It’s not just men who are dragging their heels towards adulthood, women all around me are failing to become the adults our mothers expected us to be. I am, after all, a 28 year old nanny. But it is the man-children who have received all the attention thanks to the Apatow-Rogan-Duplass media empire.
In Further Materials Toward a Theory of the Man-Child, Moira Weigel and Mal Ahern posit that:
“Lena Dunham may be living proof that the Man-Child is now equal opportunity.”
But, I think this is a little imprecise. Hannah Horvath is still too much of a Carrie Bradshaw to be a female Man-Child. Or shall we say, Lady-Girl? She wants to be famous and accomplished. She wants to grow up to be Joan Didion, and actually I think the show promises her future success. The delightful Greta Gerwig in Francis Ha also displays this charming, striving chutzpah despite her lack of talent. In other words, they care too much.
In Bridesmaids, and it seems most of her future movies, Kristin Wiig is also not quite a Lady-Girl, she is just a Lady-Loser. Unlike the Seth Rogans of the world, she isn’t having fun in her inertia. The cast of Bachelorette and Charlize Theron in Young Adult: also not enjoying their relative lack of responsibilities.
But in a new not-that-great movie by Michael Mohan, I think we are finally getting a more genuine Lady-Girl counterpart to the Man-Child. Lizzy Caplan in Save the Date (a movie that should have had about 200% more Martin Starr) plays a woman who is not really working that hard to improve herself or move forward in her life.
This seems like an important step in the depiction of the modern lady for these reasons:
1. She is happy working at a book store and professes no desire to be anything else despite being in her early 30s.
2. Her lack of interest in marriage, children, professions, and other adult milestones is genuine
3. She has more fun because she is not good at being an adult. But it isn’t addiction-fueled manic fun. Like Seth Rogan’s many iterations, getting to be stoned/drunk all the time and not having any big professional pressures makes her a laid-back dudette.
Now the major problem with this Lizzy Caplan as the lady Seth Rogan game-changer is that Lizzy Caplan, despite being ridiculously hot, dates men in Save the Date who look like our real-life boyfriends and husbands.
Seth Rogen on the other hand gets to develop a gut, have an OK face, and date babes.
So the movie/show we really need in order to give women equal-opportunity slacking role models stars a 30 year old woman with love handles. She is having an awesome time drinking $8 bottles of wine every night and is not pursuing a law or medical degree. She is also not trying to be a famous artist or start her own bakery. Maybe she makes a cool $15,000 a year working at bike rental store where she hangs with her buds and shoots the shit. But her great sense of humor and laid back attitude have really won over her hot, but slightly over-organized, husband (maybe played by Paul Rudd in a fun twist).
Dana is a graduate student and nanny in Brooklyn.