Sydney comics Bec Charlwood and Alex Jae, hosts of 'The Ladies Guide To Dude Cinema', teach us about the never-forgotten genre.
It’s Friday night, you’ve had a long week and the couch is calling your name, but you’ve been texting with Joel for several days and tonight your schedules have finally lined up and you can meet for the first time. He hasn’t been the best at conversation, but he’s responded to every message you’ve sent, and you can see most of his face in his profile photos.
You meet at a bar at 8pm. Conversation flows. He’s fun, he’s charming and he even agrees to split the bill with you. You’ve got a bit of a buzz and the night is coming to a close when he asks if you’d like to go back to his place for a nightcap. You excitedly agree but also text two of your closest friends his address, because you’re 60% sure he’s not a murderer.
You get to his apartment. It’s a mix of IKEA and hand-me-down furniture with a clearly new 80-inch Smart TV taking up most of the living space. You like Joel. You want to have sex with Joel, because Joel is attractive and not the worst guy you’ve ever met.
After some hot’n’heavy making out on the IKEA couch, the night proceeds to the bedroom. As he prepares for the cunnilingus he earlier promised he was “the best at”, you look up and notice a large framed poster of Pulp Fiction. He follows your gaze. He chuckles and says “Royale with cheese”.
You’re confused because you assumed the only thing on the menu tonight was your pussy. You pause and he asks, “You’ve seen Pulp Fiction, right?”
You dread the words about to escape from your mouth, but you know you have to say it: “No, I haven’t seen it.”
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He’s horrified and responds, “You haven’t seen Pulp Fiction?!”
It’s at this exact moment your pussy is taken off the menu and a copy of Pulp Fiction: Anniversary Edition is put into the DVD player instead. Yes of course Joel still owns a DVD player, but it’s actually a Blu-ray if you were wondering. Which you weren’t.
The 10/10 sexy time Joel promised earlier will have to wait. For the next two hours and 58 minutes you watch Pulp Fiction, while Joel watches you watch Pulp Fiction. You leave his house at 2am, tired, unsatisfied and blaming Quentin Tarantino for everything that sucks in your life.
This is Dude Cinema.
Dude Cinema is any movie a dude has a heavy emotional connection to, is personally offended when you haven’t seen it, and feels no shame in making you feel bad about that. And it has to be stopped.
Who are we? We are two comedians who don’t know anything about cinema outside of just watching it. Bec has Actor Face Blindness (AFB), and Alex has seen Dumb And Dumber 21 times. For as long as we can remember, we have been shamed for not watching the movies that dudes have unhealthy obsessions with. From big blockbusters like Die Hard all the way down to niche crowdfunded Swedish martial arts action comedy shorts like Kung Fury, the dudes of the world just absolutely can’t believe we haven’t seen their favourite movies.
In late 2018, over a glass or two of white wine, we stumbled across this phenomenon and realised that not unlike the #MeToo movement, it is a shared experience among many women and also super yucko. We mused, “Wouldn’t it be great if someone had a podcast watching all these movies for us so we don’t have to?” We then realised, WE are two comedians who somehow don’t have a podcast of our own, why don’t WE do that podcast? Then we forgot about it for several weeks until we were approached by friend, podcaster (Mike Check, Total Reboot and ABC’s Finding Drago) and known cinephile Alexei Toliopoulos who offered to produce the podcast for us, and The Ladies Guide To Dude Cinema was born.
Each week – episodes drop Thursdays – we review the movies that we have been shamed for not seeing or have been aggressively recommended to us by dudes, along with the movies our listeners request for these same reasons. (A note for the dudes: we do NOT take recommendations in list form of your favourite movies. Take your hands off the keyboard – you’ve missed the point of this entirely and your submission will be thrown in the bin and reported to ASIO).
So why is it that dudes are always shocked to find out we haven’t seen movies like Psycho, a film about a man who murders women and has severe mummy issues? Why do dudes always feel compelled to aggressively recommend movies to women regardless of our disinterest or objections? Why is it that we’ve all met a man who considers himself a movie expert despite a complete lack of qualification or training? Could it be that 99% of cinema is made from the male perspective? That historically most movies have been written by dudes for dudes? Maybe. Honestly, we don’t know, but we vow to find out. This podcast is a journey to discover what emotionally ties dudes to these movies, and to provide the service of watching them so YOU don’t have to. So next time Joel can’t BELIEVE you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction, you can tell him exactly why you haven’t and why he should stop talking about it and just for God’s sake go down on you already.
Apart from being your new favourite podcast, our goal for this project is to give women like us the confidence to talk about and have opinions on these movies, and assert ourselves in conversations about them that have historically largely been dominated by men. Above all, however, this is a comedy podcast, and more than anything it’s going to make you laugh and bring you one step closer to receiving the best-ever cunnilingus. That is our mission statement, and we vow to succeed or die trying.
This story was originally published in the June issue of The Music. Pick up a copy of it on the street now or head here to read it online.