Sally Phillips as GINA, How To Please A Woman - Photograph by David Dare Parker
How To Please A Woman: Film Review
How To Please A Woman (2021) is a funny watch, however this film is not for everyone. From the get-go, this film discusses issues that are representative to a specific group, being older, high socio-economic, white women as the story follows the rediscovery of self and coming to terms with finding pleasure in life at an older age.
We follow the character of Gina (Sally Phillips), who is let go from her workplace and replaced with a younger woman who is seen as more capable. However, she then comes upon a business idea of providing a service for older women who feel they have lost themselves, whether that be in work, children, family or something else. The service begins with men, from an almost diminishing removal company, going out to clean women’s houses, and quickly turns into them also providing sexual satisfaction for women. The company is quick to gain attraction from the posters in women’s change rooms and the message spreading across friend groups.
Whilst I found the overall concept interesting, the way the film addressed it was not particularly to my liking. Again, I’m speaking from a young person’s point of view and fully understand that I was probably not the target audience. However, I do feel as if the feeling that the treatment of being seen as objects was just transferred from men to women and instead of being empowering. It felt a little like exploitation of this group, who were vulnerable and had no other motives of income, being forced into a business that they think they might enjoy but involved a lot of emotional and physical labour that they might not have been be trained for. I know that’s just the anti-patriarchal viewpoint but I feel like in today’s day, it should not have been positioned in this way. Not to mention the disregard to married women using this service, including sexual favours and not being strictly seen as cheating or in the same regards as it would have been if a masculine figure had committed the same actions. Whilst there were moments of emotional healing and self-fulfillment, I just felt that the focus on sex was overused.
It did come with its funny moments, but I do not believe it’s something I would be watching again. As mentioned, I feel like in this inclusive society, we should be able to find moments of female empowerment without dehumanizing men and focusing more on the personal journey of self-discovery and falling in love with yourself, rather than sex being seen as the element of youth. I’m going to have to give this one a 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Article written by Nishtha Sharma
Image courtesy of David Dare Parker
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