Hit Girl: Out of the Mouths of Babes Comes the C-Word

Lord knows I'm not a prude when it comes to language. I probably use more profanity than my parents are comfortable with -- though I don't ever use it in their presence -- and I know that I'm cutting that shit out now that I have a child of my own. That said, the "c-word" really bothers me more than any other cuss word. In the same way I don't use the n-word, I don't use the c-word. Not that I'm comparing the two in terms of what they mean or stand for or all that crap, I just can't ever bring myself to form the necessary sounds and syllables.

So, the idea of this child, this little girl saying the c-word in the new movie Kick-Ass? Yeah, I find it pretty freaking disturbing.

Watching the clip, I also found it disturbing that she said, "I'm just fucking with you." We're supposed to find it shocking. We're supposed to find it funny. On the latter, I guess it's along the lines of when my older sister and I used to teach my baby sister swear words because we thought they sounded so funny coming out of a baby's mouth. Luckily, that sort of corruption didn't last for long and my parents never found out. (Until now.)

Do I find this particular usage funny now? Not really -- but it's not because I'm too busy pearl-clutching to appreciate that sort of humor. It's more that I'm too stubborn to be forced into what the movie wants me to feel. (I'm like that with obvious tear-jerkers, too. Oh, you killed the dog just to make me cry? Screw you!) Also, it just sounds ugly. "Cunt" is an ugly word, and it's not cuted-up just because it's coming out of a cute kid's cute mouth. If anything, the contrast makes it even more ugly.

I looked up Chloe Moretz's age. According to IMDB, she's 13, which comforted me to a small degree. (At least, she's 13 now -- I guess she was probably younger when the movie was being made.) I mean, she's still a minor, but at least she's not 8 or something. Still, it's disturbing. And it should be disturbing because the writers/director/whatever intended it that way. Movie-goers are no longer shocked by excessive fart and poop humor. They're blasé in the face of pastries used as sex objects, and a man standing naked in front of his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend slapping his "masculinity" from thigh to thigh is old hat. Having kids swear to a shocking degree could be the new warm apple pie.

The movie's also drawing fire for Hit Girl's violence. Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood reacts:

Hit Girl is a character that I have never seen on screen before. She is an 11-year-old girl assassin. This girl, played amazingly by Chloe Grace Moretz, is a walking destruction machine. She shoots, she stabs, she bayonets. She does things on screen that literally left my mouth agape. FYI -- no studio would touch this movie. They loved it but said you gotta take out Hit Girl. No one would finance a film with an 11-year-old-girl killer. Those movies are just not made in Hollywood.

The thing about Hit Girl is not just that she is a brutal and ruthless killer. She enjoys it. Way. Too. Much.

Meanwhile, I also found Moretz's quote about her character in USA Today additionally disturbing: "'People shouldn't get so upset,' she says. 'It's all pretend. I still like slumber parties and popcorn fights.'"

Maybe it's just me, but there's something so jaded and almost sarcastic about that quote.

Chloe Moretz in Kick Ass. Image courtesy Lionsgate

Jezebel has two different discussions going about the c-word.


How do you feel about a child saying the "c word" on the big screen?customer surveys

Related:
New York Times: Just a Sweet Young Actress? $&@%# Right!

Women and Hollywood: Interview with cowriter Jane Goldman

BlogHer: On the C word

Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a Pop Culture C.E. for BlogHer Blogs at: The Grub Report and KQED's Bay Area Bites

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