Spectacular Now includes that thing that some folks are loathe to credit —a real, honest-to-goodness pretty geek girl. Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) playing the female lead, knows her geometry and is in French club and is generally smart the way geeks are smart. She’s also socially awkward the way geeks are awkward—she doesn’t drink, has never had a boyfriend, giggles painfully whenever she talks, and performs bizarre conversational segues at family dinners. And if those clues aren’t enough, she’s into manga. Case closed.
Read more. [Image: 21 Laps Entertainment]

The Spectacular Now and the Problem with Geek Girls on Film

Geeks are guys. Or so many geeks would have you believe. A girl at a comics convention dressed as Batgirl isn’t really a geek, according to one popular line of thinking; she’s just a fake geek girl, “poaching attention” (in the words of outraged geek Joe Peacock) by pretending she knows the names of all the Doctor’s companions in chronological order or by quoting great swathes of Harry Potter. Geeks, the logic seems to go, are awkward social outcasts; pretty girls are not. Therefore, the two can’t go together, and it’s only natural, for example, to tell someone condescendingly at a con that she knows a lot about the Legion of Superheroes for a girl.

But The Spectacular Now includes that thing that some folks are loathe to credit —a real, honest-to-goodness pretty geek girl. Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) playing the female lead, knows her geometry and is in French club and is generally smart the way geeks are smart. She’s also socially awkward the way geeks are awkward—she doesn’t drink, has never had a boyfriend, giggles painfully whenever she talks, and performs bizarre conversational segues at family dinners. And if those clues aren’t enough, she’s into manga. Case closed.

Read more. [Image: 21 Laps Entertainment]

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    This makes me sad because I heard great things about this movie.
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