The movie “A Woman is a Woman” by Jean-Luc Godard focuses on the main character, Angela and her desire to have a baby. This desire leads to the conflict of the movie which involves her boyfriend Emil, and his best friend Alfred. Although the movie is a comedy, it takes on serious topics and stereotypes of each gender. It shows how society was back then, and the roles each gender played in it, albeit in a light tone.
When I first heard that the movie would be a romance comedy, I began to think about the stereotypical love stories that is shown in our movies today. However, the film goes beyond the conventional love stories that we see in Hollywood and makes fun of stereotypes that would be considered offensive in today’s standards. For starters, in terms of the background of the characters, Angela is quite different from most females we see in romance movies. Her job being a stripper makes her less desirable as compared to women who are portrayed to be princesses, heiresses of rich families, or being in positions which are desirable for men. In addition, Angela’s attitude seems so whimsical compared to most women in movies, she seems to have no driving force as to why she does what she does (in this case, wanting a baby), in fact when asked by her boyfriend as to why she wants a baby, she just responds “Because I want one”. Another difference the film does compared to today is how Emil, as the boyfriend, reacts to Angela’s request of wanting a baby. In most movies, the guy would try to please the girl or if not, they would try soothe her to make her have a better understanding as to why he is not willing to comply with her request. Emil, however, seem to avoid the question as much as possible, or if not, try to aggravate Angela whenever given the opportunity. He even goes as far as taunting her to have a baby with his best friend or even with a complete stranger.
Although their arguments are portrayed in a comedic way, such as them arguing using books to show their displeasure with one another, they touch on stereotypes that we have created for each gender and show the social expectations that we had set for each gender back then. For example, in one part of the movie Angela is singing that although she is crazy no man would leave her because she is beautiful, which play into the stereotypes that women only have value because of their face. Or in one part of the movie where Angela states that while women are allowed to avoid questions men are not. Although some of the these stereotypes or norms no longer exist as much today, there are still hints of them in our society. I found this part quite interesting since it shows how movements, such as feminism, have changed the set roles and our views of each gender in modern day society.
Overall, the movie was quite enjoyable. Although it seems light and comedic for the most parts, it touches on topics which make you reflect on the dialogue. It makes you think about some of the scenes which just seem random and have no context, and makes you wonder if these scenes actually have a deeper meaning, or if is just there to confuse the viewers (similar to how the song of The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” has no meaning and is just to make fun of people thinking too hard on the lyrics of a song). It is also quite a refreshing take on romance, which, however, left me wondering as to whether the movie truly was a comedy or a tragedy.