Gender Roles - Men
Gender Roles - Men: 3.5 Stars
Edward Scissorhands shows us that men don’t need to be aggressive or domineering to be celebrated or made into heroes. Edward is an incredibly gentle person, seeking to fit in and find love despite his disturbing appearance. He is shy and insecure, but still becomes a local sensation - with the whole neighborhood embracing his uniqueness. We don’t get a close look into Edward’s thoughts as he reacts to the strange people that come in and out of his life, but we can see a great deal of his pain, confusion, and anger, making him every bit as human as the more selfish and petty characters around him.
Room for Improvement:
Gender Roles – Women
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Gender Roles - Women: 1.5 Stars
Peg Boggs is the kindest and certainly the most independent-minded woman in her neighborhood. She isn't a particularly successful saleswoman, but she reaches out to Edward in a way that few people would, quickly overcoming her fear and welcoming him into her home.
Peg's daughter Kim, on the other hand, is a typical teenage girl - heavily influenced by her bullish boyfriend and unsympathetic to the strange outcast that's come to live with her family. Kim does develop into a warmer person as the film progresses, but she never shows much fortitude or personal strength.
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 2 Stars
Edward Scissorhands includes a rare variety of older women, but few of them are portrayed in a positive light. Thankfully Peg Boggs retains her delightful and caring personality through the film, and is possibly the only truly engaging female character in the film.
Peg’s daughter Kim, though given a more pivotal role, has little to offer in terms of personality or even simple kindness. She undergoes a necessary transformation by the end of the film, but before this change occurs she is little more than a pretty face with a mean streak. As is generally the case in “beauty and the beast” stories, the emphasis on “true beauty” is largely one-sided. Audiences are asked to judge the beast on his caring heart rather than his ugly or frightening features. But the young girl is still judged for her beauty, regardless of what sort of person lies within.
Plot: 3 Stars (Spoilers)
Peg is the only person in town who ventures beyond her safe community. And when she does, she displays the courage to reach out to the strange and isolated man she encounters, offering him a chance at a real home. Peg clearly does what her heart tells her is right, without regard to what the neighbors might think. She may be more maternal than she is daring, but there is definitely an element of strength in her actions.
Kim isn’t much of a hero or a role model, though she does become a more admirable person towards the end. She becomes kinder and more considerate of Edward’s feelings, and ultimately proves her loyalty by keeping him safe from those who would harm him. But it was also Kim’s selfish decisions that put him in danger in the first place, and as much as she tries to undo the damage, it’s hard to forgive her earlier behavior.
Character Development: 3 Stars (Spoilers)
Unfortunately, Peg’s character is a little too sweet and never really displays any darker emotions like anger or spite. When her neighbors begin to turn on Edward, she begins to doubt herself, rather than the people around her. She even begins to question her decision to reach out to Edward in the first place. She never tries to find a way to resolve the chaos, but simply hopes that everything will blow over. She doesn’t think about moving out of town and taking Edward somewhere he’ll be safe. She’s an incredibly loving and caring woman, but unfortunately, too passive and one-dimensional to do much for Edward once people stop being polite and things begin spiraling out of control.
Kim appears to have a bit more depth to her, simply because she learns a thing or two about love and kindness over the course of the film. But it’s truly disappointing that she never comes clean about her role in the robbery that gets Edward in trouble. For all her worrying and concern over his well-being, she doesn’t have enough strength to confess to her own mistakes even if it might save Edward. She starts to care for him out of sickening sense of guilt and a burgeoning recognition that her boyfriend is more selfish and calloused than she is, but it’s difficult to say whether she’s truly changed all that much.
Love: 2 Stars
The love story between Kim and Edward is pretty difficult to believe. She seems to think she’s in love with Edward, but it’s not really clear what it is she loves about him. Kim is one of the only people in the neighborhood that never takes an interest in his lawn sculptures or his hair designs. She knows very little about him, other than the fact that he’s simple, kind and will do anything for her. Edward, for his part, seems to fall in love with Kim’s photograph before he ever meets her. He doesn’t stop loving her when he starts to see the sort of person she is. Unfortunately, Edward is the sort of person who is so desperate for love that he doesn’t have the luxury of distinguishing between people who are deserving of his love, and those who are not.
Edward is a lonely recluse who lives in an abandoned mansion on the edge of a quiet suburban neighborhood. He is the unfinished creation of an old inventor, fully human in all respects - but with a collection of sharp scissors for hands. Edward is discovered by local Avon representative, Peg Boggs, who introduces him to the neighborhood. Edward is originally welcomed and admired for his unique talents, until a cruel trick gets Edward in trouble and people start to see him differently.
Kelly is a labor law