Calamity Jane (1953) - M7.8/E8

This a fun family film. This movie is probably the main reason I’ve never really enjoyed Doris Day in other movies; her character in this movie is just ingrained in my mind as who she must really be. The music is good and the comedy keeps coming. The relationships are believable and true, almost standard; yet at the same time fresh interpretations of love and friendship.

The majority of the movie takes place in a bar/gentleman’s club, which isn’t the best setting for a family film. I had to explain to my daughter what it was that every one kept drinking (is telling her that it’s juice bad? In reality I doubt they had real alcohol on the set...) She knows that drinking alcohol isn’t good for us, but at her age it doesn’t matter who the person is, that person is a bad person if they’re doing something that my daughter is told not to do. So for the sake of allowing her to enjoy the movie, we fibbed. She’ll figure it out soon enough.

The movie focuses a lot on the female image. Calamity is a rough, saloon-frequenting, stage-protecting woman who is often confused for a man. It isn’t until she begins to understand what it is men actually want to see in a woman (and her own growing gender-awareness) that she feels that it’s time for her to change if she ever hopes of winning the heart of her Danny.

To some, this idea of femininity may seem appalling. However, I think it’s important for women to focus on their own natural characteristics instead of trying to become and do everything that a man is and does. Men and women are different for a reason, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sure, the world tends to paint the picture as man being “better” just because they tend to be stronger and bigger, but if you rely on the world for your definition of man and woman and don’t have a strong understanding of your own individual self-worth and identity, it’s easier to give in and clamor for equality.

At any rate, this is a great show for the whole family. Music, Indians chasing a stage, gun fire, drinking, dancing, you name it... Check it out while you still can on Netflix Instant.

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