Mary Sue and her sisters

Hawthorn Mineart on Woody Allen:

His films are one big Mary Sue about how he’d like women to respond to him, and how much he hates women for not responding that way, and how he recruits men that women actually are attracted to in that way to treat the women badly, punishing them for not responding to Woody Allen in the way they respond to the more attractive men.

Which makes sense, given this description by Paula Smith:

[T]he truest mark of a Mary Sue is not how she’s described or what she does, but the effect the sheer fact of her existence in the story has on the other characters in the story. If program characters start worrying endlessly about her, or go all gooey because she’s just so darn cute or smart …

And Paula Smith knows her Mary Sues: she invented the term, in a Star Trek fan-fiction sendup she did back in the Seventies, while Woody Allen was still actually funny.

Me, I’m siding with that space alien in Stardust Memories: if Woody wanted to do mankind a real service, he’d tell funnier jokes.


1 comment

  1. View From The Porch »

    26 September 2010 · 10:58 am

    …and then I seduced Agent Mulder!

    I was led to this wonderful paper on the phenomenon of the Mary Sue character, both in and out of fan fiction: Too Good To Be True: 150 Years Of Mary Sue. What turned it into a lengthy and fascinating time sink for me is that I’ve never watched…

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