It’s no secret that women of a certain age find it difficult to get good roles in Hollywood. Sure, there are exceptions, and thankfully more of them. I loved watching Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in The Kids Are Alright, with gorgeous faces untouched by Botox. Helen Mirren still brings the sizzle. And who can forget Diane Keaton’s fantastic role in Something’s Got To Give, where she found herself torn between two men: Jack Nicholson, the lovable cad, and Keanu Reeves?
Still, when I sit in a movie theater I tend to squirm a lot at the previews of action heroes conquering the bad guys while the women are…gyrating in their underwear. Of course, Bridesmaids succeeded as a woman’s comedy, though I suspect the filmmakers included some of the “grossout” scenes to get the guys to show up. But Hollywood doesn’t exactly have an interest in women’s stories, especially when they concern the older woman.
The only way to break through this, I believe, is for women to support the efforts of other women as indie filmmakers. If we can get the word out about women’s movies and support them, we show Hollywood that we have purchasing power that deserves to be heard.
A few days ago I ran across a small film called Not Dead Yet. Three women, all over forty, are looking unsuccessfully for acting roles. Discouraged, they decide to make their own film, though hilarity ensues when the director, played by Mash’s David Ogden Stiers, takes a, well, manly approach to the film. As they struggle to take charge of their movie, they are also having to deal with family issues and hot flashes!
Writer and producer Susan Hess Logeais gained success as a model and sometime actress. Not Dead Yet is her attempt to bring older women to the big screen. If you’re used to big-budget films, watching this will require some adjustment. However, I think it’s an admirable beginning to someone new to filmmaking. It’s a bit like reading someone’s first novel and knowing that the author has great potential. You may relate to the Mommy Guilt, the hot flashes, and the quest for redefinition that arises after age 40.
Not Dead Yet can be downloaded from iTunes for $9.99 (regular version) or $12.99 for the HD version.
With that, I sign out for the week! Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll be back again on Monday!