Tao of dating goddess
The Republicans say, "We have to get the bitch in the belly." These opposing arias of ruthlessness come together in the film's food imagery: The president eats shark sandwiches.
And in a sly scene where Hanson and Runyon are having lunch, he is gnawing on a bloody porterhouse steak while she insists on eating "the penne." By showing Hanson engaged in vigorous sex (on a desk) with her husband and exposing her as the Other Woman who broke up his previous marriage, the film also encourages us to fantasize about her in the orgy scene.
ince the beginning of the women's liberation movement in the 1960s, theorists have recognized two kinds of contemporary feminist culture: Feminism Heavy and Feminism Lite.
Heavy, or high, feminism includes art exhibits, academic books, PBS, foreign films by Dutch or Belgian women directors (such as Jeanne Dielmann, Chantal Akerman's interminable saga of a housewife's interminable day), the novels of Susan Sontag and Toni Morrison, and learned journals such as Signs, Genders, or Legacy.
Even more problematic and contradictory is the casting of the prim and angular Joan Allen as Hanson.
Allen was perfect as Pat Nixon in Oliver Stone's Nixon, and as the unhappy wife in Ang Lee's film The Ice Storm, but she is utterly unconvincing as the sexually tempestuous Hanson.
I think it would have made a real impact on me if I had seen this on-screen when I was a girl, in addition to my trusty Wonder Woman comics.
But Charlie's Angels is forgettable fluff next to Ang Lee's magnificent Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
At the hearings, Hanson explains that she herself voted to impeach President Clinton because he had allowed military men to be punished for adultery and tried to conceal his own misdeeds; but overall the film attacks the ethics of invading the privacy of candidates.
Can we believe that this drab creature has stolen Mariel Hemingway's husband? Allen seems to be re-enacting her role as the rigid Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible.
Moreover, her absolutist refusal to deny the allegations (although she has plenty of proof) and her lack of on-screen emotion become increasingly unsympathetic and bizarre. Why must the woman play this role of unbending ethical martyr?
Ultimately, she prefers to withdraw from the nomination (something the president won't allow) rather than pander to political expediency, even under pressure from her own party.
Not until the very end do we finally learn that she is being falsely accused. Roger Ebert found The Contender "a veiled reference to Monicagate" (star Jeff Bridges, who plays the shrewd good-ole-boy president, commented, "I don't think it's so veiled").