What The Hell is 'Superman' For Ladies?

Many of us probably managed to forget the glossy, fuzzy Superman reboot of 2006 that was Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. The film gets flack for being a flop, though critics generally liked it, and in a recent issue of Empire Magazine (via Jezebel), Singer makes sure to find a scapegoat for Superman's flop: the ladies.

In the interview, Singer states that "It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn't what it needed to be, I guess." His statement's not exactly the stuff of endless vitriol, but it does raise an indignant question: How the hell was Superman Returns a superhero movie for a female audience? And furthermore, if you're going to make a superhero film specifically for women, the bullet proof he-man who picks up his feather-weight girlfriend like a flying knight in shining armor and flies her to the moon is basically a flat princess tale in a spandex costume and I'm fairly certain women, in general, have slightly higher expectations from an action drama.

And while Singer appears to have been making some half-assed excuse about an eight-year-old movie so he could move on and talk about a more pleasant subject, it does seem that the film made some half-hearted, short-sighted attempts to bring the ladies to the theater. In that respect, Superman Returns really "wasn't what it needed to be."

But did the film really even try? Here are the five ways, to the best of our knowledge, that Superman Returns was angled toward women:


The fuzzy, hazy image of Superman staring into Lois Lane's dreamy eyes was everywhere when the marketing campaign for the film was in effect. Naturally, this had to be for the ladies, because everyone knows that women won't watch a movie unless it ends in a big ol' googly-eyed cinematic smooch. Right.


The very pretty Kate Bosworth plays Lois Lane. Kate Bosworth is the impossibly gorgeous real life equivalent of a porcelain doll. Porcelain dolls are pretty trinkets. Women just fucking love pretty trinkets. See? That definitely proves Superman Returns is a movie for women.


Superman Returns involves a lot of thinking, but mostly feeling and thinking about feeling. The brains behind the film knew that all women love feelings, so they made a superhero movie about feelings and their feelings were hurt when women didn't flock towards all these feelings like packs of hyenas who survive on, well, feelings.


In case women didn't have the internet and couldn't find out who star Brandon Routh was (because that's the only reason they wouldn't find him attractive, duh, science), Superman Returns supplied us with James Marsden on the side. He was in that movie about feelings called The Notebook, so women follow him blindly everywhere because that's how things work, right?


One of the main plot points in the movie is that Lois Lane's son is Clark Kent's son. One of the people who worked on the film (probably) read once that women really like stories about kids and dads having feelings about their kids, so they (probably) figured this would attract women and really (not at all) it's a wonder that didn't trap all of us and reduce us to balls of tears and affection.

In the end, maybe Singer really did angle his movie toward women who "failed" (see: "refused") to pick up what he was laying down. Sorry, bro. I guess we'll just never know why it didn't work.

Image: Warner Bros.