Because we should be!
(Spoilers below – obviously)
I watched Maleficent last Wednesday and since then I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I can’t stop thinking about this movie. Yes, it’s partly the kick-ass female villain. Yes, it’s partly those killer cheekbones – and every other stylistic choice in the film. And yes, it’s partly the soundtrack I’ve been playing on repeat for eight hours. But the real reason, the important reason, just hit me.
This is a movie made for asexuals.
Here we have a big budget film wildly popular (no matter what some reviews say) across the country, one little girls will obsess over for years… and the main character is a female villain who is never sexualized, never engages (to our knowledge) in a sexual relationship, and whose ultimate redemption is realized through a completely platonic true love for someone of her own gender.
That’s the greatest, most beautiful twist of the movie: Maleficent’s true love is Aurora, the little girl she has grown to protect and cherish over sixteen years. Even when you see this twist coming, it still hits you right in the heart, because this is something we simply don’t see in truly mainstream media. Motherly love? Sure. Sisterhood? Sometimes. But never like this. Platonic love never outshines romantic love, not in an industry that still believes every woman on the planet requires a romantic plot line to keep her interested in a movie. But in Maleficent romantic love fails to wake Sleeping Beauty, and only Maleficent’s platonic love for Aurora can break the spell.
Is anyone else not super fucking excited about this? One of history’s greatest fairy tales, again on the big screen, and there’s no romantic plot line. We never know whether Aurora and Prince Phillip get together; in fact, they barely spend more than one scene together in the whole movie. We never find out if Maleficent falls in love again. And why? Because it doesn’t matter. This is a movie about one woman’s journey through betrayal, anger, regret, and ultimately redemption. She doesn’t need to fall in love. She’s her own savior.
This isn’t supposed to be an in-depth analysis of Maleficent’s pros and cons as a feminist tale. There are countless other people writing those reviews, both positive and negative. But as an asexual who has craved all her life for something mainstream that shows you don’t need romance to drive a storyline, that proves love comes in all forms (and that all forms of love are equal), I just feel compelled to voice my admiration of this movie. Whether the creators know it or not, they’ve given something to the asexual community, and for that I’m grateful.