out of sync with synecdoche / by mrm

For the most part, I enjoyed watching Synecdoche, New York. When it was over, however, I found myself wondering why Charlie Kaufman hasn't bothered to write a female protagonist. Can't be that hard. Just like a man, but without a reason and accountability, right? Generally speaking, I'm a Kaufman fan. Great dialogue, fantastical plots, madcap antics and unusual characters. Right? Except it's starting to get a bit samey. The male lead. Uncertain, somehow emasculated, often surrounded by wildly sexy, seemingly fearless, dominant and/or dominating women. Who are all somehow slightly...inhuman. Without emotion. Or at the very least, without any apparent empathy for our (sympathetic?) and overwhelmed leading man. I am weary of the liberated modern woman who wildly outpaces the more sensitive, artistic, hesitant man. The regularity with which these gendered tropes occur in Kaufman's films suggests to me that he does not feel these characteristics as specific to individuals, but rather as larger truths about modern life. If this continues, I predict I will enjoy each of his future films exponentially less. I hope this is not the case. I used to really like him.

Charlie Kaufman, I'm placing you on probation.