Is Simply Passing The Bechdel Test Enough?

In "films that will be endlessly compared to Bridesmaids solely because they contain enough female characters to pass the Bechdel test" news, L!fe Happens, a "raunchy female buddy comedy" recently premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and is currently seeking theatrical distribution.

The film, written and directed by Kat Coiro and co-written by Krysten Ritter, who also stars, is about a "twentysomething Silver Laker" who finds she is pregnant after a one-night stand and decides to keep the baby.

Like many other female directors and moviegoers alike, Coiro felt there were a lack of female-driven films telling relatable and richly drawn stories:

"As a director coming into my own career, I found there were no really exciting female characters," she told 24 Frames. "There were the foils rather than the ones driving the ship."

While it's overwhelmingly obvious that there is a need and want for movies like this, reading the increasing number of articles touting movies that are centered around a group of women just causes me to wonder, is that all it takes?

I haven't seen L!fe Happens so I can't say whether it falls into this category or not, but it seems like audiences are supposed to be thrilled simply because more women are being put on screen. It doesn't seem to matter if the content is any good or if the stories are compelling, just that the gender ratio is a bit better.

I'd love to think that the forthcoming ladycentric movies and TV shows will be marvelous and sharp and witty –-and many of them likely will be, but some reviews I've read seem to have a "here's a bunch of women in a movie so stop the complaining about the lack of women in film for a while at least" string attached to them.

It may be a thin string, barely visible, but it seems present to me.

I just hate the idea that there might be executives out there who are under the impression that throwing us a movie about a group of girls doing whatever will be enough to excite us because things are fair now, things are fine now, and I'd like to preemptively say that they're not. Yet.

Something is better than nothing, absolutely, but it's still not quite enough.