Confession: I’ve always been fascinated by stories and films about little girls who do bad things. Really bad things. Not naughty things like Eloise (though who doesn’t love a naughty girl in a short short skirt) or even kind of bad things like Minnie the Minx. I’m talking about girls like Rhoda (from The Bad Seed – the play, not the film) and Hayley (from Hard Candy) who do things that are really really BAD. It’s why I was disappointed that Orphan chickened out of their creation of Esther as another cinematic Bad Girl in the end.
It’s not really whether they do terrible things in the name of something “good,” like Hayley’s torture in the name of justice or Rhoda’s basic, inherent evil that’s important. What I love is the conflict between the assumption of sweet, harmless innocence that little girls always carry, even more than little boys, and their violence based on cleverness rather than physical strength or even conventional weapons. I love the way they exploit our expectations of girlhood sunshine and light.
I think it may be time to order myself a DVD of Heathers to watch while snacking on some thin mints.