Screen Studies
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Feminist Film Theory and Pretty Woman

Feminist Film Theory and Pretty Woman

by Mari Ruti

Mari Ruti (PhD, Harvard University) is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the author of five academic books:Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life (2006); A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living (2009); The Summons of Love (2011); The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within (2012); and The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living (2013). She has also published a trade book: The Case for Falling in Love: Why We Can't Control the Madness of Love - and Why That's the Best Part (2011). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2016
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781501319457
  • ISBN:
    9781501319426 (hardback)

    9781501319464 (paperback)

    9781501319433 (epub)

    9781501319440 (epdf)

    9781501319457 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
Feminist Film Theory and Pretty Woman
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In Feminist Film Theory and Pretty Woman, Mari Ruti traces the development of feminist film theory from its foundational concepts such as the male gaze, female spectatorship, and the masquerade of femininity to 21st-century analyses of neoliberal capitalism, consumerism, postfeminism, and the revival of ‘girly’ femininity as a cultural ideal. By interpreting Pretty Woman as a movie that defies easy categorization as either feminist or antifeminist, the book counters the all-too-common critical dismissal of romantic comedies as mindless drivel preoccupied with trivial ‘feminine’ concerns such as love and shopping. The book's lucid presentation of the key concerns of feminist film theory, along with its balanced reading of Pretty Woman, shed light on a Hollywood genre often overlooked by film critics: the romantic comedy.