Cuties

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Cuties

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Cuties: A 101 of how to mix Boku no Pico, Eiken and Toddlers and Tiaras into an equally bad, if not worse movie.
Genre: Drama
Comedy
Coming-of-age
Erotic
Directed By: Maïmouna Doucouré
Produced By: Zangro
Written By: Maïmouna Doucouré
Starring: Fathia Youssouf
Médina El Aidi-Azouni
Esther Gohourou
Ilanah Cami-Goursolas
Maïmouna Gueye
Cinematography: Yann Maritaud
Distributed By: BAC Films (France)
Netflix (International)
Release Date: January 23, 2020 (Sundance)
August 19, 2020 (France)
September 9, 2020 (United States)
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: France
Language: French
Budget: €4 million ($4.7 million)
Box Office: €491,277 ($582,876)


Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is a 2020 French "coming-of-age comedy-drama" film written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré in her feature directorial debut.

Plot

Eleven-year-old immigrant girl Amy, originally hailing from Senegal, which is one of Paris's poorest neighborhoods, lives with her mother Mariam in an apartment along with her two younger brothers, waiting for her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. Things turn swiftly as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbor Angelica's twerking clique known as "Cuties", an adult-style dance troupe that has contrasting fortunes and characteristics to Mariam's Islamic customs, values, and traditions.

Why It Sucks

  1. For the most obvious of starters, it uses actual filmed footage of sexualized underage girls who also do scripted sexual acts (and no, saying that they made it this way to spread awareness of pedophilia doesn't mean it's not pedophilia), which is legally considered child sexual exploitation, a serious crime in most countries worldwide:
    • In one scene, one of the female child dancers lifts her cropped top to fully display her bare breast.
    • An eleven-year-old girl watches a rap music video in which nude women roleplay through sexual dance acts, both heterosexual and lesbian. An eleven-year-old female dance group then mimics these acts via on themselves and each other.
    • When one of the dancers is first seen, the camera is watching her from behind whilst she is dancing in leather leggings as if she were in an Ariana Grande music video; when she turns around, the viewer immediately notices that she is a child.
    • The camera repeatedly zooms in on minors' bodies, within one instance, the camera glancing at Amy's panty-exposed buttocks after her pair of tight leather pants are forcefully pulled down in the midst of a scuffle between two other girls.
    • One girl slaps Amy's buttocks and criticizes them for being flat.
    • Amy gets pantsed in public and we can only see her in her underwear.
    • One disturbing scene has Amy dancing in just her vest and underwear.
    • In another scene, the girls run into what appears to be a bar and get in trouble with security guards, with the threat of their parents being called; the girls convince them that they are dancers, with Amy "proving it" by dancing and twerking... and the security guard allows the girls to leave.
    • There is a scene where Amy steals her uncle's phone and posts a nude photo, and this scene also has other problems:
      • Stealing her uncle's phone was a terrible thing to do for obvious reasons, and the fact that she was posting a nude photo makes it even worse.
      • It was never brought up again in the film.
  2. The title itself (a direct translation of the original French-language title) is already a red flag.
  3. The message that it intends to give, that "sexualizing minors is wrong", is rather hypocritical, since the film, as mentioned before, actually comes across as a promotion of pedophilia by using actual filmed footage of sexualized minors. For this message to work properly, they wouldn't have filmed sexualized young girls or them doing inappropriate acts at all.
  4. Outside of the filmed footage of sexualized children, the acting is really poor.
  5. Even if one can ignore that they contain filmed footage of sexualized children, the dance scenes are rather cringe-worthy to watch.
  6. The characterization is very poor and sexist;
    • Amy, the main protagonist, is extremely unlikable as she does just about "anything" to fit in, even in an overly sexualized way; she also stabs a student with a pencil, pushes someone into the lake to the tip as she blankly watches her drown, and scoffs at her own mother after falling. What pours the salt onto the wound is that she doesn't receive any comeuppance for her actions, and the movie expects the viewers to sympathize with her.
      • Amy is supposed to be the sympathetic protagonist who was constantly mistreated by the mean popular girls of her school and is now going down a path by rebelling against her family and their traditions, but the way she was written was so poorly done that it made it really difficult for audiences to root for her due to all her horrible actions as mentioned above.
    • Angelica is also a generic mean popular girl who is the cause of Amy's unlikable personality.
      • This can also be said about Coumba and Jess and to a lesser extent, Yasmine.
    • The strict and concerned parents who are trying to reason and discipline their children are depicted as the main antagonists of the film even though they all had good intentions.
    • The male background characters are all portrayed as pedophilic, forgettable, or treated as child predators.
  7. Really ugly and unbearably disgusting cinematography that would make you want to vomit if you would look at them for several minutes, with the film containing many instances in which the camera literally zooms in on either the rear ends of eleven-year-olds twerking or the bodies of the aforementioned eleven-year-olds.
  8. Many scenes serve no reason to be in the movie, other than to needlessly pad out the runtime.
  9. During the filming of the movie, they had to make over six-hundred and fifty underage girls twerk for auditions. That in of itself is not only disgusting, but disturbing as well.
  10. The film is also anti-Muslim propaganda, as the Muslim character, Amy, is shown as needing to be "saved" from her religion.
  11. Misleading poster: The original French poster gives off the illusion that it is a fun, family-friendly film when it could not be any further from the truth.
    • Unlike most exploitation films such as A Serbian Film, Showgirls and Reefer Madness, it tries to look innocent and play like one as if it is never aware that it is something that needs to be banned.
  12. The dialogue is sometimes laughable.
  13. Because of this film's negative reception, Netflix became hated and infamous for defending the film , the rate of Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States increased a lot , all to the point where this film ruined Netflix's reputation as a whole, until they released Squid Game, Inside Job, Kid Cosmic, Hilda, The Cuphead Show that is, which made them popular again.

Videos

Reception

Upon release, Cuties was praised by critics, but received near-universal backlash from audiences, and caused a divide between critics and audiences due to its large amount of sexual content about minors. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critic score of 85% with its consensus reading, "A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age, Cuties is a coming-of-age film that confronts its themes with poignancy and nuance", while it has an audience score of 16%, though the latter can be partially attributed to review-bombing. On Metacritic, the film has a Metascore of 68/100 based on 14 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews", while its user score is 0.7 out of 10 based on 456 ratings, indicating "overwhelming dislike". Mary Mcnamara of The Los Angeles Times described the film as "a powerful portrait of female rage". On IMDB the movie holds a 3.1/10.

The release of the film gave rise to the #CancelNetflix movement. It has also resulted in a sharp increase in the rate of Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States[1], as well as a decline in Netflix's stock value. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has even called on Netflix to remove the film[2], while U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called for the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix. Representative and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii spoke out against the film as well, tweeting "@netflix child porn 'Cuties' will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking in children. It happened to my friend's 13-year-old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix"[3]. Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stated that Cuties "hypersexualizes girls my daughter's age no doubt to the delight of pedophiles like the ones I prosecuted."[4]

The director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré has handled the film's criticism poorly, as she not only has defended the film but even went as far to claim that the film was made to promote feminism and diversity.[5]

Controversy and criticism

On August 18, 2020, Netflix unveiled the international trailer and poster for the film. It received huge backlash worldwide due to the description and the poster allegedly sexualizing eleven-year-old girls, coming across as more of a film promoting pedophilia rather than denouncing it. Even 4chan and other imageboards got in on the action and banned stills and footage from Cuties from their sites. The trailer for the film is the most disliked video on the Netflix official YouTube channel. It is also among the 50 most disliked YouTube videos, with 2.2 million dislikes as of 2021.

In response, Netflix redacted the poster and description, stating "We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description."

The controversy led to Doucouré receiving numerous death threats and personal attacks directed towards her Twitter account, forcing her to shut it down.

In addition, Cuties is banned in Turkey, and is being evaluated in Pakistan, for its explicit imagery. Also, the uncut version of Cuties was banned in Australia, so they had to edit it to get it an MA-15+ rating (the Australian version of the R rating).

Impact

After the release of the trailer and film, Netflix lost almost $10 billion in stock. Netflix's renewals decreased, and cancellations increased eightfold. The movie even got Netflix indicted by the state of Texas, citing that the film "depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age... and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Trivia

  • This film was the topic of discussion among actual pedophiles from the forum Rapey.co (a website infamous for hosting pedophiles, rapists, and even murderers) before release.
  • Many people on websites like Newgrounds and Deviantart showcased their hatred towards this film, from Anti-Cuties stamps to posting hate art like brutally torturing Maïmouna Doucouré and the CEO Ten Sarandos , who defended the film , like throwing them into a wood chipper and having her corpse devoured.
  • This film has been used as a meme source to mock Discord and Reddit users with very unhealthy interests.
  • As Mentioned above , the official trailer for the film is currently the 50th most disliked video on youtube and the most disliked video on the official Netfilx channel .
  • Ted Sarandos (Netflix's CEO)'s action of defended this trainwreck is about as misunderstood as releasing a wild tiger in a crowded area.
  • This film was mocked in the Helluva Boss episode "C.H.E.R.U.B.", where Blitzo rips the costume off a mall Santa to reveal an obese pedophile with a #Cuties T-shirt.
  • Doucouré spent nearly 18 months researching studies on how young and pre-teen children are being exposed to adult content and sexualised images on social media in order to showcase the accurate reality in the film. She spoke to many young girls about these issues. She says that the film deals with self-image and social media. "Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualised on social media, the more she's successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning, and yeah, it's dangerous." She says that although watching the film may be difficult, it is important to have a conversation in society about these issues.

References

External Links

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