Peeta as movie girlfriend (and story relationships in general)

I still need to make it out to see Catching Fire (I have, of course, long since read it), but I sound this article on Peeta playing the functional role of movie girlfriend kind of interesting.

What makes me sad is that Hollywood has such generally rigidly defined gender roles that this makes sense, as it doesn’t in the real world, where we can all play all the parts. But if we have to have rigidly defined Hollywood gender roles, it’s nice to see them at least being subverted sometimes.

This also got me to thinking about how I’d always been Team Gale. This is a little odd, for me, because I tend to like the good boys, and Peeta is solidly my usual type.

Except that Katniss is a lot like Gale, so they meet as true partners instead of having Katniss being weak in the presence of Gale’s strength. (In the books, at least. I don’t yet know what their relationship is like in the second movie.) If Katniss were a different sort of female character, Gale as a male character would irritate me no end. But she isn’t, so instead of a strong guy looking out for a less-strong woman we get a true partnership among two strong-in-the-same-ways people who are very much alike. This is what I love about their relationship, that partnership.

And even when (spoiler) Katniss and Gale ultimately fall apart as a couple in the books, it isn’t because of their differences. It’s because they remain alike, only Gale ultimately takes their shared strength-that-is-also-weakness in a different direction than Katniss does.

It may be that more than having a soft spot for good boys, I have a soft spot for relationships that are I’ve-got-your-back partnerships (in whatever way, physical or emotional or a mix of the two, that the particular characters involved do this), and that good boy relationships are the ones that most often go there.

Or maybe, of course, it’s both/either of those things, with a large amount of “depends on the individual story” mixed in.

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