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Visibility and representation: The good and the bad

I had already written about representation in one of my previous posts, but I feel it’s a topic I could talk non stop. For my personal involvement, of course, but also because there are so many things to be said.

A few weeks ago I watched the movie “I care a lot” (I know, long overdue), and it triggered a lot of thoughts before of its protagonist. Marla Grayson is queer. And despicable, oh so despicable.

She built her own fortune becoming the guardian of lone elders who are deemed incapable of taking care of themselves. Problem is, those elders don’t need a guardian, but since they’re alone there’s no one that can actually testify that they’re capable of taking care of themselves. Plus, Marla Grayson has the judge in her pocket, of course.

And so she sends those elders to accomplices retirement homes, where they’re drugged and kept there forever while Marla gets rich selling their assets. All this scheme is put in jeopardy when she target the wrong old lady. This lonely old lady looks like her typical victim of this scam, except that she’s not completely alone: the reason why nobody knows she has living relatives is that her son is a Russian thug. Needless to say, there will be trouble, a lot of trouble, but it’s not the point I’m trying to make.

I know it sounds strange, but I’ve been waiting for so long for this to happen. Finally, a unapologetically bad queer woman. Somehow it makes me feel like we’re not a protected species anymore. The fact that we’re finally allowed to be mean, to have flaws, to die. And, more than anything, stories in which the main focus is not our sexuality nor anything related to it. Fran is one of the main characters, of course, but she’s more presented as her partner in crime rather than just her partner.

After all the turmoil because of the “bury your gays” trope, it felt that sometimes screenwriter felt somehow obliged to insert a queer character, give them a love interest and make sure they got through all the adversities no matter what. And the fact that these characters were queer was an important part of their storyline, as if the screenwriter wanted to highlight the fact that they had inserted underrepresented minorities.

In “I care a lot”, instead, we just see that Marla Grayson has a partner in life which is also her business partner. Nobody makes a big deal because that partner is a woman, and to be honest this is something I’d like to be true also in real life.

So yes, “I care a lot” is a good movie, that has the audience range from disbelief to rage to sheer fun, also because nobody seems capable to really kill their enemy. And, as a plus, it finally shows a casual and healthy* lesbian relationship. If you watched it and have anything to say about that, please leave a message in the comments to let me know.

*Healthy as a couple of fraudsters can be, of course

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