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May 16, 2024 89 mins

This week, we're celebrating Caitlin's birthday with an episode on Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)! And don't forget, our SHREKTANIC TOUR kicks off NEXT WEEK in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Dublin, so grab tickets now at

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hello listeners, Caitlin here dropping in at the top of
the episode to give you one final reminder about the
Shrek Tannek tour which starts next week. And you're also
about to find out that this is my birthday episode.
So if you would like to give me the most
wonderful birthday gift of all, you can do so by

buying tickets to the shows on this tour, which are
two shows in London on May twenty second, followed by
a show in Oxford with the Saint Audio Podcast Festival
on May twenty fourth, then Edinburgh on May twenty sixth,
Manchester on May twenty eighth, and Dublin on May twenty ninth.

Right now, there are still a few tickets available for
all of these shows, and it would just really mean
the world if you came out to see us live.
We have so much fun, goofy stuff planned, stuff you've
never seen or heard before. So do yourself a favor.
Do not miss these shows, which you can buy tickets

to at link tree slash Bechdel Cast. We will see
you there. We are so freaking excited. The other thing
switching gears here, but the other thing that we want
to do at the top of the episode is to
place a content warning for domestic abuse and violence, as

that is a component of our discussion on this episode.
Enjoy the episode.

Speaker 2 (01:32):
On the Bechdelcast, the questions ask if movies have women
and them, are all their discussions just boyfriends and husbands
or do they have individualism? It's the patriarchy? Zeff and
vest start changing with the Bechdel Cast.

Speaker 3 (01:47):
Hey Caitlin, Hey Jamie, are you telling me that for
the last six or seven years you've also been podcasting
in secret? Well?

Speaker 1 (01:58):
Gee, I don't know. I'm gonna be really secretive about it.

Speaker 3 (02:03):
I guess the only way to get to the bottom
of it.

Speaker 1 (02:05):
Is to kill each other, or to join forces and
do a podcast together.

Speaker 3 (02:12):
Wow, and revitalize our relationship by hot started. God, wouldn't
that be I haven't seen the reboot, but what if
that is what happens, mister and missus Smith just start
a podcast. That would be such a bummer. I really
hope that that doesn't happen. Did you watch the show?

Speaker 1 (02:27):
I didn't watch the whole thing, but I saw the pilot,
so I can describe the premise based on that.

Speaker 3 (02:33):
Okay, I read about it, but I feel like that's
sometimes what happens now on shows where they're just like
they're under thirty five. Should they have a podcast? Unclear?
Maybe anyways, do do do? Happy birthday to Caitlin. Maybe

that's exactly who.

Speaker 1 (02:58):
Oh happy thank you today, Thank you so much. It's
true as my birthday. And that's why I picked this movie,
Mister and Missus Smith, two thousand and five, because it
used to be a movie I really liked and now
maybe not so much.

Speaker 3 (03:16):
I'm excited and if this happens to be your first
time around here, because you're a huge mister and Missus Smith,
two thousand and five fan, Welcome to the Bechdel Cast.
My name's Jamie Loftus.

Speaker 1 (03:28):
My name is Caitlin Drante, and this is our podcast
where we examine movies through an intersectional feminist lens using
the Bechdel Test just to get the dang conversation going,
except we wait till the very end of the episode
to talk about it. Yeah, it makes sense.

Speaker 3 (03:46):
It really does, it really does. The Bechdel Test is,
of course, a media metric created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel,
sometimes called the Bechdel Wallace Test because she co created
it with her friend Liz Wallace. Lots of different versions
of this test. The one we use.

Speaker 4 (04:04):
For our purposes requires that two people, two characters of
a marginalized gender, speak to each other about something other
than a man for more than two lines.

Speaker 3 (04:16):
Of dialogue, and it should be a meaningful exchange and
then we just sort of start the conversation from there.
It's thrilling.

Speaker 1 (04:25):
So today's movie is, like I said, mister missus Smith, Jamie,
what is your relationship, if any, with the dang movie?

Speaker 3 (04:35):
Easy? Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. I had never seen this movie.
I feel like I'm coming in completely cold because not
only have I never seen this, I had no interest
in the reboot because I had never seen this. I
really have never had much of an I mean, especially
as time goes on, as we'll talk about, I've never
really had much of an interest in Brad Pitt or

Angelina jo Lee action movies. So this was just never
going to be a movie I was good to see. Yeah, fair,
even though I think that, Like, I mean, when this
movie came out, he was like eleven or twelve, so
I feel like I should have been I feel like
that's a very like gossip magazine age, but I was

also not very invested in the media narrative. I don't know.
I guess this one just missed me. I just didn't care. Yeah,
and I have to say not to be a downer
at the top of the episode. I watched the movie
and I care less than ever. Yeah, I didn't like
it very much. Although I do get like watching it now,

I do get why people liked it at the time.
I get it. It's a sexy little movie, yeah, and
it has its moments. But yeah, just really was not
doing very much for me. Caitlin, what is your history
with mister and Missus Smith.

Speaker 1 (05:59):
I saw in theaters in two thousand and five. I
was either a freshman or sophomore in college, so you know,
I didn't have the most refined taste, and I thought
this movie was awesome. I was like, Wow, look at
these hot people being so hot, and they're hot near
each other, and they're hot on top of each other,

and they're fighting and then they're kissing and WOWI wow.
These are all the very nuanced thoughts going through my head.
And I thought it was a fun movie. And then
I bought it on DVD and I watched it a
lot on DVD, and I still have the DVD brag
for that.

Speaker 3 (06:40):
Your DVD collection is a thing of beauty.

Speaker 1 (06:44):
I really don't stand by a lot of it, but
it is there.

Speaker 3 (06:48):
That's growth. That's growth.

Speaker 1 (06:49):
I feel like, thank you.

Speaker 3 (06:51):
It's very alarming when someone's taste never changes. Yeah, if
everyone can vouch for their DVD collection from twenty years ago, folks,
we've got a problem. You've got to look in word. Yeah,
you know, there has to be certain things that you
cannot answer for.

Speaker 2 (07:06):
M hm.

Speaker 3 (07:07):
What was it like rewatching?

Speaker 1 (07:09):
I thought that the storytelling was sloppy and the pacing
was really bad. Yeah, because since I first saw this movie,
I of course went on to get a master's degree
in screenwriting from Boston University, something I would never mention,
but I have a far better understanding of, you know,

narrative structure and pacing. And I was like, oh, this
movie like lags. There's a lot of like unnecessary repetition
in the exposition, Like this could have been streamlined significantly.
I thought the storytelling was just like not very well done,
especially in Act one.

Speaker 3 (07:48):
Yeah, it was sort of those movies where I couldn't
tell if it was the writing or if I was
just bored. But I did find like a lot of
the establishing information confusing, right, I mean, this is just
movie logic. But I'm like, they didn't know, right then,
you guys are a joke. You're bad at your job

because you're not being very subtle.

Speaker 1 (08:12):
They are pretty bad at their jobs. The other thing
about this movie is that so I teach screenwriting classes
using aforementioned degree that I would never mention.

Speaker 5 (08:23):
Plus plus plugs, and the main assignment in my intro
level class is for students to write a film treatment.

Speaker 1 (08:34):
And I send them various treatments as an example of
what to do and how to write a treatment. And
I would say the best one I have found after
scouring the internet is the treatment for mister and Missus Smith. Really,
a lot of the treatments are either that are available
online at least that I have access to. They're either

a James Cameron's script Mint, so it's like seventy pages
long and he basically just wrote the script but kind
of summarized it also, so those aren't useful, or their
treatments that just like aren't very good at encapsulating like
what the story of the movie is. So even though

this is like not a masterpiece of cinema, the treatment
for it is at least effective at being a treatment
and serving the purpose that a treatment is supposed to serve.
So I send this to all my students, and this
is kind of like the main one that we study,
and so I'm constantly rereading the treatment for this movie.

Speaker 3 (09:40):
Wow. Yeah, So, like you actually have a consistent and
like rather intimate relationship with this movie.

Speaker 1 (09:47):
This is wild, right, But I hadn't rewatched the movie
probably since like twenty ten, twenty eleven, Like it definitely
fell off for me, and it wasn't something I was
consistently watching after the first few years of enjoying it.
But I do have this kind of like intimate relationship
with at least the premise of the movie, and so

I was excited to go back and rewatch it to
see if it held up at all. And I would say,
generally the answer is no, although I don't know if
it was just the nostalgia, but I was like, I'm
still having fun. There's still some fun set pieces and sequences.

Speaker 3 (10:26):
Definitely, and also I mean like there's certain like images
where well, I don't even know if this is necessarily true,
but there are a few images in this movie that
I'm like, they don't make shots like that anymore. And
I'm thinking of Angelina Joe snapping someone's neck basically as Catwoman,
then jumping off a building with an umbrella and getting
into a cab all in the space of twenty seconds.

I'm like, yes, now that was cinema. That was cinema.
That was pretty amazing.

Speaker 1 (10:54):
The movie feels like a movie in that moment.

Speaker 3 (10:56):
The movie was really feeling like a movie, because this
is not a movie in which magic is a factor.
But like Catwoman, Mary Poppins, I know there was some
sort of gadget, but I was like, no way, no way.
I know, wow, that's passive. Well, I'm excited to talk
about the story. I also did a fairly deep dive
on the meat because I mean that to me, when

I think of mister and Missus Smith, I think of
the media cycles around it more so than the movie
that I didn't care about, never saw. So we're firing
on all cylinders today because it was. I mean, it's
probably one of the most famous tabloid sagas of our
lifetime that has oh boy been, I think thoughtfully reappraised

many times in the last couple of years. And also
Brad Pitt is a domestic abuser. We simply have to
say it at the top of the show. Whose children
hate him? So you know, so much to talk about today,
a rich church uterie of discourse.

Speaker 1 (11:58):
Indeed, shall we make a quick break and then come
back for the recap. Let's do that, Okay, and we're back.

Speaker 3 (12:15):
We're back. It's still Caitlin's birthday and we are mister
and missus Smith. Can I just say before we even start,
how I've never like because I didn't outside of Brad
Pitt and Angelina Joliet, had no idea who is in
this movie. I haven't experienced this in a long time,
But when Vince Vaughn came on the screen, I experienced

a full body shutter. And I don't even like hate him,
but I just like, for whatever headspace I was in
when I was watching this yesterday, I was like, not today, No,
I can't do Vince Vaughan today. And of course he's
the worst character.

Speaker 1 (12:53):
In the movie, Oh my gosh.

Speaker 3 (12:55):
And you're like, why is he here? And then you
do a little research and you're like, well, it's the
same director as Swingers. That's why he's here.

Speaker 1 (13:01):
Yes, that is why he's here. And he's playing a
character that was his like bread and butter during this time,
and also in Swingers era.

Speaker 3 (13:09):
Misogynists, Piece of Shit, Loser.

Speaker 1 (13:12):
Wedding Crashers, he plays basically the same character. Oh really Yeah,
he's just like spewing hatred toward women in every line
of dialogue, and that is his character.

Speaker 3 (13:25):
Also on top of that, it seems like, I don't know,
I feel like you see misogynist characters who are meant
to look very like smooth, and then you see misogynist
characters and I'm just talking about this era of movies
who it's clear that they're being hateful out of rejection.
I don't like to see either. But right you know,

the very like he lives with his mom, which are like,
it's just all so lazily written.

Speaker 1 (13:55):
And I feel like this movie falls somewhere in the
middle because we're not supposed to be like, Wow, he's
awesome and hilarious, but we're also like, he's still an
ally to the characters we're meant to be rooting for,
and no one ever calls him out on his behavior.
So it's just sort of presented uncritically and where I
think meant to laugh along at what he's saying.

Speaker 3 (14:18):
I think in two thousand and five seems likely. I
don't know. I haven't seen wedding crashers, and I'm God
willing I'll never have to. If you're a mad trend,
and I hope you are, please never vote for wedding crashers.
But it's on the poll. I never want to watch it.

If I can get through my whole life with never
seeing wedding crashers, that'll be all right.

Speaker 1 (14:45):
Yeah, I agree.

Speaker 3 (14:46):
Anyways, mister and Missus Smith, what happens to this damn movie?

Speaker 1 (14:49):
So we open on a couple's counseling session where we
meet a married couple mister and Missus Smith, that's the
name of them, who are John and Jane played by
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. And we see them talking

to the therapist and they are not on the same
page maritally, and they then start to tell the story
of how they met. So five or six years ago,
they were both in Columbia during a flurry of police activity,
so they kind of come together to keep each other

safe and they hit it off and have a whirlwind romance.
A few weeks past, John is talking to his friend
slash colleague Eddie that's Vince Vaughn, saying how he proposed
to Jane. They're getting married. Meanwhile, Jane is talking to

her friend Jasmine played by Carrie Washington, who is too
good for this movie.

Speaker 3 (16:00):
Kerry Washington is too good for so many of her
early roles. I just hope that this is the kind
of movie where you look at the budget and you're like,
I certainly hope she got a good paycheck.

Speaker 1 (16:08):
I hope, but I also doubt.

Speaker 3 (16:11):
Yeah, yeah, I mean I also have such doubts.

Speaker 1 (16:15):
We have such doubts, much like Meryl, Much like Merrill.

Speaker 3 (16:18):
I have such doubts.

Speaker 1 (16:19):
Yes, So they are talking about John aka they're not
passing the Bechdel test, and Jane thinks that John is
a construction contractor. John thinks Jane works in tech. What
they don't know is that actually they're both assassins.

Speaker 3 (16:42):
WHOA. Yeah, I mean so much of this movie plays
on I think very tropey views of what hetero marriage is,
which is you secretly hate each other, uh huh. But
also like this movie just takes it to such a
far flung extent where I'm just like, oh my god,
what is this writer's marriage. Like, we're like, obviously it's

not autobiographical, because then he would be cool. But the
fact that they're like they don't even know really what
each other does, I don't know, it's funny. It's weird, right.

Speaker 1 (17:14):
So I have a little bit of information on this, pulling,
of course, from scholarly journal Wikipedia once again hit me.
The movie was written by Simon Kinberg.

Speaker 3 (17:25):
Who's written I think some of the most hated X
Men movies.

Speaker 1 (17:28):
Also, oh, I didn't even realize that.

Speaker 3 (17:31):
Throughout Dark Phoenix, I believe or produce Dark Phoenix.

Speaker 1 (17:34):
Ooof well, he wrote and sold the script while he
was a grad student, and he had the idea for
the movie after listening to a couple of his friends
who went to marriage therapy, and he thought that it
sounded aggressive and mercenary, and he's like, hmm, this would

make an interesting template for a relationship inside of an
action movie. So he just like took his friend's marital
problems and then put that in an action movie.

Speaker 3 (18:11):
Question mark, So I mean, I don't hate that, Like
I get what he's saying, but also I don't know,
it's weird. I sort of thought that, like, the therapy
was presented less hatefully than therapy often is in movies
of this era, So it's interesting to think that he
actually didn't feel that way. Well, who knows, but it

didn't read to be as like outwardly like I thought.
It was like a fun framing device that makes it
clear that he's a piece of shit, which I know
the movie isn't really capable of showing, but I had
no issue with the actual framing device.

Speaker 1 (18:45):
Yeah, yeah, it works for me. So then we cut
to five or six years later, and again their marriage
is rocky and unaffectionate. They are not open with each other.
They still don't know what the other one actually does
for a living. Then we see Jane leave one evening

on an assignment. She goes to see an arms dealer
pretending to be a dominatrix, then kills him. Meanwhile, John
assassinates a few guys at a poker game. They both
make swift escapes, and they reconvene at their suburban neighbors

holiday party, and we're like, Wow, what a contrast between
their sexy lives as assassins and suburban life.

Speaker 3 (19:38):
There's a lot of these coming out. I was thinking
about the bad sorry frank Oz, but the bad Stepford
Wives adaptation that came out like the year before or
after this. Like there's a lot of oh yeah, weird attempts.
I feel like, with like summery blockbusters to comment on
suburban life. And I'm sure there was a good one.

I don't know that I've seen it. Anyways, this is
another one where you're just like, sure, they're not like
other suburbanites, but like, that doesn't mean that we like that.
I don't know.

Speaker 1 (20:11):
Well, Stepford Wives was the reason that Nicole Kidman, who
was originally considered for Jane Smith oh right, yes, couldn't
do the movie because she was too busy filming Stepford Wives.

Speaker 3 (20:24):
Wow. Well, I guess this movie was technically more successful.
But I mean, I feel like there would be a
rift in the space time continuum if this movie's casting
went differently.

Speaker 1 (20:34):
Oh yeah, oh my gosh, yeah, because I mean, I mean,
you would probably never have the Branjelina of it all.

Speaker 3 (20:42):
Which might be for the best for all parties, but
also like, yeah, if the casting for this movie's leads
went different, America, as we know it would crumble, like
what would people have talked about?

Speaker 1 (20:56):
True? In any case, So John and Jane then both
head off to work at their respective assassin offices, and
they both get the same assignment to kill Benjamin Dance
played by Adam Brody, who we've already seen receive an

assignment of his own, although we don't know what it is.

Speaker 5 (21:21):

Speaker 3 (21:21):
That was my pleasant jump scare was Adam Brodie's appearance
in this movie had.

Speaker 1 (21:27):
No idea good for him, good for him for.

Speaker 3 (21:29):
A second when I think you first see him from
the back, and I was like, if that is justin Bartha,
I'm gonna lose it. But regrettably it was not just.
I mean, I'm happy either way. I'm happy either way.

Speaker 1 (21:42):
Yeah. Now it's Adam Brody, and he's also being a
misogynist because he's like ordering a woman to bring him
a cup of coffee and that's not her job and
he sucks.

Speaker 3 (21:54):
Yeah. And if there's one thing Adam Brody's gonna do
and he's typecast, it's be a piece of shit.

Speaker 1 (22:00):

Speaker 3 (22:01):
I was like, Wow, it's really been twenty years of
Adam Brody being type cast as a piece of shit.

Speaker 1 (22:07):
I wonder what He's like, in real life, we're seeing
a pattern, aren't we of male actors being type cast
as misogynists? Hmm, wonder what's up with that?

Speaker 3 (22:19):
But the twist is, in this movie, we're supposed to
be rooting for at least one of them. Yeah, we're
supposed to be laughing, laughing, laughing. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (22:29):
Anyway, So John and Jane separately go to a location
in the desert near the US Mexico border where they
know Benjamin is going to be, and they're planning their attack,
and then they both realize another assassin is there, and
they try to sabotage the other one because they don't

realize it's their spouse whoa Neither are successful in their
mission to kill Adam Brody. Jane flees the scene. Great, Yeah,
I think I just started calling him Adam Brody like
from this point on.

Speaker 3 (23:05):
I mean, what the hell are we supposed to call?

Speaker 1 (23:07):
Yeah, I know, Benjamin, you're right now, get a grip.
So Jane flees the scene and John takes her laptop
to try to figure out who that was. Meanwhile, Jane
is at Lady Assassin Headquarters Industries because everyone she works
with is a woman whoa feminism alert.

Speaker 3 (23:30):
I mean it's a fun idea. It's a fun idea.

Speaker 1 (23:35):
Although her boss, who they call Father played by Keith David,
is I think the only man and he's like, you
have forty eight hours to clean the scene, aka find
the other guy and kill him, or else she will
become the next target. So we cut back to John,

who finds out an address for the left and goes
there discovers that it's the office of his wife wa Meanwhile,
Jane is looking at footage of the other Assassin in
the desert and she realizes it's her husband. So they

both go home, pretending like everything is normal, but dinner
is very tense, and then some wine gets spilled and
they both leave under the pretense of they're going to
clean it up, but actually John grabs a gun, Jane
speeds off in the car and they part ways. So

then John goes to Vince Vaughn's.

Speaker 3 (24:42):
House mistake number one.

Speaker 1 (24:46):
Seriously, Jane goes to Lady Assassin headquarters and talks to
Kerry Washington. Both John and Jane are relaying that their
spouse is the other assassin and that they have to
kill them. Although they seem to be contemplating whether or
not they can go through with it. The idea is

they claim to not love each other, but you can
see that they seem to actually have feelings for each
other that they're not willing to admit. So John goes
to Jane's office to try to kill her, although he
can't go through with it, and she escapes. Then he
goes to her backup.

Speaker 3 (25:29):
Office question mark, I don't.

Speaker 1 (25:32):
I was also confused, And then she explodes the elevator
that he's in, except she didn't really mean to, and
now she's sad, and she goes to a fancy dinner
by herself and she's having a little tear falling down
her face. But surprise, John shows up because he was

in a different elevator I guess.

Speaker 3 (25:55):
And I also was like the writing on that was
also so confusing. I was like, how did he get?
I also did. My favorite character in the movie is
the person that Angelina Jolly works with who kills Brad Pitton,
and then Angelina Jolly is like, wait, what which First

of all, you have to brief the room if you're bluffing. Yes,
So another example of just both of these assassins are
not very good at being assassins. I don't know why
they're so high up in assassining. Assassinating.

Speaker 1 (26:32):
Yeah, no, I think the first one was good.

Speaker 3 (26:35):
But just that there's like an unnamed character who's like,
what you said, you said goodbye? Yeah, it's like good
for her, she's good at her job. Promote her, right.

Speaker 1 (26:47):
So anyway, John shows up to this dinner and they're
sitting together, guns pointed at each other, trying to figure
out how to proceed. They dance a violent but also
jornie tango, but then she tries to kill him again
by planting a bomb on him. Oops, and she escapes

and he takes the bomb off or whatever. They both
race home, but they're talking to each other on the
phone on the way, and John is trying to be sentimental.
It's clear that there are feelings between them, but they're
not really willing to fully admit it. They get home,
they're sneaking around, they're gathering weapons, and then there's a

big shootout. Then it turns into hand to hand combat,
but in so doing they realize that they can't kill
each other. And then suddenly they're making out and then
they have sex, and the passion is reignited. In their

relationship and for the first time, they're honest with each
other about their lives and their pasts, and they're telling
each other all of this stuff about who they really are.
But oh no, now there's a hit out for both
John and Jane and Vince Fawn gets notification to kill them,

and other assassins come after them also, So Jane and
John steal their neighbor's car and escape. There's a whole
car chase. They kill the people chasing them. Then they
go to see Vince Vaughn to get some intel on
who's after them and how many people, and he's like, basically,

everyone from both of your agencies are going to try
to kill you. If you separate, you have a shot,
but if you stay together, you're dead unless you can
find something that they want more than you. So John
and Jane kidnap the original target, Adam Brody, and he

reveals he was never actually the target that they were
because they're agencies found out that they were married, so
they set up a sting to get them to kill
each other, and Adam Brody was just the bait.

Speaker 3 (29:07):
It's the classic I'm just an intern, I'm just a
little stinker and sure.

Speaker 1 (29:14):
Yeah, so he was the bait and he still is.
The flock of assassins are approaching, so John and Jane
do contemplate splitting up and going their separate ways, but
they decide to stay together and fight, and they end
up in this like big box store for home goods

or something. It's like an Ikea.

Speaker 3 (29:39):
Again, some attempt to like be better than the mall
or whatever. They're like, we're built different, screw the mall.
You're like, sure, whatever.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
So they're in this store and assassins surround them, but
mister and missus Smith take out all of the enemies
and they win, and we cut back to them a
couple's therapy. Their marriage is in a better place because
now they're honest with each other and they fuck all

of the time.

Speaker 5 (30:14):
The end.

Speaker 1 (30:16):
Oh, that's the movie. Let's take another quick break and
we'll come back to discuss. Yay, we're back.

Speaker 3 (30:34):
Okay, where should we begin.

Speaker 1 (30:38):
I kind of want to briefly go through the various
other renditions of this narrative. Yeah, because there are a few. Yeah,
they're kind of relevant. I suppose I was more just
sort of interested in them. So there's a Hitchcock movie
from nineteen four forty one, a rare Hitchcock comedy. Fun fact,

I watched this movie back in probably like two thousand
and seven or something because I was like, I like
mister and missus Smith from two thousand and five, I
wonder what the Hitchcock one is like, and it basically
has nothing to do with really. So the story is
that there's a married couple where the woman finds out

that their marriage was never actually valid, and so they
have various arguments and eventually split up and she starts
dating another man, but her husband, David keeps following her,
just stalking her, and she keeps being like, no, I
don't want to get back together with you, and he's like, well,

what about if we do? And that's basically the story.
And then they realize that actually they are meant for
each other, and then they kiss at the end, and
I guess they get back together. So it's about like
a marriage that isn't valid and then they have to
decide if they want to actually be together as a
married couple or not.

Speaker 3 (32:12):
So very little to do, Okay, a lot of logistics
in there.

Speaker 1 (32:18):
Yes, I thought the movie was pretty bad. I didn't
enjoy it at all when I watched it, and so
great that is that version. Apparently, there is an American
crime drama TV series that aired for like two months
in nineteen ninety six before it got canceled, oh, called

Mister and Missus Smith. It stars Scott Bacula and Maria Below. Okay, minion, Oh, okay.

Speaker 3 (32:50):
First, that better be how she pronounces it, Maria below, Bello,
That one I didn't come across. I mean I came
across the original, but we interesting.

Speaker 1 (33:01):
So the premise for this one, and I think it again,
only aired for like a dozen or so episodes, But
the premise is a spy known only as mister Smith.
That's Scott Bakula works for a private security organization known
as the Factory, and in the pilot a rival named

Missus Smith Maria below it comes entangled in a case
with mister Smith, and then after losing her job when
the mission fails, the Factory hires her and assigns them
to work together. And even though they often bicker and
they know nothing about each other's personal lives, including their
real names, they make a good team. So this one's closer.

Speaker 3 (33:48):
Right, inching toward what we have?

Speaker 1 (33:50):
Yeah, and then as I said, I watched the pilot
of the twenty twenty four TV series starring Donald Glover
and Maya Erskin, where two strangers independently agree to become
secret agents for a mysterious organization undercover as a married couple.

So in this series, they know that the other one
is a spy from the very beginning. It's just that
the marriage is a sham. They are not actually married.
I don't know how the rest of the episodes pan out,
but I do know that they like start to get
to know each other a little bit better. I don't
know if a romance develops or not. I didn't watch

that far into it.

Speaker 3 (34:33):
I've heard good things about it. I think it's probably
worth watching, but this is famously not a TV or
reading podcast, and so we simply can't speak to it.
I feel like I missed the media cycle for that series,
and I am kind of intrigued. I think I will
watch it.

Speaker 1 (34:48):
I liked the first episode. I would keep going, and.

Speaker 3 (34:52):
I guess time will sort of tell. With the most
recent adaptation, I feel like, at least at the time
of this recording, this render of Mister and Missus Smith
is the best known yes because it was a really
really really successful movie, like kind of more successful than
I remembered. It almost made half a billion dollars twenty
years ago, which is just I guess everybody saw this

movie except for me. Like pretty wild, pretty impressive and
one of the kind of I think broiest creative teams
I've come across in a movie we've covered in a while.
And that's sort of saying something. We've got the director
of Swingers and Bourne Identity One, We've got the writer of.

Actually I did like this movie, but it is I
think bro Cannon guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes.

Speaker 1 (35:47):
Oh, I also like the movie.

Speaker 3 (35:50):
He directed what I think is considered the worst X
Men movie of all time. You know, he's just kind
of slaying no. But it just took a really interesting
Broie Missus Smith never stood a chance, is what I'm saying. Yeah,
in terms of there being any sort of nuance there,
I kind of want to talk about the characters first

and then get into the media thing because I feel
like that's just like almost a whole other podcast. So
I don't want to forget to talk about the characters. Yeah, Kiten,
what do you what do you think that mister and
missus Smith. I don't care for them, and I really
don't care for mister Smith. I fucking hate the guy.

Speaker 1 (36:30):
Yeah, he is awful.

Speaker 3 (36:33):
To me.

Speaker 1 (36:34):
What I was getting was like mister Smith, I mean,
I think he's way worse at his job. I think
that Jane is a more competent spy and you know,
a woman in an action movie. I appreciate that she
is the better one at her job, and that's a
job that in I'm sure real life and in movies

is commonly associated with a man doing that job. So
I appreciated that she was at least shown as being
competent at her job.

Speaker 3 (37:09):

Speaker 1 (37:09):
However, I think that as far as characterization goes, like
what even is her personality? I feel like she's so underwritten.

Speaker 3 (37:16):
I feel like that for every woman we see, really
because I think it's like even more intensely contrasted between
Kerrie Washington and Vince Vaughn where they're playing for sure,
mister and missus Smith's respective best friends. And you can
just tell that the writer, I mean, Simon Kimberg very well,
maybe a nice guy, but I don't think he has

any grip on what women would say to each other
if left in a room, and it felt clear every
time that happened, which was almost.

Speaker 1 (37:49):
Never, it was not very much. But even if she's
interacting with her husband, I feel like she just like
is a blah nothing like there's no personality there. At
least John gets.

Speaker 3 (38:05):
Jokes, Yeah, John and Vaughn.

Speaker 1 (38:08):
John and Vaughn. Whether or not you laugh at them
is kind of beside the point. But they're written in
such a way that you know they're the funny ones.
They get the jokes. And meanwhile, Jane is humorless and
she isn't generating any of the comedy in this action
comedy aside from maybe one or two punchlines that they

give her, but generally speaking, like she's sort of a
nothing character, no personality, She's humorless. Meanwhile, the men get
to have fun. We were talking about this a lot
on the Knocked Up episode, where the men are written
to be funny and goofy and the women are like

humorless shrews, and I found that to be the case
for this movie as well.

Speaker 3 (39:01):
I didn't find them to be I guess as like
shrewy in this movie as they certainly as they are
in like jud Apatow movies of the same era, I
guess I more found them to just be nothing right,
like nothing, which is really frustrated because you consider, like
Angelaine and jo Lee had an oscar like why didn't

you write her a part? Which I know happens to
successful actresses in particular all the time, but it's just like,
come on, yeah, and I think that you know, she
and Carrie Washington do everything with what they're given, but
they're not given very much. And I think that the
best moments for Angelina and Jolie, I feel like there's
references to her. I guess what her persona would have

been at the time, where like she's like this famous,
gorgeous woman with a history of like publicly being into kink,
so I feel like there are like references to that
throughout the day. It's like fun, I don't know, I mean,
and this happened all the time still, but like you've
been given this tremendously talented actor and she's just traded

like a body right and totally, which I feel like
early on in us doing this show, I like, I
feel like I had kind of like an undercooked like
she's being objectified and like, which is very, very often true,
and I think is often true in this movie. But
isn't an inherently bad thing to be sexy in a movie?
Like that's yeah, technically right. Part of the appeal of

this movie is two hot people fighting. Fine, great, Like
I'm seated for that, but it's just you also have
to be able to like do other things, or it
starts to feel like, well, you're just a body if
you're not given any sort of like if you don't
have a character, right, and so yeah, like Brad Pitt

is hot with a character, and Angelina Jilly is hot
without a character, and so you're just like, well, yeah,
that's they did the thing.

Speaker 1 (40:59):
That's men writing a movie for you. I am speculating here,
but it feels so much to me as I watched
this movie that the direction that director Doug Lyman was
giving to Angelina Jolie and every scene was be sexier,
flutter your eyelashes, do something with your posture.

Speaker 5 (41:23):
Do you know?

Speaker 1 (41:24):
It was like the note was always like be sexier,
as if like that's a replacement for having a personality,
because that's what you're seeing in every scene. It's him
being funny, cracking a joke, being goofy whatever, and then
her just sort of like pursing her lips or fluttering

her eyelashes or something like.

Speaker 3 (41:47):
That, which it's like she's great at for sure, but
also she has a fucking oscar. Like I think that
you see a lot of the same stuff like we
talked about truly, like probably over seven years ago now
the turmb Raider movies, where I think that she is
objectively less objectified in this movie than she is in

the turmb Raider movies. But that is not really a
yardstick that anyone should have to use. Yeah, So, I
mean it just feels like a classic example of especially
because while Brad Pitt is a piece of shit domestic abuser,
he's a good actor. Right, So you have two famously

talented actors at this time, the more decorated actor is
being given absolutely nothing, and you know, no one really
said much about it. And while this movie's coming out,
Angelina Jolie specifically is getting pummeled in the media, and.

Speaker 1 (42:49):
So it's just almost like society hates women.

Speaker 3 (42:55):
What it's misogyny and soost like everyone hates women. You know,
the show is about very obvious in this movie, this movie,
I mean if nothing else. It just feels like lazy
and it's characterization of women. It's just like neither director
nor writer talked to any women that they knew to

see this. I mean, I feel like that's also reflected
in how lazy the uh attempted, like Upper Crest suburban
commentary is in this movie where you know, Frank Oztepford
Wives isn't great, but it's at least specific in like
what it's trying to do. It doesn't do a great job,
but you can see the attempt. But it's just like

men be doing business, women be holding babies and wearing
ugly sweaters, and you're like, certainly like the rich upstate
New York white upper class like fair game, but like
it's not saying anything. I don't know, it was just bizarre.
I think one positive thing or maybe just one thing,

let's let's see, let's see this that I was surprised.
I guess that this wasn't present because I feel like,
you know, like there are a couple in their thirties
and their homeowners and blah blah blah, there is not
any baby storyline between the two of them. I was
sort of expecting that just because of what I am

trained to expect from movies about heterosexual couples that are
thirty or over. And there is like one scene where
like missus Smith is holding a baby and she's sort
of like I liked that, and I liked that it
never came back and you were just like, Okay, they
don't want kids, and I think that, given the fact

that their assassins and bad at it, that's probably for
the best. But that's like, yeah, one of the only
nice things I can say about this movie is I
kept expecting that to become a thing and it never did. However,
so many of the one liners, because like you're saying,
like he is supposed to be funny, and maybe in
two thousand five people, I mean people seem to be

laughing to the tune of half a billion dollars.

Speaker 1 (45:04):
I mean yeah, but.

Speaker 3 (45:05):
Like any like little comment, any quip that he'd throw
to her would be like I don't like your cooking,
I don't like you. Like they're also his wife codd
in a way that like it was annoying because it
was sexist and annoying, but it was also annoying because

it just was like bad writing, where like he's talking
to her, like the quality of her cooking was something
that we know is very important to her, when we
have no real reason to believe that that's true. Like
it just seems like again like the writers being like, well,
what would hurt a woman's feelings? And I don't know,

it's just so lazy and felt like dated for two
thousand and five, like it just sucked.

Speaker 1 (45:53):
Yes, and he's just mean to her.

Speaker 3 (45:55):
He's just mean to her, and then he's slutshames her
at the end, you know, just anything you could possibly
imagine that you wouldn't want. It's kind of the murderer's row.

Speaker 1 (46:04):
Yes, there's all these examples of him. He like comments
on our cooking three times, like why, and then it's
revealed that like she doesn't cook, like the women at
Lady Assassin Headquarters cook for her or something. But you
also like see her preparing food. So I'm like, but
we are seeing her I don't know anyway.

Speaker 3 (46:26):
Yeah, so like more bad writing and like inconsistent writing,
but also just like counting on your assumption that any
woman would be so hurt if her husband didn't like
her cooking, and you're just like.

Speaker 1 (46:43):
Right, yeah, at least she's like I don't care what
you think about my cooking. Stopped talking about it. Right,
There are a few things that I don't hate, and
I think are probably why I connected to this movie
as much as I did in two thousand five. One
of them is her participation in the action where and

we've had this conversation many times at this point as
far as like, if a woman is allowed to be
in an action movie, is she allowed to fight? And
if so, what does that look like? And in this case,
again we see her being competent at her job. She
gets to do stuff. She's doing action movie things. She's

shooting guns, she's driving in the chase scene.

Speaker 3 (47:30):
She's allowed to fight her husband.

Speaker 1 (47:32):
Right, Yeah, that's an almost like separate conversation as far
as like men and women can they fight each other?
But before I kind of dive more into that, there's
just like things that she's allowed to do that often
aren't afforded to women in action movies. You know, there's
a scene during that chase scene where they're in the minivan.

John isn't able to take out the last two cars
chasing them, and so she takes charge and she's the
one to take out those cars, and there might be
some like possibly gendered things attached to this, But she's
the more sort of like meticulous planner assassin. That's her

approach to her job, whereas John is the more like,
oh I'll improvise. Oh I'm just gonna wing it. And
then that manifests and.

Speaker 3 (48:23):
He is very often wrong.

Speaker 1 (48:25):
He's often wrong, and she's usually right. But when she
calls him out for it, I feel like the movie
is framing those moments as like she's nagging him and
he got the job done, so what's the big deal.
So I was feeling notes of that.

Speaker 3 (48:44):
I kept going back and forth on that, yeah, because
it's like, I think that you can read it both ways,
but I just don't see any reason to give a
generous read to this rider or director, right right.

Speaker 1 (48:55):
So I appreciate her involvement in the action. It's something
that a lot of action movies before and since this
movie wouldn't afford even like a lady assassin to be
as involved in the action as she is. And then

like we were saying, yes, she and a man are
fighting each other, and this is another discussion we've had
many times, I think, most recently on maybe the John
Wick episode. But it's always been like, should we see
a man punching a woman in a movie? Can a

woman and a man fight each other? And I think
our conversation has evolved over the years, but at least
in this context, when they are both trained assassins and
their mission is to kill each other, it stands to
reason that they would be fighting, and the movie doesn't
shy away from that. Again, it shows her just as

competent of a fighter ye as him and their equals
as far as like hand to hand combat and gun stuff.

Speaker 3 (50:09):
So and gun no, I agree with you. I think
that that's something that, like, I wonder, I meant to
look more into this because I feel like for years
and years, whenever men and women would fight on screen,
it would launch a bunch of op eds about like
should this have happened? I will say for this one,

and I'm wondering. I think that maybe it also has
to do with how much I was reading about Brad
Pitt and Angelina Jolie's relationship. It's only in one sequence,
but let me know what you think. It was bothering me,
and it could be a personal thing. But in the
scene where they're fighting in their house, I get it

like their assassins. I do feel like there's like erotic fighting,
there's wish fulfillment stuff. It's blah blah blah. They're basically
b dsming each other with any consent rules because it's
blah blah blah. Yah, I get it. I do feel
as if though, that like all of her moves or
the majority of her moves to me, looked like fight moves,

looked like martial arts right training, and I felt like
his moves often looked more just like domestic abuse and
shoving her against a wall and just throwing her over
a table, and like, I don't know, it bugged me, Yeah,
the fight choreography, like he did do martial arts stuff,
and she didn't break shit over his head. So maybe

I was reading into it a little too hard, but
there were like several things, especially because it's Brad Pitt
and we know he's a domestic abuser, right like that,
just like I don't know, Yeah, But then in any
other fight sequence they're in together, it's just that long
fight sequence where they're fighting each other where it just
felt like she was almost always doing clear martial arts stuff.

I felt like he was like half and half he
was very often just pushing her. I didn't like that
fight sequence very much.

Speaker 1 (52:06):
That didn't ping for me because I didn't super notice it.
I'm not saying it didn't happen. I would just have
to like rewatch and look more closely at that. But
I'd imagine it's because of the whole Oh, he's the
fly by the seat of his pants assassin and she's

the meticulous one, and so maybe that also manifested in
the fight choreography. But then if you're a filmmaker making
that choice for the characters and for the actors, you
have to understand the implications of what that actually looks
like and like, what are the optics of a man

fighting that way?

Speaker 3 (52:47):
I know, I felt like I was writing the op
ed into that as the time I'm I think, but
because I do think it is like if they didn't
they have to fight each other, like, it's also besogae
if they if they don't let her fight, like that's ridiculous.
It was just the way there was just like a
few choices that just felt yeah, I mean not even

necessarily unrealistic if you're fighting somewhat, but like, I just
didn't like it. I didn't like it fair, I don't
like this spuffee. Let's see what else I will say.

Speaker 1 (53:19):
The one other thing that I appreciate on this watch,
although it's perhaps open to interpretation, but I thought it
was interesting that of the two of them, the man
seems to be the more sentimental one, or at least

someone who's more willing to express his feelings. Because there
are different scenes, such as when they're doing the tango
in the restaurant or when they're on the phone with
each other as they're both driving back home. He's sort
of like probing to see if she does have feelings
for him, and he's being a bit more open about

how he does have feelings for her, and he says
something like I thought you looked like Christmas morning, right,
And she's like, no, it was only ever just work.
And so she's like kind of the cold, calculated one,
and he's the one more willing to be warm and
like try to coax emotion out of her, which is

something you don't often see in totally hetero relationships, you know,
and it's obviously because of social conditioning, where men are
conditioned to be the more kind of closed off ones
emotionally generally speaking men are not taught how to regulate
or express their emotions very well. So I thought that

that was an interesting subversion at the very least.

Speaker 3 (54:53):
Yeah, I agree, And then now I'm gonna be hate again.
And I was surprised that, you know, she like she
and Carrie Washington very frankly of like Carrie Washington's character
is like, well, you don't love him, so that's great,
and She's like, I know, I don't.

Speaker 1 (55:06):
But then she like kind of like has a moment
to herself where she's like, but do I love him?

Speaker 3 (55:13):
Right, which is like, I guess this goes back to
the fact that a character was not necessarily written for
Miss Jane Smith as being a core issue because outside
of them both being hot and obviously they have chemistry,
they like got together because of this movie. But if
you're just reading they like, I don't understand what she

gained by staying with him. I don't know. I mean,
we think this about couples all the time. I just like,
he's such a fucking asshole. She's better at what they're
doing than he is. And I understand that logistically, like
now it's them versus the world, but it almost felt
like a prison sentence for her where it's like good
that she wanted to stay with him, because it didn't

seem like the movie gave her room to leave him
really because of what their circumstances, and I just it
was weird, and also just the obsession that this movie
had with how much the amount of time that he
brought up how much they were or weren't fucking was incessant.

And then like literally the last line in the movie
is like, everything's great now because we fuck every day,
You're like great. I don't know. I just think if
it was in a different movie, I would be like whoo,
But this one just didn't hit for me. I did
like when Adam Brody wore the Fight Club T shirt
that was.

Speaker 1 (56:36):
Finn I mean, haha, funny joke, get it. Yeah, I
have a few more things to say about the characters themselves,
and then we can sure move on. There were a
few other things that I didn't like and just felt
like it was leaning into gendered stereotypes and yeah stuff

you brought up him slut shaming her towards the end
because they're having a conversation where they're both saying a
number of people it's not clear, and I think this
is the joke. It's not clear if it's the number
of people they've had sex with or it's the number
of people they've killed. I think you can interpret it
either way, and like the uncertainty is the joke in

this situation. But either way, you can interpret it as
she's fucked three hundred and seventeen people or whatever, and
he's threatened by that because it's a lot more than
he has, and he's then making slut shamey comments about
her ear things that can be interpreted as slut shamey comments,

and and this is just not a funny joke. Conversely,
there's a scene where he as they're sort of divulging
new information to each other that they've kept from each
other all these years. He says something like I was
made before, and she gets very pissed.

Speaker 3 (58:03):
Right, because that's what's supposed to matter to her, and
sextual partners is what's supposed to have matter to him.

Speaker 1 (58:09):
Yeah, her being jealous of another woman and another romantic
relationship he's had in the past, and she gets so
mad about it, and it just felt like a very tropy,
like pitting women against each other kind of thing. That
men do in their writing. There's that there's similar to

the he's obsessed with hating her cooking. There's another like
runner about curtains, where she's like, look, I got new curtains,
and he's.

Speaker 3 (58:44):
Also which to me, says I wrote that that like
Simon Kinberg has never done a chore, because it's like
also like he doesn't even know how to write about,
like if you were a homemaker, what would be important?
He's just like a.

Speaker 1 (58:58):
Curtain Like what do women do curtains?

Speaker 3 (59:01):
Right, Like being a homemaker is and doing domestic work
in general is a very legitimate way to spend one's life.
But the job isn't curtain like. It's just so brain
was not on when writing any of the missus parts.

Speaker 1 (59:20):
Down, certainly not. Also the trope of like her guns
are in the kitchen because women spend time in the kitchen,
and his guns are in a garage because men like
cars and they go into the garage.

Speaker 3 (59:39):
And I think it's just like so much of like
their relationship is predicated on the fact that it is
safe to assume that every married couple hates each other,
which obviously isn't to say that like all marriages should
be presented as happy and easy.

Speaker 1 (59:55):
Because that's not realistic either.

Speaker 3 (59:58):
Yeah, most people get divorced. But like just that, I
find it so depressing just to be like, they've been
married for five years and they're that miserable, they should
get divorced. Like if I was married to Simon Kinberg,
I'd be like, are you fucking kidding me? Yeah, fucking
kidding me?

Speaker 1 (01:00:17):
Do then hate me? Yeah? I guess I appreciate that.
The I suppose moral of the story is if you
are open and honest with your romantic partner, it will
lead to a healthier relationship.

Speaker 3 (01:00:32):
That's true. That is true. And I think, even in
spite of the Kinberg comment that like, the movie is
not against couples counseling, and that it seems like it
actually amongst other things, like, yeah, the more honest they
were with each other, the more deeply they fell in love.
And that's a nice precedent. It's all over the place.

Speaker 1 (01:00:54):
Yeah. Also, I mean, speaking about the guns again, there's
a part where after they've decided to like team up
and collaborate and their allies, John hands Jane a gun
and she's like, why do I get the girl gun?
And then he like hands her a different gun, and

I'm sure in two thousand and five they thought that
was like feminism or something lazy. Yeah, yeah, I didn't
really know what to make of that. But yeah, the
movie's full of different moments where you're just like, I
think they're trying something, or I think they're trying to
comment on something or challenge a trope. But for the

most part, it's just leaning into pretty gendered tropes over all.

Speaker 3 (01:01:45):
Yeah, Ultimately, if you're looking for a commentary, she's just
not the movie to watch. I wanted to say, because
I felt like I was losing my mind because she
was then not credited and I didn't have the Wikipedia
page in front of me. I just watched the movie
straight through. Well, Bassett is in fact the voice of
mister Smith's boss, because I was like, oh, so weird.

It sounds like Angela Bassett, and it is because I
think you just hear her on the phone, right and
you're just like, whoa, And then who knows. I'm assuming
that she knew the director or something. But there's that.
In terms of the other characters in this movie, we
don't really have much to talk about, I mean, other

than the respective best friend characters, which, as we were
hinting at earlier on, Vince Vaughn's character is just obnoxious.
Every word that comes out of his mouth is misogynist.
We've talked about characters like this in the past. He
fucking sucks, and like you were saying earlier, Caitlin, like him,
sucking is his personality. But he has a personality which

we cannot say a Kerry Washington's character, Jasmine, who is
playing a very stock best friend character and I think
like also very much plays into the black best friend
trope where we know nothing about her other than she
is Jane Smith's friend and co worker and is there
to ask her questions and to ask her like plot

questions that set up Jane's also poorly written emotional arc. Yeah, so,
like you said earlier, like Kerry Washington, obviously, I mean
not only deserves better, but like Angelina, Julie very much
proven that she's way too good for this movie. Other

than that, I mean, this movie really does sort of
stay locked on mister and missus Smith. I don't really
know if I have much to say about any other
characters besides them, and they're best friends.

Speaker 1 (01:03:44):
Vince Vaughn gets more screen time than Carrie Washington does,
which is also telling easily. I think Adam Brody also
gets more screen time than Carrie Washington. I do like
the idea of an old lady assassin agency, but we
don't really know anything about it or what the deal

is there.

Speaker 3 (01:04:05):
So a strong idea to introduce. Yeah, that was the
kind of thing. My note there was like I really
love that, and I wish there was more of it.
But also it's not like I want to know what
this creative team things happens there, and all women's Assassin
Squad would look like you know, there's better movies about it,
and some of them written by other misogynists. I'm thinking

about kill Bill, great movie about I guess majority women's
the Deadly Viper. Yeah, assassination Squad.

Speaker 1 (01:04:37):
Four of the five of them are women.

Speaker 3 (01:04:40):
Should we talk about the brandolina of it all?

Speaker 1 (01:04:43):
Let's do it. I think you probably have more research
on this than I do. I just mostly remember like
the anecdotal stuff as it was happening in real time.

Speaker 3 (01:04:53):
Actually, I wanted to start with that before getting into
the specifics. This is a sort of a detour into
a tiny you're wrong about episode I wanted to know
what your recollection was of that media cycle before I
talked about it.

Speaker 1 (01:05:07):
Here's my recollection. I don't know how reliable this information is.

Speaker 3 (01:05:13):
It's your recollection. So that's the thing. I feel like,
probably it's wrong, and that's interesting.

Speaker 1 (01:05:20):
So I remember Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston being this
power couple that everyone was obsessed with and oh my gosh,
they're gonna make it and everyone loves them as a
celebrity couple. And then Angelina and Jolie enters the picture
by way of this movie, because this set is where

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie met, and I remember the
kind of media attention around this being that, oh, Angelina
Jolie is a home wrecker and she broke up this
amazing couple. I also remember something to the effect of
the reason that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston cited as

splitting up had something to do with the fact that
she didn't want to have children and he did, so
I vaguely remember something about that being part of the
reason that they split up, but everyone was like, well,
it's obviously actually because he fell in love with Angelina
and Jolly instead yeah, I just remember that part of

it and Angelina and Jolie getting a lot of guff
for being a home wrecker. I didn't feel really one
way about it or the other because I've never been
a celebrity gossip person. I just like let it wash
over me and I don't pay attention and like, honestly,
until the news broke pretty recently, was it in the

past year that Brad Pitt was outed as an abuser?
The past year or two, I think.

Speaker 3 (01:06:58):
In a major way. Yeah, in the celebrity gossip world
it was, which is a part of this story. And again,
like I'll say, for anyone listening for a comprehensive version
of this story, this is not the place. But I
think it became more commonly reported in the last couple

of years, but the story has been out there for
a long time. I believe that the assault.

Speaker 1 (01:07:25):
That is think twenty sixteen.

Speaker 3 (01:07:27):
Yeah, so the like as long as this show has
been like eight years ago, essentially, like I mean, and
who knows what a marriage ending, but that was sort
of the final straw. And when I think it's presented
that Angelina Jolie was like, this is not safe for
me or the kids, and we've got to get the
fuck out of here, right. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:07:47):
So my point is I didn't know about that story
when it happened in twenty sixteen. I didn't either, and
until it was like sort of re reported post me two,
I thought they were still married. Like, I didn't even
know they got divorced. Like that's the level at which

I'm paying attention to celebrity gossip, so it's almost none.
I rarely care about it like that, It's just not
my thing.

Speaker 3 (01:08:14):
Well, that's why I was curious, like what your memory
of the time was, because it was like, whether you
were interested in the story or not, you couldn't avoid it, really, Okay,
So yes, the truth thing is that these two met
on the set of this movie, began having an affair
while brad Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston, and
that he then left Jennifer Aniston and in quick order

was with Angelae Jullie. They didn't get married for years,
but there was also and I won't get too deep
into this, but there was pretty soon after they were
together they started having children and adopting children, and ultimately
I think that they have five or six children together,
either biological or adopted, and from what I have gathered,

none of these children want anything to do with brad Pitt,
and that's just the truth anyways, But just trying to
keep stuff in order. At the time, I feel like
you sort of got this very classic Madonna horror tabloid
story with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Joe Lee. The two
essays that I'm pulling from here. The first was published

last year in Vox by Constance Grady. Brad Pitt was
the only winner of the Aniston Jolie tabloid battle. The
other is an older piece by a writer I really
really like, Anne Helen Peterson in BuzzFeed. Amember that from
twenty fourteenth's almost ten years ago, and that piece is
more of a deep dive on how Angelina Joe Lee

essentially had to like pr maneuver her way out of
this fucking nightmare yea, and eventually, at least at the
time it was published, seemed to have successfully done. So
both are really good pieces. I'd recommend checking both out,
particularly the more recent one. But essentially, I mean, and
I remember this even though I was eleven and should

not have known any of this, even though I wasn't
interested in it. Just you couldn't go to a grocery
store without being confronted with this story.

Speaker 1 (01:10:18):
The cover of every magazine.

Speaker 3 (01:10:20):
Yeah, and you know, I feel like the story evolved
over time, and it started as you know, Angelina Jolie
is a man stealer, Jennifer Aniston is the sweet girl
next door. Angelina Jolie is this like vampy man stealer,
home wrecker essentially, which media of the time really played

into ways that she had either presented herself or been
framed in the past of like, you know, early Angelina
jo Lee kissed her brother and like wore Billy Bob
Thornton's blood around her neck, and like she was a
weird lady like and I think that anything she did
in her twenties, and she also had I don't know

a ton about her early life except that she is
the daughter of John Voight, who's famously a piece of
fucking garbage, and like, I believe they don't have a
relationship anyways. Sounds like a difficult upbringing, a kind of
like tumultuous twenties that she had, but also very successful.
She wanted to oscar for girl interrupted. But either way,

they're like okay, Jennifer Anison good, Angelina Jolee bad. However,
as time went on, that narrative didn't flip, but it
did change where once Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had
a family and Angelina Joe which had already begun. And

I want to be careful not to like position any
humanitarian work that she's done as disingenuous, Like I don't
think that that is true. We don't need to get
into the weeds of like, well, what is it, you
know whatever. I do believe that the convictions that she's presented,
it's been at least on a long enough timeline that
whether you agree with the particulars or not, it seems

to be a big part of her life. But as
that became a bigger part of her life, and she
sort of was presented as less of a home wrecking
vamp and more of a mother of five who did
all of this work, you see the narrative flip. And
like all, Angelina Julie is not bad anymore. The more

she leans into motherhood, or the more the media leads
into the image of motherhood, she's presented better and better.
And meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston does not end up having children,
and she's presented as pathetic on a longer timeline. Yeah,
you're totally right that at the time, it was presented
that Jennifer Anison didn't want children and Brady Pitt did

so he found a woman who can give him children.
It turns out that this is also not true. She
had fertility issues and had them. I mean, I don't
cannot speak to the timeline that she but it wasn't
until like twenty nineteen where she gave an interview that

was like, there was this popular narrative about me that
like I didn't want to comment on because it's just
like fucked up and weird, because whether you want children
or not is a very personal decision and has nothing
to do with anything. And also it shouldn't have been
criticized if she didn't want children, but as it turns out,
she did, and it was also just this like big

traumatic lie. So it's, you know, one of the more
I think famous and fucked up media narratives. Because of
course in all of these, Brad Pitt is never presented
as bad. It's he was tempted or he was not
given the babies that he wanted, so who could blame him,

which is a lot of what the vox essay is
about of just like it was never even floated or
presented that he could be at fault for anything. It
has to be the fault of one woman or the other.
And there were t shirts sold and all this shit.
So I think, you know, Angelina and Jolie and Jennifery
Addison's career, you have to imagine mental health are affected

by that. And then on a longer timeline, Brad Pitt
and Angelina and Jolie have a family together. They get
married at some point, and he was an abusive alcoholic
person to her, and without getting into I think we
have referenced it on the show before and other Brad

Pitt vehicles. I don't remember which episode off the top
of my head, but essentially, he assaulted his wife and
berated one of his children in front of the whole
family on a plane in twenty sixteen, which resulted in
an investigation. It resulted in police reports, and ultimately it
was at least a contributing factor to their eventual divorce.

What that looks like now, It was actually in the
news as recently as four days before. We're recording this.
I think a lot of the reason even though post
me to, and I can't say exactly when I remember
first hearing this story for the first time, but post
me to this story was brought up again because I

think that it was reported at the time, but no
one took an.

Speaker 1 (01:15:42):
Interest culturally, we simply didn't yeah, post me to.

Speaker 3 (01:15:49):
So I guess anytime after late twenty seventeen, this story
comes back, but it does keep kind of disappearing like
it never stayed. It appears that the reason that is
is because Brad Pitt has been repeatedly suing Angelina Jolie
to get her to say less about this. Essentially, so

the story I'm pulling from Angelina Jolie's lawyers call Brad
Pitt's NDA request abusive in winery case, there's also this
whole business like they're rich and so they had a
winery business and they're in a fight with that. But
basically like he's finding all of these reasons to sue her.
Because I want to make sure I'm getting this correct.

A quote from a Vulture article by Zoe Guy from
a few days ago. Jolie's attorneys previously claimed Pitt wanted
her to sign an onerous and expansive NDA that would
quote cover Pit's personal misconduct, whether related to a Miraval,
the winery, or not, including the abuse allegations related to
an incident on a plane in twenty sixteen, in order

for Jolee to agree to sell her stake in Miraval
to Pit. When the deal fell apart over the matter,
she sold her shares elsewhere, So essentially he's suing her
for selling her shares to this winery she no longer
wants anything to do with because she doesn't want to
be involved in his life, and he attempted to make
it impossible for her to extract herself from their co

owned business unless she signed an NDA saying she could
never publicly speak about him being a domestic abuser, Which
how is that fucking legal? I couldn't tell you. But
she just sort of was like It appears that she
was sort of like fuck you and sold her shares
off anyways, and now he's trying to sue her again.
I think the Brad Pitt obviously has a very vested

interest in his image and does not care about anybody,
perhaps accept himself. Yeah, he is a bitch. I hate
him in the bad way. We talked about this. I'm sorry,
we talked about this our episode yesterday.

Speaker 1 (01:17:56):
I want Monsters Inc.

Speaker 3 (01:17:57):
Yeah, in Munsters Inc. Go to the Matreon.

Speaker 1 (01:18:00):
Bitch in a bad way, bitch in a bad way,
or bitch is in a good way exactly.

Speaker 3 (01:18:05):
So, while there are you know, I'm sure plenty of
criticisms of Angelina Julie that have nothing to do with
this marriage. Brad Pitt very much the villain of this
marriage and still actively the villain of this marriage. I
want to just finally close by reading what their son

Packs posted on Father's Day to his Instagram story. He said,
Happy Father's Day to this world class asshole. You time
and time again prove yourself to be a terrible and
despicable person. You have no consideration or empathy towards your
four youngest children, who tremble in fear when in your presence.
You will never understand the damage you have done to

my family because you are incapable of doing so. You
have made the lives of those closest to me a
constant hell. You may tell yourself in the world whatever
you want, but the truth will come to light someday.
So Happy Father's Day, you fucking awful human being, and
so I see no reason not to go with him there. Yeah,
and to believe children of abusive parents. It appears, at

least at the time of this recording, it seems like
Angelina Jolie has a good relationship with all of her children.

Speaker 1 (01:19:18):
They have six, By the way, I know that we
were not sure if it's five or six.

Speaker 3 (01:19:21):
I was literally doing the mister and missus Smiths five.

Speaker 1 (01:19:24):
Or children, It's yeah, it's six, because.

Speaker 3 (01:19:28):
I think they had twins, And then I kept counting
twins as one, which is twin discrimination. And I apologize
to the twin community. But yes, it seems like Angelina,
or at least their children publicly have a good relationship
with her, and they also publicly fucking hate Brad Pitt.
So fuck Brad Pitt. I guess is the little bow

I want to put on that second.

Speaker 1 (01:19:51):
Yeah, there are a number of movies that he is
the star of that I really like, and I don't
consume those movies anymore, or at least not to the
same extent that I was. But like you know, and
we've talked about, I'm never gonna be someone who like

separates the art from the artists. It doesn't necessarily mean
that I will refuse to watch certain things. I will
just be mindful of horrible people involved in the project. Yeah,
it varies project a project or you know, actor or
actor what you know. It's very much on a case
by case basis.

Speaker 3 (01:20:31):
But and everyone's on like sort of a personal journey
right with that, Like, I certainly don't think anyone who
like would watch a movie with Brad Pittknitt is a
bad person. I think he's just personally Yeah, I think
as time goes on, I find him harder and harder
to stummitch.

Speaker 1 (01:20:50):
Sure, And it's been a journey for me because like,
there was a long time where he was someone I
enjoyed very much watching on screen.

Speaker 3 (01:20:59):
And he's a good actor.

Speaker 1 (01:21:01):
Unfortunate he's a good actor, he is, and he's charismatic
and charming the way that a lot of scary bad
people are. And this was one of the harder ones
for me to be like, oh, I don't fuck with
him anymore. Fuck Brad Pitt.

Speaker 3 (01:21:18):
The end, this movie passes the Bechdel testing.

Speaker 1 (01:21:23):
Yeah, there are a few scenes in Lady Assassin Headquarters
Industries where but although are they ever not talking about
John Smith.

Speaker 3 (01:21:35):
Let me triple check, but I think I clocked a
few like barely passes. I did technically pass, I would
say spiritually definitely not. So whoever's editing the Wikipedia page
these days sort of go with God. I would say,
yeah it technically I think may pass between Jane and Jasmine,

but spiritually know because neither of them are really characters that.

Speaker 1 (01:22:04):
Were written true.

Speaker 3 (01:22:05):
So it's challenging. Actually there's oh, this is one of
my favorites because there is a like old website that
we consult sometimes to check our own work Bectel test Dott.
And every once in a while you find a movie
where there is just a rich comment section where they're like, well,
sort of and then other people are like, it doesn't.

So jury's kind of out on this one that like
the official ruling of the website is no. There's a
lot of comments you're saying technically yes, I'd say, let's
just go with no.

Speaker 1 (01:22:37):
I'm fine with that because either it's Kerry Washington's character
and Jane Smith talking about killing a man that's better
than nothing, but they are mostly talking about John Smith,
I believe, And then there might be an interaction between

Jane Smith and her neighbor, Missus Coleman. They're always talking
about the Colemans, and maybe something there passes. But again,
that's a very fleeting moment, a fleeting character, not plot impactful.
So I would say spiritually know the movie does not
pass the Bechdel.

Speaker 3 (01:23:17):
Test, and possibly technically now yes, but what about the
most important media metric of all, Oh, do you.

Speaker 1 (01:23:24):
Mean the Bechdel cast nipple scale, where we rate the
movie zero to five nipples based on examining it through
an intersectional feminist lens. I'll give this movie one nipple.
There are some things I did appreciate more at the time,
and still to some degree appreciate, which is the woman's

involvement in the action. I think a lot of other
movies that would have an assassin who's a woman would
still not let her do much. So I appreciate that
she's a far more active participant in the action than
we're accustomed to seeing, especially of movies from this era.

And there are a couple other slight subversions that I appreciated,
like the man being the more emotionally expressive, sentimental one
and not that like I'm advocating for women to be
closed off emotionally, it's more that a trope is present.

Speaker 3 (01:24:25):
But it does happen and you never see it.

Speaker 1 (01:24:27):
And you don't see it, and so I appreciate the
subversion of that trope. But by and large, it's a
movie leaning into gendered tropes and it's not as good
as I once thought. The movie was so one nipple
for the few things that I appreciate, and it goes

to Carrie Washington. Justice for Carrie Washington.

Speaker 3 (01:24:53):
I am going to go half a nipple because I
don't really I don't have a nostalgia for it. The
more I read about it, the BRANDOLINASAKA, the more just
like a hostile agridge with it. It's not you know,
you cannot blame the movie itself, but spiritually I do.
And so I'm gonna give it a half nipple, and

I'm gonna give the half nipple to.

Speaker 2 (01:25:18):

Speaker 3 (01:25:18):
I'm gonna give it to Angelina Jolie. And with that, Caitlin,
Happy freaking birthday.

Speaker 1 (01:25:25):
Thank you so much. If listeners want to do something
nice for me on my birthday, g me. You can
follow me on Instagram. I was just talking about this
on the Monsters, Inc. Episode, which may have already come
out or maybe it comes out very soon, but either way,

on the Matreon, right on the Matreon. Either way. I
am trying to do more stand up in LA and elsewhere,
and it helps to get booked on shows the more
followers you have. I don't necessarily like that that's the case,
but it is. But we live the fact of the matter.

We live in a society, So just follow me on
Instagram so that I can appear to be a legitimate comedian.

Speaker 3 (01:26:16):
You are dufest wow thing.

Speaker 1 (01:26:19):
I mean, I know that, but bookers don't. Anyway, Listeners,
thank you so much for listening to the show. And
you know, I just feel extra sentimental on my birthday
and finally free Palestine.

Speaker 3 (01:26:42):
The Happy Birthday Kitlin.

Speaker 1 (01:26:44):
Thank you. Follow us also on Instagram at Bechdel Cast.
There's our Patreon. Ooh, another little gift you could give
me for my birthday. If you're not already a Matreon subscriber,
go over to patreon dot com spetl Cast, where you
can get two bonus episodes every single month, plus access

to the one hundred and fifty bonus episodes on the
Matreon for five dollars a mom mentioned and our tour
kicks off very soon, so grab tickets to that if
you don't already have it at link tree slash Spectel Cast.
We're in various cities in the UK as well as Dublin.

Speaker 3 (01:27:25):
And you know what, I'm not gonna plug anything because
it's your damn birthday, Happy birthday.

Speaker 1 (01:27:31):
But people should listen to your new show, your new podcast,
say something about it.

Speaker 3 (01:27:36):
Wow, only because you ask in your birthday. Yeah, please
check out if you haven't checked it out already, we
should be a few I guess two episodes deep when
this comes out. Sixteenth Minute is a new weekly show
doing that comes out every Tuesday. That's a different profile
every week of a different Internet character of the day.
So I believe this week our episode on the dress

just came out. Member, that was it the.

Speaker 1 (01:28:02):
Dress that people either saw? Was it like white and
wet and gold or black and blue?

Speaker 5 (01:28:09):

Speaker 3 (01:28:09):

Speaker 1 (01:28:10):
Oh my gosh, I'll never forget.

Speaker 3 (01:28:12):
Never forget. Yeah. So every episode is like that, just
Internet things that have been ingrained in your brain against
your will. Every episode's about that, So check it out.
We're having a fun time over there, and it's also
produced by Bechdel Cast producer Sophie Lichterman, so very nice.
Enjoy your birthday, Kaitlin, thank you so much. Enjoy your day, listeners.

Speaker 1 (01:28:33):
Yes, happy birthday to you also, and we'll be back
next week for more episode Bye bye. The Bechdel Cast
is a production of iHeartMedia, hosted by Caitlin Derante and
Jamie Loftus, produced by Sophie Lickterman, edited by Mola Board.

Our theme song was composed by Mike Kaplan with vocals
by Katherine Voskresenski. Our logo and merch is designed by
Jamie Loftus and a special thanks to Aristotle Assevedo. For
more information about the podcast, please visit linktree slash Bechtelcast

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