Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which just opened to far more money than it deserved, is the superhero movie we deserve, if not the one we need right now. But in the frenzy to convey the many other areas in which it is awful, I feel that not enough time has been devoted to the bizarre things that the film asks of Lois Lane, Superman’s girlfriend. In an effort to fill this gap, here is an open letter.
Dear Superhero Committee!
I am so honored to have been selected as a Superhero Girlfriend. Given my age (nine years older than the Superhero himself) I was not sure whether I was being considered for Superhero Mom or Superhero Girlfriend, and I am thrilled it was the latter! I know the basic responsibilities are the same (stand in rain telling a man in a cape that I believe in him, stand in button-down shirt telling a man Not To Do The Brave Thing) but as Superhero Girlfriend I also get to fall out of helicopters a lot more! I cannot wait! I have been doing a lot of screaming into my mirror for practice!
I appreciated very much the chart that you sent me of my anticipated responsibilities.
I got the contract and itinerary that you put together for me on my first day on the, er, job, and I had a few questions. Let’s just go item by item with notes.
8:00 a.m.: Wake up and get dressed for work in heels (3-inch minimum)
I can’t help noticing that the weather forecast here in the Gotham/Metropolis twin cities area is Unremitting Bleak Gray Rain For The Next Year, Occasionally Interrupted By Ominous Thunder And Somebody Blasting What Sounds Like The “Inception” Soundtrack! (DUNNN NUUUNNN! DUNNN NUNNN!) With this in mind, are heels really the best choice? I notice that there is one day circled where I can wear semi-practical boots because it’s a climactic action sequence, but — can’t I wear them at other times? There is another day when my entire itinerary is Meet A Source In Rain Under An Overpass. It seems like I could wear rain boots to that, but the schedule has me wearing four-inch heels somehow.
9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Go to interesting, high-powered job at the Daily Planet, which appears to be a print newspaper with no online presence.
We have established that this is in the era of 24-hour cable, so I find it bewildering that what appears to be a prestigious daily newspaper where employees wield computers and iPads would not have or care about its online footprint?
I am not complaining. I am glad that I get to have a job and it is clear that this job brings me fulfillment, but what’s the business model here, exactly? At one point my editor says he cannot afford to pay for a bicycle to send me to cover a breaking news story, but then he agrees to pay for a helicopter when I explain that it is, in fact, for personal use, not business use. This seems like the opposite of what would happen.
Is this a real newspaper, or is it some kind of a drug front?
5 p.m.: Go home. Climb directly into bathtub, which is visible from the doorway of the apartment.
Look, I love a good bath as much as the next girl (honestly not that much; at first it is fun but then you sit in your own filth getting cold like an oversized carrot in a comically small broth) but can’t we move the bathroom farther away from the door of the apartment?
Also, do I have to conduct all of my conversations in here? Can’t I conduct them somewhere where I am not naked? I know “Game of Thrones” has popularized Sexposition, where you have people talk about dull things that are important to the plot or to backstory while sensually washing their nude bodies, but — that is a TV show, not real people.
5:05 p.m.: When your superhero boyfriend arrives and CLIMBS INTO THE TUB UNPROMPTED WITH HIS SHOES ON AND FULLY DRESSED, THREATENING TO FLOOD THE APARTMENT, laugh delightedly and kiss him with passion.
Can we change “laugh delightedly” to “scream “WAIT A SECOND, WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU’VE JUST BEEN OUTDOORS IN THOSE CLOTHES AND I AM IN HERE AND I JUST GOT CLEAN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR SHOES HAVE BEEN THIS IS JUST GROSS JUST NO JUST STOP IT WAS LITERALLY FOR SITUATIONS LIKE THIS THAT THE CONCEPT OF TAKING OFF YOUR SHOES WAS INVENTED” and then make him mop the bathroom? This feels truer to me.
6 p.m. – Unspecified: Stand near a window with a wry, sad smile playing over your features in case Superhero Boyfriend decides to drop by.
I don’t mind the occasional bout of standing on or near a balcony with a wry smile playing over my features, but I have, as noted, a job. All this standing around smiling wistfully is really cutting into the time I could be using to see my friends, cultivate work relationships or speak to a named female character about something other than a man. Doesn’t my boyfriend have a cellphone? Can’t he announce that he needs me by, say, telephoning me so I don’t have to build my entire life around this? If his costume offers him nowhere to put a cellphone, he should alter his costume.
7 a.m.: Awaken and smile at the shirtless man with a perfect jaw who is cooking you eggs.
This part I have no objections to.
Furthermore, The Superhero Girlfriend Hereby Agrees To
• Pretend, For At Least One Movie, That Her Superhero Boyfriend And His Alter Ego Are Not Obviously The Same Person, Although This Should Be Immediately Apparent To Anyone Who Is Not Literally An Imbecile
• Endure One (1) Rambling, Quasi-Profound Speech From Either Heath Ledger’s Joker Or A Villain Doing A Bad Impression of Heath Ledger’s Joker
• Be In A Room That Might Explode And The Hero Has To Choose Whether To Stop This Explosion or Another Different Explosion
• Smile Admiringly At The Hero While You Go Whoosh Through The Sky Together
• Tell The Hero That She Believes In Him And He Gives People Hope While Cradling His Face In Her Hands
• Tearfully Tell The Hero Not To Do The Brave Thing
These are all fine, I guess. At least until Mary Jane Parker, Rachel Dawes, Gwen Stacy and I manage to unionize.