Julie's character doesn't even track. She’s referred to as a "bitch," but all we’ve seen is the patented Ephron adorable klutz. . . . Ephron should make a film about the person she herself is (smart, acid) instead of the cutie-pixie of her dumb fantasies.I had a version of the same complaint about Zooey Deschanel's character in (500) Days of Summer. I actually quite liked the movie, and I realize that the story is told from the male character's point of view and that Summer is meant to be somewhat inscrutable--but she wasn't a character so much as a collection of quirky habits and odd-ball interests: an indie-rock cutie-pixie, but still a cutie-pixie.
This seems standard in contemporary romantic comedies: even when the movie is focused on a female character--and how often is that, really?--she's seldom very interesting. That a female character might have an internal life is rarely suggested, and if she's assigned as many as two different motives, it's only when the movie needs those motives to conflict in obvious ways to propel the plot forward. By contrast, the male characters may be depicted as neurotics or assholes, but they're interesting neurotics or assholes.
But maybe I'm watching the wrong movies. What recent comedies have you seen that have featured smart, funny, fully-realized female characters? (Please note: "recent" = since Flavia was in high school.)