The First Wives Club), to tales of sexual abandon (How Stella Got Her Groove Back),
to all the romantic comedies that peddle the notion that love is still
just around the corner, no matter how career-oriented (One Fine Day), old or divorced (Must Love Dogs) or famous but still wanting (Notting Hill)
women happen to be. The straightforward fact is that the enormity of
movie screens and the communal nature of moviegoing — the simple act of
watching with other people as the larger-than-life unfolds — reinforces
our collective dreams and makes them seem attainable, if only for a
fleeting afternoon or evening.
After settling the latest preposterous squabble, driving the babysitter
home or picking up take-out for one, we may reenter the slipstream of
our pedestrian lives, but we carry with us trace elements of the belief
that things can be different. It’s no pure coincidence, the degree to which film took off here as a form of popular entertainment; movies are America’s chief cultural export because their vastness, in both
material and emotional scope, aligns with our sociopolitical views of
freedom and opportunity.
And yet, that wish fulfillment that comes in
so many shapes rarely comes in quite as many sizes.
Written and directed by Nnegest Likké and distributed by Fox Searchlight, Phat Girlz
takes a look at two frustrated plus-size women (Mo’nique and Kendra C.
Johnson), who obsess over their weight while struggling to find love
and acceptance in a “minus-size” world. A braver or more interesting film would have perhaps more directly addressed happiness without attachment, but Phat Girlz
is less a call to (flabby) arms than a simple turning of the tables on
romantic comedy convention, proof that large women can have wishes
cinematically fulfilled too. For the full review, from FilmStew, click here.