Note: Yes, there are spoilers. However, the movie is terrible and therefore I feel no shame in ruining this film for everyone.
There are two things that you really need to know about my husband and me before I even get started:
1. We watch entirely too much family entertainment for a duo with no kids yet.
2. We are prone to making really poor, Hindenburg level decisions.
The natural result of these two universal Smithwell truths is that we end up renting movies like Maleficent.
Like a great portion of other women, I fucking love Sleeping Beauty, the 1959 animated original by Disney. Not because of Aurora, obviously - all the power and creativity is directly channeled into the deliciously unrelenting evil of Maleficent. Naturally, I was looking for the same in the feature and prevented myself from stumbling across any spoilers (it's a gift).
My husband did not want to watch this movie. At all. He looked very longingly at his Marvel and Star Trek collections in a futile attempt to convince me to watch something else. Naturally, I did what any loving, compromising, proper wife would do: I gave him a boatload of pot and told him to sit down and shut up.
What resulted was what I like to call "Great Moments in Mr. Smith Discovering Feminism":
When we got to the infamous wing taking scene, I muttered under my breath, "Wonderful - nothing says 'kid's movie' like the most thinly veiled rape scene in history." I didn't think he heard me, until a booming voice behind my ear shouted:
"OH YES, BECAUSE IF YOUR ONE SYMBOL OF CHASTITY IS TAKEN FROM YOU, YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY BOUND TO BECOME EVIL AND WORTHLESS. CHECK."
Stunned and delighted, I replied, "Our kids are not ever going to see this. Holy shit." He agreed, asked me to turn it off, lobbied for a return to any number of action movies, and I considered it, I really did for his sake, before coming to my senses and further replying, "No way - let's see how bad this gets."
Verbatim, here is my husband experiencing the rest of the movie (God, I love voice recording capabilities):
On Stefan being rewarded the kingdom: "Remember boys: if you just take what you want, you too can be a king of men!"
During the introduction of Prince Philip and Aurora: "I'm Philip! Do you have anything precious, Aurora, I could possibly take by force? Tell my friends about?"
Upon his finally realizing that the spindle prick is analogous to losing one's virginity and "innocence" (his mind was BLOWN), the next time Aurora appeared on screen, stumbling around trying to understand spindles (I guess that's advanced technology?): "Aunties, tell me about sex. I met a boy and found a spindle in the next scene, so I obviously need sex. I NEED SEX! I MEAN...A SPINDLE!"
Maleficent meeting with the King to take back her shit:
"A man took something they value from her! And because they took it, she can no longer do or accomplish anything by herself. OF COURSE NOT."
"'Oh thank God, he only slapped me!' said the Fairy Godmother. 'He had the right to do so much worse!'" (this was followed by approximately three solid, unbroken minutes of truly impressive swearing)
Yet another scene with the idiotic/borderline child abuse fairies: "We're just stupid fairies! We need a prince to help us!"
At this point, I had to step in and ask:
Me: "Do you want to watch Frozen after this? At least there are women acting for themselves?"
Mr. Smith: "THEN I AM JUST GOING TO BE PISSED THAT THEY ARE TOO FUCKING SKINNY. IT'S NOT HEALTHY, AMANDA."
Holy mother of fluffy kittens. Every penny of this rental just became SO. WORTH. IT. And we still had 45 minutes to go.
THE BIG BAD, POORLY CGI-ED BATTLE COMETH:
"The last thing we can allow is King Stefan's accuser have the rightful chance to face and indict him for RAPING HER."
"OH I UNDERSTAND. THE DRAGON IS JUST A SYMBOL OF HER PMS-ING, AMIRITE? OR SHE MUST BE A LESBIAN WHO HATES MEN. GOTCHA."
The wings return!
"OH SHIT! SHE GOT HER RESPECT BACK!!"
On the thinly veiled message that being 'born again into virginity' is the only way to regain your respect and strength as a woman: "BECAUSE ONCE YOU GET YOUR 'CHASTITY' BACK AND MEN ARE POLITE TO YOU AGAIN, THEN YOU CAN ACTUALLY BE WORTH SOMETHING IN SOCIETY."
And then, my personal favorite, when she decides to not kill King Stefan: "Is this the part where she becomes an X-Man for having the special power of forgiving a man instead of herself?"
Mercifully, the movie had pretty much limped to a close, but not before a parting shot from the husband:
Narrator: "And Maleficent brought down her wall of thorns."
Mr. Smith: "Well, THANK GOD. Now that she's bowed to the world of men, she can't wait to conform to their beauty standards by shaving her pubes!"
That'll do, husband. That'll do.
It is worth noting that there are much, much better written analyses on Maleficent, and I highly recommend io9's Meredith Woerner's post on the movie, as well as additional analysis by Groupthink's Greenheart.
Also, if you haven't seen it yet, DO NOT MISS Honest Trailer's latest release, lampooning the film: