“Would you drink vermouth?” “Yes, I’m afraid I would.” – Roger Sterling
We went to see On the Basis of Sex at the new movie theatre with the fancy reclining seats and table service and pop-out tray tables that reminded me of college desks. Jess, who has always been more cultured than I am (when we went trick-or-treating I went as a bat, and she went as Jackie O), had been to Alamo Drafthouse many times and understood the human condition and the reflexive desire to cradle a bowl of food that reclining would induce. When you’re comfy and you want to eat you’re going to minimize the vessel to mouth ratio.
I had to rebel. She was right. I got a chicken tender platter. Delicious, but a missed opportunity to cradle a plastic bowl to my chest and bond with my food like a mother with a newborn child. Oh my god, I love chicken tenders though. I wish they didn’t have the connotation of being child’s food, because I think everyone should indulge in them more. Fried pieces of chicken that come with fries and honey mustard? Salt, sweet, protein, carbs, fat. You dip some chicken in the honey mustard then get bored and start dipping the fries and then get bored and dip the chicken. It’s kingly.
On to the film. I remain… confused. I think it boils down to, On the Basis of Sex could have made a great dry… I don’t know, prestige picture, or a Hollywood, legal Rocky, underdog story and instead it chose to split the difference. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life is fascinating, and I didn’t have a problem with the casting or anything like that. I’m not going to lie, the character of Marty Ginsburg was delightful and I certainly enjoyed looking at Armie Hammer playing an unwaveringly supportive feminist Dad and husband. My ovaries were like, purring. It just had the content and pacing of a much more “serious” film, with all the trappings of a blockbuster, as in, beautiful costumes, beautiful sets… Armie Hammer… just enough lazy exposition to take you out of the moment… some of the stuff with RBG’s teenage daughter awakening her to second-wave feminism was just too convenient.
But none of this was my biggest problem of the night. So ten minutes into the movie, I’m sitting there confused in a luxury movie theatre with my chicken tender platter and my blanket scarf (polar vortex) and I think, you know what’s making me uncomfortable, the fact I am eating chicken tenders in a recliner while watching Ruth Bader Ginsburg fight for my rights as a woman. There was no overcoming the dissonance of that one. Sex based discrimination is legal in America… Mmhmm sorry RBG let me just open my second honey mustard and get the pitch of my seat just right. I don’t think I can ever go back there for something more mentally taxing than The Meg 2 (God willing.)