Woman of the Year
1. Produced in 1942, the film Woman of the Year starred by Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn is a comedy that tackles the social state of women empowerment and independence historically set in the period 1930s and 1940s. The romantic relationship that the characters depict in the film with its challenges connotes more than a screen relationship as both film audiences and film historians believe. Latham supports his insinuation by citing the case where the two were involved in a conventional romantic association that even saw Katherine in light moments where she would cook Spencer his favopurite meal to sacrificial moments where she had to suspend her career in a bid to provide homecare to her ailing partner. Nochimson holds the same view and believes that, “…it wasn’t issues that captivated movie audiences; the fundamental reality-linked element in their films was the chemistry generated by their own off/onscreen relationship,” (Nochimson 189). There was clearly a link between their acting and the real relationship since the couple started dating after they commenced acting together.
2. Latham’s statement to some extent is true. With the changing roles of women from traditional homecare to the working domain where women channeled all their energy to careers as depicted in Hepburn’s films, it found little room for acceptance in the society. However, this did not mean that women had to neglect their marital duties for the sake of their newfound ‘freedom’; it was more of learning to balance both marital duties and work. This is why it is significant that Hepburn admits that to some level in her characterization she was wrong by bringing out the female protagonist as an independent woman; not obligated to homecare. In the film Woman of the Year, this distorted approach is depicted by Tess’ neglect in caring for her husband in a bid to heighten her career, adoption of Christopher without Sam’s knowledge, leaving young Christopher home unattended and her inability to cook and perform other household chores for the family.
3. Latham’s claims are correct. For her independence, Latham has given up any form of authentic attachment that may bog her down with the ‘unnecessary’ responsibilities that she feels would limit her independence. With the movies based on real life aspects of Hepburn’s private life, they all have a common theme: Independence. Her film collection always characterizes her male counterparts as just cohabiting partners. In the Woman of the Year Hepburn falls short of a spouse and mother as a way of evading her womanly roles. However, she does give up her freedom by becoming her mother in the prime of her career. Tracy can therefore be referred to as the only complication that came between her independent lifestyle.
Nochimson, Martha. Screen couple chemistry: the power of 2. Texas: University of Texas Press, 2002. Print.