Tag Archives: Rose Byrne

Mrs. America Review

In theory, feminism is an easy concept to understand and an even easier cause to get involved in. But for any number of reasons, some women see feminism as the enemy.

The new series, Mrs. America premiered last month on Hulu. Set in the 1970’s, it follows the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). It seems that ratification is on the horizon. Writer/activist Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Representatives Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale) and Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), and journalist Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne) are four of the women who are the faces of the feminist movement. Their goal is to see the ERA enshrined as constitutional law. Standing in their way is Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), a conservative activist and lawyer who will move political h*ll and high water to prevent the ERA from being ratified.

I’ve seen eight of the nine released episodes and I am hooked. The main thing that strikes me is that the issues that these women were fighting for fifty years ago are the same issues we are fighting for now. If nothing else, this series reminds me how far we have come and how far we need to go before American women are truly equal.

It also humanizes the characters, especially the ones that are based on real women. We see them as giants and icons, not as human beings who were as fallible as anyone walking down the street. That humanization also stretches to the women who were against the ERA.

From the liberal perspective, it would be easy to label them as right wing nut jobs who are siding with the patriarchy. But in this series, they are portrayed as women who are scared. From the time they were born, they were told that the ideal life is to marry, have children and maintain a home. When the second wave of feminism began to affect the culture in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it felt like the rug was pulled out from beneath their feet. I absolutely do not agree with their political or cultural perspective. However, I understand the feeling of not knowing what to do when you are told that everything you know and love is wrong.

I absolutely recommend it. I would also not be surprised if this series did very well come award season.

The final episode of Mrs. America premieres Wednesday on Hulu.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Hulu

Instant Family Movie Review

These days, families come in all shapes and sizes. However, that does not mean that parenting and maintaining a marriage or a relationship is easy.

In Instant Family, Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) are a childless couple who decide that it’s time to have children. Instead of having children the old fashioned way, they decide to go the route of becoming foster parents. Two social workers Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro), steer the would be parents into the process of fostering with the ultimate goal of adoption.

The children who enter Pete and Ellie’s lives are three Latinex siblings: Lizzie (Isabela Moner), Juan (Gustavo Escobar) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Lizzie is both the typical teenager and a second mother to her younger siblings. Juan has anxiety issues. Lita is adorable, but she is spoiled. Can this couple become the parents they want to be and more importantly, will these kids give them the opportunity to become parents?

Instant Family is one of those films that is both mildly charming and slightly message heavy. It’s not a bad film, but it’s not exactly the type of film that would implore me to go to the movie theater.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Instant Family is presently on DVD.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies