HOW TO BUILD A GIRL – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

The title is… illuminating. And ironic. How to Build a Girl. We girls don’t have cultural scripts for building ourselves in the way that boys do, which come at boys from all angles: from pop culture, from sports, from history lessons in school, from everything that they see in the world that tells them that they can do whatever they want and all barriers they encounter can be surmounted. (Disclaimer: applies mostly only to straight white boys. And isn’t even really true! But still it gives them a confidence boost, and the arrogance to expect everything from the world, and that’s hugely important.)

Certainly movies have not had a lot of interest in letting teen girls be anything other than supporting characters in boys’ construction, in a filmdom dominated by male filmmakers telling stories from their perspectives. We’ve have a few good — really, really good — movies about teen girls recently. We’ve been allowed about one per year, and mostly they are tiny releases. Continue reading…

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).