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The Hunger Games — Chick Flick in Disguise?

The Hunger Games — Chick Flick in Disguise?

by Mike Duran · 58 comments

Somewhere along the way, I missed the bandwagon.

After hearing so many writer friends buzzing about The Hunger Game trilogy, I thought maybe… And then, the axe dropped. Teenage girls. Lots of them. And their moms. Waiting in theater lines giggling and gushing.

And this is… The Hunger Games? I thought this was gritty and intense and –

Does anyone else detect a little Hollywood sleight of hand?

  • Dystopian. I’m on board.
  • Cage fighting. Tell me more.
  • Wilderness survival. I’m reaching for my wallet.

And then this:

  • Based on the YA novel. Hmm.
  • Love triangle. I’m putting my wallet back.
  • Teenage heartthrobs. OK. When does Prometheus release?

Where’s Sarah Connor when you need her? Or Ripley? Yeah.

Nice try, Hollywood. You almost had me thinking The Hunger Games was for guys. Instead, it’s Twilight with crossbows and squirrel skins. Sneaky. Very sneaky.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine Coble March 29, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Well, the first book was really good. But yeah. It’s got a heavy dose of the Twilight Syndrome about it. At least, though, this heroine is decisive and worthy of being a role model for girls. Oh, and the story IS about more than finding a boyfriend. It’s about how having the Right Boyfriend can actually save your life and make you like, you know, SUPER Popular!!!111!!!1!

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Lyn Perry March 29, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Novel was first person present a la Katniss Everdeen, teen, with two teen guys in her life. No slight of hand on Hollywood’s part.

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sally apokedak March 29, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Definitely a girl book. I don’t think anyone ever said different. A kick-ass heroine book. I can’t see boys getting too excited about it.

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R. L. Copple March 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I saw the trailer and it didn’t endear me. I’ve not read the books, though everyone seems to like them. It was more the idea of teens out to kill each other that bothered me. That idea turned me off. It might be good, but that’s the effect it had on me. But I never imagined it was going to be like Twilight, which I’ve also never read the books or seen the movies.

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Tim Ward March 30, 2012 at 6:12 AM

Same here. That trailer looked like a soap opera. I’ll pass.

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 6:57 AM

It’s not like Twilight. Not at all. Twilight was about lust and obsession. The Hunger Games books are not romances. They are dystopian and they are about war and evil and big government and self-sacrifice and freedom. I think they are girl books, but I’d hate to make anyone think they are like Twilight.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

What makes them “girl books”? Because the main character is a girl? Because the author is a girl? I’m a little baffled by this categorization.

So Suzanne Collins is a woman who’s written a story with a female lead, in which there is an element of romance (well, if you can call it that. I wouldn’t, as the way Katniss ends up going through the motions of a romance, and the reasons for which she does it, are very unsentimental). But the main portion of the story is about the brutality of a corrupt government and the disparity between the rich and the poor and the desperation to which hunger can drive people, as well as about what violence does to people and how watching people behave badly on reality television makes us all voyeurs and participants in their misbehaviour. And it’s about fighting to the death in a technologically sophisticated arena, where the most important thing is not to fall in love, but to survive. How does this reflect a “girl” mentality?

Meanwhile John Green, a man, writes “realistic” contemporary novels about young men brooding over their lives and feelings and falling in love with unattainable and/or damaged girls who help them to realize some important philosophical truth about the world, and boys as well as girls read his books in droves — are those “boy books” because he’s a boy and writes about boys and has boy readers, or are they “girl books” because the books talk about girls and romance and feelings and girls read them?

Of course there are some books which are definitely of little or no interest to most boys, and other books which are definitely of little or no interest to most girls. But there are also a great many books that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, and I think THE HUNGER GAMES is closer to the middle than most.

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 7:33 AM

SPOILERS:
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It’s not the author, but the character that makes them girl books, I think. The character is is a girl and she thinks like a girl. We are in her head as she talks about the outfits and the make-up and even though she’s thinking about those things because the author is saying something important about the packaging of women and the packaging of sports heroes and the packaging of reality TV, it just seemed to me that looking at all of this stuff would be more interesting to girls than to boys.

I’m glad to find that I might be wrong about that. I’m glad to see that so many guys are saying they liked the books and the movie.

I guess I’m out of step with readers. I thought that Graceling was a girl book. Not Incarceron, because it had such a strong boy character. But I didn’t think boys would like a girl who could kick their butts. Katniss thinks she’s smarter than Peeta. Even though I disagree with her, I didn’t think boys would like her, because she doesn’t work with Peeta and Gale. She sets herself up as the savior and the boss. I read the books a long time ago so maybe I’m remembering wrong. It just seemed to me that she didn’t work with Peeta as much as she tried to trick him and work to protect him, and I didn’t think that would be attractive to boys. My son wants to be the protector. And I think that’s a God-given desire. Peeta wanted to protect Katniss, but she was smarter than he was and she saved him.

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM

And I’ve never read a John Green book because his stories sound so very uninteresting to me. So I can’t say whether I’d think they were boy books or not.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 8:33 AM

The thing with Katniss is, though, she’s had to be the man of the house ever since her dad died. Her mother went catatonic, so there was nobody to parent either Katniss or Prim, and she had to learn to hunt before they all starved to death. So she went into takin’-care-of-business mode and she’s been there ever since. I don’t thinks she sets herself up as anything, she’s not interested in proving anything to anyone, she doesn’t care about besting Peeta or Gale intellectually or in any other respect, she’s simply trying to survive and keep her family and loved ones safe. (By contrast, I found GRACELING to be strongly focused on Subverting Gender Roles and Asserting Female Power and making statements about Sexual Liberation, so I hear you there.)

But saying that Katniss won’t be attractive to boy readers because she seems so independent and not submissive to the boys in her life still seems strange to me. The boy reader (any reader) isn’t being asked to fall in love with Katniss or want to marry someone like her. They’re being asked to identify with her struggles and frustrations in the midst of a very cruel and inhuman situation.

Also, she’s not under Peeta’s or Gale’s authority, as they aren’t related to her or married to her, nor has she asked or encouraged either one of them to court her. Furthermore, Peeta doesn’t have the survival skills that she does, so she’s definitely his superior in that respect, and Gale isn’t in the arena so he couldn’t help her even if she begged him to. I don’t think that’s a case of Katniss despising the men around her — I don’t see that she has any viable choice but to act independently.

Hope this doesn’t sound hostile — I don’t mean it to be. I do get what you mean about GRACELING, and I’d agree that it’s a “girl” book in the sense that it’s deliberately and forcefully feminist and written in a way that seems unlikely to appeal to boy readers. But I don’t think Suzanne Collins had the same agenda in writing Katniss, and to me her situation seems very different and not really about the “girl” thing at all.

Kind of like THE LEGEND OF KORRA versus BRAVE, now that I think of it. The former is about a naturally tough, kick-butt girl chafing against limitations that have nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with the corruption of her society. The latter seems to be about a feisty young princess struggling to defy the gender roles of her society and assert her own independence. I’d still like to see BRAVE because the trailer makes me suspect there’s more to the story than that, but Merida Fights Sexism is still less interesting to me than watching Korra Fights the Anti-Bending Movement and Cleans Up Republic City, and I suspect KORRA will have a lot more boy viewers than BRAVE will.

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Oh, I don’t think Katniss and Katsa were the same at all or that the authors had the same agenda. I was not disappointed with Katniss (until book 3) and I didn’t perceive any feminist agenda in The Hunger Games. Katniss was who she was, and she wasn’t chafing against men or a lack of gender equality. Still, Peeta was painted, on the surface, as gentle, fearful, and weak (though he was really mature, brave, and strong) and she was painted as strong and smart and willing to do what it took to get the job done. At least that’s how I remember the characters. I thought that would make Katniss unattractive to men, but maybe it’s why they can relate to her and her predicament.

I haven’t read Korra or Brave. I’ll have to check them out.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM

LEGEND OF KORRA is a TV series that doesn’t debut until April 14th — it’s a follow-up to AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (the amazing epic animated series, NOT the horrible movie!). BRAVE is a new Pixar movie coming out some time in the summer — you can find the trailers online. No books connected with either, or at least neither one was inspired by a book that I know of.

As for Peeta and Katniss, no, I don’t think Peeta was portrayed as weak. He just didn’t have Katniss’s survival skills — he had to use his people skills and his artistic (camouflage) skills to stay alive instead. Though the movie emphasizes his raw physical strength in a way I don’t think the book does, the book gives a better picture of his courage and tenacity.

That being said, I don’t think most of the guys who read these books are going to identify with Peeta. But Peeta being Sensitive Cake-Decorating Guy doesn’t necessarily reflect badly (or at all) on Katniss for being Stoical Squirrel-Shooting Girl, and I find it hard to imagine why it would put off a guy reader. Because Gale. And Cinna. And Haymitch. And all those other guys in the books that guy readers can like and/or identify with, without caring about whether Katniss “ends up” with any of them or not.

…Huh, apparently I have FEELINGS about this book. Who knew?

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Susan March 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

The liklihood of me actually going to see The Hunger Games was already pretty slim, now it is down to none. The last movie I saw in a theater was ‘Entrapment’ (Sean Connery). Movies that appeal to teen-agers and women, rarely catch my attention; especially if there is a lot of sap. Two of my all-time favorites are ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ and ‘Secondhand Lions”.
I love the way you spelled it out! Sarah Conner may yet come back (time travelers, you know), but didn’t Riply finally get eaten by that thing?

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Amy @ My Friend Amy March 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

What even is this post tbh?

And yes lots of boys read and enjoyed The Hunger Games…I guess they were boys that realized girls aren’t icky.

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Katherine Coble March 30, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Heh. :)

I actually know more men than women who’ve read the books.

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Kevin Lucia March 30, 2012 at 3:20 AM

I liked The Hunger Games – had an issue with a plot device at the end, but other than that, it was a solid read. IMHO, this is SO not Twilight, and neither is the movie, based on the reviews I’ve read, and the opinions of my students. Think you might be missing something on this one, sir. But, to each their own. For me, this is an action movie my wife WILL go see with me, so I’m on board.

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Kat Heckenbach March 30, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Thank you, Kevin! I wasn’t going to comment because I’m a “girl”–even though I *hated* Twilight (where is my ice pick?) and I just about never watch chick-flicks.

The “romance” part of the story is used specifically to move the plot forward, and I personally found the romance not at all romancy. The darkness and intensity so far outweighed it. Maybe Hollywood chose to *cast* the guys with teen heartthrobs, I don’t know (I am just now getting to see the thing tonight!), but I don’t think main characters have to be unattractive to be taken seriously. Not the fault of the author if teen girls miss the point and choose to *act* Twilighty.

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Katherine Coble March 30, 2012 at 9:20 AM

The ONLY issue I have with the fauxmance is

spoiler

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How many girls have misread it as “love will save your life” and all that tommyrot.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 9:56 AM

None that I know, if that’s any consolation?

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Katherine Coble March 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM

It must be only the girls in my mentor groups, then. Which, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

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Kevin Lucia March 30, 2012 at 3:23 AM

At the very least, I’m cool with all the girls in my classes and my daughter someday reading/watching it. At least Katniss doesn’t let her sparkly boyfriend do all the work for her…

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Tony March 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM

My brother loved it. It looks pretty cool, actually. I can handle the teen angst and love triangle as long as it has a good story. I’m planning on reading it sometime next week. Then checking out the movie.

Hunger Games seems like — and I could be wrong about this — it hasn’t allowed the love story to overwhelm the plot. The Maximum Ride series did that by the 3rd book. . .a real shame.

Still, you may be right. I can’t say I’m not slightly paranoid.

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Kevin Lucia March 30, 2012 at 3:29 AM

AND, I should mention the absurd number of boys in my senior class (boys who’d prefer to set things on fire than actually think) who ABSOLUTELY LOATHE READING OF ANY KIND who are now badgering me to read the second book in class. That certainly didn’t happen with Twilight, I don’t think…

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Heather Day Gilbert March 30, 2012 at 5:29 AM

Hee…I was giggling through this post, like one of those moms who watch the movie (okay, haven’t made it over to see it yet, but it IS on my to-do list…). I think this book is sufficiently dystopian to wipe out some of the romantic overtones, and violent enough to give even those most testosterone-d guys a thrill. Haven’t seen the movie (as mentioned above), but I’ve heard it doesn’t play down the violence.

I think the Team Peeta and Team Gale were born from the obvious similarities to Team Jacob and Team Edward…though both Peeta and Gale seem to be more friends than romantic interests at first (which HEY, isn’t that what we WANT for our teen girls, at least before they’re old enough to date?).

I’d just say, don’t knock it till you try it. Collins was intentional w/the love triangle, yes, but it was tied inextricably to survival…okay, that does sound like Twilight…

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George Anthony Kulz March 30, 2012 at 5:35 AM

I read The Hunger Games books, and I’ve seen the movie, and I’m a guy.

I’ve also read Twilight. I couldn’t stand Twilight, but not because it’s a “girl” book. I just didn’t like the main character. Too whiny and wishy-washy. Nothing against Stephenie Meyer though, or the writing itself. I liked all the other characters in that book, and the writing style was perfectly fine and she’s a very capable writer. I just thought Bella was way too passive.

Now, the Hunger Games. In THIS book/movie, the main character is a stronge main character (as we get into the third book, my opinion of the m.c. changes, but I digress). Plus, although the book did have this love triangle thing going on, there are a lot of other interesting things going on plot-wise that would make it appeal more to a wider audience I think. Plus, they really downplayed said love triangle in the movie.

I would definitely give this one a chance. If not in the theaters, you could always wait til it comes out on DVD and rent it cheap. I think you’ll be surprised and you might like it.

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BK Jackson March 30, 2012 at 5:39 AM

I wouldn’t be so quick to write it off as “chick flick” material. First of all, I’m a chick, and *I* don’t like chick flicks.

But after going to see the film on opening weekend I read an article that audience attendance was 60/40 female/male. And in the theater itself this looked to be the case.

I also hope people will look beyond the idea that “it’s about teens killing one another.”

I found THG novel more thought provoking than a lot of other fiction I’ve read.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 5:59 AM

Sorry, Mike, but I think you’re way off on this one. If anything, the Hunger Games is the anti-Twilight: not only is Katniss really not interested in pursuing a romance with either of the two guys who are interested in her, she practically has to be hogtied into going through the motions of one. Her passions are looking after her family and surviving long enough not to starve to death. She really can’t spare the time or the energy for roses and candlelight dinners, or the equivalent thereof. In fact, she is notoriously, and even to some readers maddeningly, unemotional.

My eleven year old son (a hands-on, down-to-earth, rough and tumble boy who knows everything there is to know about pick-up trucks, listens to country music and thinks a great time is helping his dad renovate the basement) went to see the Hunger Games with me on opening night. Part of his eagerness was from hearing his friends and schoolmates (all boys) talking about how amazing the books are, but I think part of it was also thanks to the reading we’ve done together over the years — having met Aravis and Cimorene and Claudia from INCARCERON and my own Knife and Linden and Rhosmari, he knows that he doesn’t have to be afraid of a story being boring or soppy or unfit for manly consumption just because the main character is a girl.

Anyway, we ended up in terrible seats way too close to the screen and I thought the hand-held camerawork was going to make me throw up, but Son #1 thought it was the best movie he’d ever seen. And afterward he had tons of questions about things he hadn’t quite understood, so we talked about it for quite a while. Now he wants to read Books 2 and 3, and since he’s not a natural reader that’s quite an endorsement.

I wouldn’t claim to be a massive fan of the series — after reading all three books I found the story powerful but flawed, and too depressing to want to read more than once. But “Twilight in disguise” it most definitely is not.

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xdpaul March 30, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I avoid nearly all “kickass heroine” storylines – they are tale-killers. The reason that Ripley and Sarah Connor work so well, especially in their early stories, is because they are women who win by behaving like women: terrified, cautious, inventive (because they can’t possibly match their opponent with physique or firepower) and self-protective.

In other words, those fantasies don’t cause me to suspend reason.

It’s one thing if the gal is somehow supernaturally enhanced to manhood. It is kind of gross, but that’s sometimes the intent (Ex. Mila Jovovich movies, particularly Resident Evil – part of the horror is that this lithe, sexy woman has been bred by the corporation into a masculine flesh killer.)

But a 16-year old girl who wins an arena war without tearing an ACL and getting mauled? Eh. I’ll pass. Now, if Katniss has some sort of supernatural enhancement, that’d be a whole different game.

The folks at Black Gate explain it even better:

http://www.blackgate.com/2009/02/15/on-kick-ass-female-fighters/

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 9:04 AM

She wasn’t supernaturally enhanced but it was believable that she could beat the others. The author set it up so that we could believe she was a skilled hunter with outdoor survival skills.

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Katherine Coble March 30, 2012 at 9:23 AM

You have a misunderstanding about the “kickassness” in this story, as well as about the ultimate match.

It’s not an arena-style match; more of a Survivor/Loose In The Wilds thing. Since the very believability of the heroine’s being a lifelong hunter to feed her family is established from the beginning her subsequent performance in the HG scenario is completely believable. Plus there are several surprises in store for the uninitiated.

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Jill March 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Huh. I didn’t know all women had the same personality type. Now I know.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM

We are terrified, cautious, inventive and self-protective! Unless we can shoot like this girl. In that case, run for your lives. :)

(I am still a little boggled over the idea that a woman can’t match a man for firepower. Physical strength, yes, but a superior weapon is a superior weapon, no? Unless men have REAL finger guns? Laser eye beams? Or are we talking about that thing teenaged boys do with flatulence and a can of spray deodorant? In that case, I’ll gladly concede the field.)

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Jill March 30, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I’m pretty good with a firearm, and so are many women I know. “Cautious and inventive” are character traits of an intellectual personality, regardless of gender. It’s nice to know that XD Paul believes all women are intellectuals, but it just isn’t true. Many run off of instinct or emotion. Many have a great deal of bravado, even though most women are physically weaker than most men. It’s difficult to suddenly become cautious and inventive when you are an action-oriented person.

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Katherine Coble March 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Before arthritis I was a crack shot.

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matt mikalatos March 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

My wife was on the rifle team (or whatever) in high school. I’ve shot a gun exactly three times. I suck at it. And I don’t like it. Despite my extreme virility.

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Carma April 27, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Assumptions – you know why you shouldn’t make them, Xdpaul. Katniss wins in the arena because she is terrified, cautious, and inventive, and also because she can shoot straight with her bow and arrow. She wins by running, hiding, cooperating, outsmarting, and avoiding hand-to-hand at all costs, and in a very believable (within the framework of the storyworld) manner, so reason need not be suspended. She is kick-ass because of her attitude, not her muscles.

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Interesting that so many men/boys liked these. I’m surprised. I thought the boys would play the video games, but didn’t think they’d be interested in the books or movies. This is good to hear.

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Deborah March 30, 2012 at 7:46 AM

I saw the movie with two guy friends (we’re all in our mid-late 20s), one who read the books and loved them, the other only knew the story through the movie trailers and marketing. Both absolutely loved the story. The theater was packed and was about half male too. I don’t think these books should be gender divided/classified. It’s clear that boys, girls, men, women are all enjoying them.

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R.J. Anderson March 30, 2012 at 7:23 PM

In the showing my son and I attended, the most enthusiastic commentary was being provided by the (adult) guys around us, mostly whenever Gale was shown looking unhappy over the way Peeta and Katniss were interacting during the games. Things like “Change the channel, Gale!” Yet it wasn’t said in a nasty this-movie-is-dumb-let-me-out way, it was more the equivalent of “That’s rough, buddy.” I thought it was hilarious.

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J.S. Clark March 30, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Saw the movie, and am reading the books with my wife. I can see how it could be a “chick flick”, but it’s kind of a matter of balance. In my mind, a chick flick equals a story that’s primarily about a romance, usually and most easily identifiable, by the fact that the complications that keep the intendeds apart are social/emotional. For example, Hitch or Laws of Attractions (both of which I like by the way) the problems were individuals pride and the inability to deal with hurt.

Now, Hunger Games has a romantic plot, but what’s keeping them apart is distrust at the possibility that each may be planning to kill the other, and if they don’t their families could get killed, and of course some of their relationship has been “manufactured” so it’s a little more complicated. I mean it would be like saying Empire Strikes Back is a chick flick because most of it seems to be about Han and Leia.

Personnaly it appealed to me as a guy because the stakes were high, it wasn’t “if he doesn’t like me, I’ll cry myself to sleep.” It might be because, I lost my son, but I found myself deeply invested not in the romance (which I liked for its complication and grit), but in the fact that children were getting killed while their parents in all the districts stood by. It touched a nerve in me because in reality we have so many people (more and more I think) who have come just to stand by while terrible things happen.

So to me, there was a romance plot, but it wasn’t center stage and it wasn’t without other co-validating plots about the sanctity of life and struggle, and all those things that guys typically find more rewarding.

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Kessie March 30, 2012 at 8:53 AM

HAHAHAHAHA! Yes! You pegged it, Mike!

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matt mikalatos March 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Read the books, saw the movie. They aren’t romances. In fact, the movie barely makes a nod to the “love triangle” in the book, which is a pretty simplistic way of describing the relationships, anyway.

And one of the main criticisms I’ve heard of the third book from people who didn’t know the genre well is that the trilogy ends like a story set in a dystopian future….

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sally apokedak March 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I agree that they aren’t romance novels. Not even close.

And this is not the place for it, but rest assured I could give you some criticisms of the third book that have nothing to do with my misunderstanding the genre.

You liked the third book?

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Heather Day Gilbert March 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Sally, I’m with you on that third book–one of the primary impetus (impetuses? impetii?) for my post http://heatherdaygilbert.blogspot.com/2012/03/whats-message-in-hunger-games.html. And maybe that ending is what set it apart from the Twilight series. Though that Hunger Games ending makes me like the Twilight series a little bit more.

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matt mikalatos March 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Hey Sally–

I didn’t say that clearly enough. A lot of the people I’ve talked to who have read the books aren’t well acquainted with dystopian futures, and they found the last book shocking and upsetting. I *didn’t* like the third book… I wanted something different, also. But I was certainly able to look at it and say, “Oh. I should have seen that coming. I forgot what genre I was reading here….” And I would say with the people I spoke to, it wasn’t that they misunderstood the genre, they just didn’t realize that’s what it was. I’d say they thought it was “David vs. Goliath.”

But no, I wanted something different also.

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Margaret November 19, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Loved The Hunger Games. Liked Catching Fire. Hated Mockingjay.

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Nikole Hahn March 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM

LOL. I loved reading this. I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet. It’s on the list, but I’m not sure I want to see a movie similar to the Twilight series where teenage girls everywhere are watching because they like the male actor in it. I like romance, but can’t they make a romantic meets Rambo with a serious edge to it?

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Nikole Hahn March 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I guess that’s why they call it YA.

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Jason Brown March 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I saw nothing wrong with the love triangle and can look past the “heartthrobs” and anything else to get to the gritty stuff. And Twilight? I think that’s an overstatement. I couldn’t get past the first book in that so-called entertainment. The Hunger Games trilogy was a breeze (and joy). So, think what you will, I’ll take my chances to see this hard PG-13 flick.

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Merrie Destefano March 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I loved this book and can’t wait to see the movie. But I would never categorize it as a romance. To explain I’m going to have to go into spoiler alert.
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Katniss is a strong young woman, who has 2 young men interested in her. But the last thing she wants is to fall in love, get married, and have children. I can’t remember if she discusses this in the 1st book, but it definitely comes up in the 2nd book. She doesn’t want to get married or fall in love, because in her world that leads to having children. And children in her world have to take part in the Hunger Games. So she resists the affection of the young men who are interested in her because she doesn’t want to put her children through what she is going through. There’s a slight plot flaw here, in that if she used birth control she wouldn’t have to worry about this. But apparently in her world, birth control isn’t an option.
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End of spoiler alert…

And in my opinion, the only similarities between Twilight and The Hunger Games is that they’re both YA and they’re both trilogies.

Also, my husband is a high school teacher and many of the teenage boys in his school have gone to see the movie and are reading the books.

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Kevin Lucia March 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Exactly. That’s what I’m finding, as a teacher, myself. And it’s not just boys, but BOYS WHO HATE READING.

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Merrie Destefano March 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

LOL. I made a huge mistake in my post. Twilight was NOT a trilogy. That’s what I get for posting when I’m tired.

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Kat Heckenbach March 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM

OK, I just got back from seeing The Hunger Games, so now I can give an honest opinion about it as a movie. (Loved the book, of course.)

So *not* a chick flick. Actually, Gale (heartthrob #1) has so little screen time it’s not even funny. And Peeta, while on screen a lot, is not shown in “heartthrob” mode at all. The romantic side of it is about as minimal as it can be and still work as a plot element.

I haven’t had time to process it all yet, but my initial reaction is that the movie did not capture the book for me (do they ever?) but it was very well done. My primary complaint is the Blair Witch Project-like jittery camera effect in certain parts. But the cast of characters is great, and the action is plenty, and the romance is minimal, and the violence is not gratuitous, and Katniss is badass, and Peeta impressed me more in the movie than he did in the book, and even though I had pictured Haymitch SO differently Woody Harrelson completely sold me with his portrayal.

How anyone can compare this to Twilight is beyond me.

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Erica March 31, 2012 at 7:11 AM

thanks for this post!

I need to add that there is so much going on right now and I have to pray about this. Fans are turning the ‘Hunger Games’ into another evil rally over sepia, brown toned people being in the film. I thought hatred and slavery was over but it seems only racists use entertainment as a platform to sound off. I’d like to enjoy a movie and my life without the added extra “stuff”

Again, slightly off topic, but there you have it.

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J. L. Lyon March 31, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Mike, very much suggest that you see the movie and/or read the book. Much of the confusion, I think, is in viewer reaction to the story as opposed to the actual content. Not surprising, as I think dystopias are very commonly misunderstood. A common purpose of the genre is to warn, to point out things in our present society that may one day grow out of control and turn into something truly terrifying. In The Hunger Games it is that children are sacrificed for society’s collective entertainment. I find the fact that so many are raving about the film interesting, not because of what they are saying but because of what they are NOT: that we moviegoers have also been entertained by a film where 24 12-18 year olds have been placed in an arena to fight to the death. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously, but I think Suzanne Collins had a clear message in The Hunger Games and that, ironically, people are missing it.

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Yanta May 3, 2012 at 1:44 AM

A waste of 15 bucks as far as I was concerned. Katniss was totally unbelievable as a character. Poorly acted, and a complete narcissist. This is most definately a feminist chick flick.

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