Let’s talk about sex-ism, baby!
This is a weird film. Paul Matthews (Tate Donovan) is a biochemist who visits a fortune teller that gives him love potion #8 (not a typo). He and his science partner Diane Farrow (Sandra Bullock) analyse it and realise that it affects the vocal chords and makes the drinker’s voice pleasurably vibrate the ear hairs of the listener so that they fall in love. SCIENCE. The experiment gets out of hand, hearts are broken, a prostitute enslaves men with her voice, shit gets crazy.
1. Don’t mess with love
2. Nerd women need make-overs
3. False love tastes like mule sweat
I struggled to bond with this film. The premise is kind of cute, but when you look at it, the two scientists are assholes. They use the potion to get dates and sleep around (we’ll come to the double standards of sleeping around in a bit) and then get outraged when the tables are turned and it’s done to them.
Then there are the double standards. Sandra Bullock’s character has to get a full on make-over even when using the potion. Tate’s character musses his hair and undoes a button on his shirt.
Tate sleeps with an ENTIRE sorority house. Sandra dates 3 guys, so far as we are shown, and may or may not have slept with any of them. Yet there’s a congratulatory feel to Tate and a brushing under the carpet of Sandra’s conquests. See the two covers at the top of the post for further sexist imagery. Tate has a line of ladies, Sandra has…Tate. Woo.
The film hinges on love potion #9 undoing the effects of love potion #8 so that Sandra can fall in love with the right man (Tate). If they aren’t meant for each other, they’ll get the taste of mule sweat in their mouth….I kid you not. Sooo….don’t fall in love with the wrong person!