Female Voice vs. Male Voice in Movies

I’m about to call up Comcast and cancel my subscription to the movie channels.   

For the last few nights I’ve been going through all the movie line-ups, and I wasn’t able to find one movie I really wanted to see.

That’s frightening.

Not just because of the amount of money I’m paying for the subscription service, but because with so much choice out there, are there truly no movies created with me in mind?

I know I’m not in the hot "theatre-audience" demo, but surely middle-age women (I use the term loosely) watch movies, too, even if it is at home vs. in a theatre.

When Beverly HIlls Chihauhua is looking like your best option, something is very wrong.

Maybe it’s just me.  I long for great stories and interesting characters.   I find myself drawn to documentaries and to film festivals.   Independent movies just seem to be more my thing.   

Am I some sort of movie elitist?   Sorry, but no.   Don’t tell anyone, but I watched Titanic three times.   

I think there may be a few things going on here.

Independent and documentary films often don’t have the budget for special effects.  I think they are sometimes forced to rely more on an interesting story and characters to carry the movie.

More and more women are writing and directing independent films.   You just don’t see that many high powered women writers and directors in Hollywood.  Look at any movie list, any one –  and look at how many are directed by women.   

I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that 2 out of the top 10 this week were directed by women.  But this may be a fluke due to the prominence of Twilight.

Why is this important?   And what does it have to do with marketing to women?

In my research, I see time and time again that many companies miss the mark when trying to get a woman’s voice right.  Look at the recent debacle with Motrin Moms.    I think women are just sick and tired of advertising and media (and movies) that don’t speak to them in their own voice.   

Catherine Hardwicke, director and co-writer of thirteen and Lords of Dogtown had this to say: 

"Hollywood should hire more female writers, not just for diversity, but for perspective. More than half the world deserves a prominent voice."

I suspect one of the reasons why so many women are such fanatical blog readers is because they can finally hear from other women in their own voices.

Now, before you come after me with that "you’re just a crazed feminist whack-job" stuff,  men are perfectly capable of writing and speaking to women.    If you don’t believe that, read Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. 

But we are ALL guilty of creating ads, media, movies that WE like.    There’s no harm in that as long as you share the same views, values, and voice as the target audience.   

But beware, Joseph Carrabis, an expert on how men and women communicate, has a terrific post on how the way we tell a story can be affected by our personal point of view .   Check it out.   It will give you something to think about.

Off to watch my worn out DVD’s of Six Feet Under.   

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5 Responses to Female Voice vs. Male Voice in Movies

  1. Holly,
    Thanks for the nod. Let me know if there’s something more or other I can contribute to the discussion.
    For what it’s worth, we’re on the edge of giving up TV altogether. Like you, we pick up DVD sets of favorite shows and movies (I don’t think we have much produced after ’95) and keep on returning to those.
    And to another of your points, Susan’s (wife, partner, equal yet other) blog posts always get more traffic than mine and yes, it’s always feminine traffic. What’s amusing about this is that we rarely post it under her name (her decision to post under my name and that’s changing now that she’s becoming the face of NextStage).
    Men, be ware! Women know!
    Thanks again for the nod and the great post. – Joseph

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  3. watch movies says:

    I agree! Watch movies! Well, it’s almost a good answer fo everything. btw, Catherine Hardwicke is an awesome director! I adore her 🙂

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