Critical discussion of the film Pleasantville by Gary Ross. On the surface it’s about two teens who get trapped in a black and white television world. Below the surface we see a pointed commentary of society, discrimination, and reluctance to change. And it is this mentality that informs many of the ways people develop opinions on topics like gender and masculinity.
I discuss Tobey Maguire’s character David and how he goes through the all-too-familiar transition from geeky loser to self-confident man. We often see this transformation in film, but both the definition of “loser” as well as the solution to being a “loser” is problematic when you consider how this translates [...]