I devour romance novels. I write romantic stories. And while my heroines are day care center owners, pediatric nurses, artists and lawyers, they are by no means wusses.
I’ve always been fascinated with movie heroines, and not JUST any movie heroine. Bad asses. Ladies, who take no crap, love hard and get the job done. Now mind you, bad ass movie heroines have been around for years.
But nowadays, they seem more three dimensional, and robust with issues that we—the average mortal—can relate. They’re complex people, who for whatever reason, don’t plan on starting out they way they end up. There is always a catalyst for them having to hide out until it’s safe, come back for their love ones or stay and fight.
Back in the seventies, there was Tamara Dobson’s “Cleopatra Jones,” and Pam Grier’s “Foxy Brown.” The eighties and nineties gave us classic heroines like, “Thelma and Louise,” who tried to prove that a girl should be able to get gussied up to have a few drinks and a good time without getting assaulted.
Carrie Ann Moss in the “Matrix” trilogy kicked butt in her long, black coat AND kept her shades on! Uma Thurman made David Carradine think twice about full custody in “Kill Bill.” And of course, all “Alien” life forms steered clear of Sigourney Weaver. Again, women with purpose and guts. Woman pushed to the edge.
These types of heroines continue to grace the screen. Add intelligence, resourcefulness and wit to the already existing guts, and you’ve got the female counterpart of Indiana Jones played by Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft:Tomb Raider. But Jolie’s portrayal of CIA agent, doubling as a Russian spy in “Salt” is forever embedded in my mind. Talk about resourceful, and being prepared. She made MacGyver look like a Cub Scout! There’s something impressive about a woman who arranges heavy artillery and grenades on a bed as if she’s trying to decide what outfit to wear. You go girl.
And Zoe Saldana in “Colombiana?” Please. You’ll have to watch the trailer.
But I’m also a big fan of literary bad ass heroines. Janet Evanovich can write a bad ass like no other. Her Stephanie Plum character, who hails from Jersey, rocks. Katherine Heigl brought the character to life in the movie, “One for the Money.”
Okay, so the women in my romance novels don’t necessarily pack a gun (though they have no problem learning how to use one) or they’re not running from CIA or drug dealers. However, they’re fearless when it comes to protecting their families, their livelihoods and their men. They’re smart, resourceful, and sexy and have issues like the rest of us. What makes these characters bad ass is how they deal with those issues, and overcome them.
Instead of bullets and karate kicks, my heroines use a stern warning, occasional doses of whip cream, and feminine wiles. A great example would be Katherine Zeta Jones’ character Elena De La Vega—Zorro’s better half in the “Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro.” (But she, too, can swing a mean sword.)
I have a story about a Moroccan beauty that swings a mean saber brewing somewhere in my overcrowded brain. But rest assure, whether she’s in a contemporary or historical setting, anyone who tries to give my heroines grief, better watch their step!
There are so many notable bad ass heroines and I’ve only touched the surface. Who are some of your favorites in movies or books?