Women have definitively broken through the cinematic glass ceiling. No longer are female actresses always expected to bat their lashes and wait for a big, strong man to save them. Nope, characters like Katniss Everdeen ("The Hunger Games" series, in case you've been stranded on a desert island), Tris Prior ("Divergent"), Lara Croft ("Tomb Raider") and many others are wowing movie-goers with their beauty, brains and biceps. Of course, they aren't the first to do so. Scarlett O'Hara was shooting rogue soldiers and picking cotton with her bare hands before most of these ladies were even vague fictional concepts.
This movement toward butt-kicking, tight pants-wearing, perfectly coiffed and typically virginal female leads is certainly better than the hapless, helpless women of yesteryear, but it is turning into a bit of a reverse stereotype. Nevertheless, expect to see more of it since casting experts are well aware that audiences prefer female leads who are both attractive and amazing, rather than one or the other.
Author's Note: 10 Classic Hollywood Clichés Still Used Today
This article could easily have been turned into a list of 100 awesome Hollywood clichés, there are so many in constant cinematic rotation. A personal fan of the slow-motion walkaway and one-at-a-time fighting, I appreciate tropes for the humor and twists they supply, even if I usually am screaming at characters: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT!
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Will 'Crazy Rich Asians' kick off a new era in the portrayal of Asian people on the big screen? HowStuffWorks ducks into the theater.