The Princess Suicides

Were Walt Disney to hear what's happening to the princesses, his head would surely explode in a hail of cryogenically frozen peas pelting the walls of its secret chamber.  While saving the princess used to be the whole point of the storybook ending, now we not only let her die but also insist she kill herself. In public. Wearing only a pair of rubber underpants live on stage while twerking off some old guy in a Beetlejuice suit.

Forget the rescuing prince, who was always a little shady in my view. Now there is only some vaguely annoyed rapper, not to be confused with a poet, musician or bard, since he can't sing or spell and is normally high. The most anybody can expect from this guy, in light of that viral porno on YouTube, is a quick Tweet in defense of another distressed damsel in whom he briefly lost sight of his penis.

We just as quickly brushed past the idea of a princess saving herself, when it turned out that took too long and wasn't very sexy to watch. Making matters worse, we've entirely banished women over forty from the screen, and even the audience, so we can no longer offer up an old witch to do the deed.

Where the paparazzi once lent a hand, the princess now must publish her own end, literally, through a series of contorted poses snapped in her bathroom mirror. These appear just after her phone is allegedly hacked to coincide with the premiere of yet another porno dressed up to look like an edgy indie. Having learned way more about her tongue than we ever wanted to know, the audience is left to wonder how it is possible to be both flabby and anorexic at the same time.

Given my considerable experience in the genre, I have to take some of the blame for the princess suicides. I am both a pragmatist and a dramatist, and I know a good story when I see one. Very often, somebody has to die. My favorite modern fairytale, though, is the real one, about the real commoner who went off to college and came back the future Queen of England. Why can't we see more of those kinds of stories for women and girls brought to the screen?

Actually, I already know the answer to that one. Having gone to film school, I know perfectly well that movies were never about women, but rather about men looking at women and figuring out how to do the right thing, against impossible odds, for the ones who appear to be most worth it. Still, when I wish upon a star, I can't help but wonder, if we kill off all the princesses, how can there be a Hollywood?

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