'The Expendables': Chick Flick in Disguise?

This weekend's box office was dubbed a "Battle of the Sexes," with the shoot-em-up rampage The Expendables opening against the romantic pick-me-up Eat Pray Love. It was testosterone (Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis) vs. estrogen (Julia Roberts, Oprah's Book Club), and after all was said and done, The Expendables—and presumably men—came out on top. But as Slate's XX blog points out, the film may not be very manly at all, particularly with how it portrays aging and insecurities about weight.

Its handling of those themes bears striking similarities to 2008's ensemble comedy The Women, starring Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, and Annette Bening, raising the question: Is The Expendables really just a chick flick in the disguise?:

Both sets of aging characters share a common worry: their weight. Mary's mother refuses to don a swimsuit at the beach; Sylvie cracks that the two most feared words in the English language are "pool party"; Mary and her friends snark at Edie about eating too much. And the men of The Expendables aren't immune to such concerns. Barney's ex-partner Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) twits Barney about having lost muscle and looking too skinny. Barney's retort: Whatever weight he's lost has found its way onto Trench. They may get shot at all the time, but these mercenaries can't afford to eat lead: It'll go straight to their hips!

Read the full story at Slate.

And for more on this weekend's Battle of the Sexes, check out this fan-made trailer for The Expendables:

Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In