Welcome to Blog Free & Die Hard with a Vengeance month. We’re basically feeling too lazy to think of a theme and anyway, these free for all months let us visit the films on our lists that don’t necessarily fit in a box. Or are really shit
I chose this week’s film because my good personal friend Meghan (of The Lightle Side of Life) has been touting it on her Facebook for a long while and also: it’s a ‘mockumentary’ about a world where men are all but obsolete. It’s kind of a no brainer.
Without further ado, and *with Spoilers*…
No Men Beyond This Point (2015)
IMDB Synopsis: In a world where women have become asexual and are no longer giving birth to males, a quiet, unassuming housekeeper named Andrew Myers finds himself at the center of a battle to keep men from going extinct.
A world without men sounds quite blissful in theory, doesn’t it? Not being interrupted eight times per conversation, not being shushed and no longer having to cover your bosom with your folded arms to be taken seriously. But would it be all it was cracked up to be?
Would our primal instincts kick in and above all, wouldn’t we end up missing the fuckers? Well, NMBTP examines these points and the concept of a world slowly elbowing men out of the picture, naturally.
We start with a bit of background surrounding the phenomenon of ‘fatherless’ birth. We’re referred back to the original ‘virgin birth’, the one starring original G, Jesus and his mother Mary, considered the Ultimate Miracle. Since then several pregnancies of a similar nature have been reported, though of course nobody believes the mothers.
Then some time in the 1950s more and more pregnancies start happening and lots of women find themselves kicked out and on the streets, husbands and families disbelieving their stories. We meet a case study, Helen Duvall (Mary Black), who recalls her own experience and the consequences of falling pregnant in a sexless marriage (shown via a dramatisation, which is a nice touch).
People are quick to cast aspersions about the mothers because that’s what humans do when they don’t understand something but then a nun with no access to sperm due to her remote location, not to mention lack of inclination, gets knocked up. After being booted out of the Catholic church, she bravely comes out as up the duff and the world can no longer deny what’s going down.
That’s not even to mention the now thousands and thousands of new mothers birthing only girls, with no help from a man, or anyone. Praise nature! (The prevailing message throughout).
There’s a science bit in there too, that explains why sperm just ain’t getting to the eggs anymore (and how eggs are fertilising themselves), and if you fail to giggle at the image of a dejected swimmer then I can’t help you.
Our story centers around ‘the last boy’, a mild-mannered sweetheart named Andrew (Gilmore) who, at 37, is the last boy born and therefore the youngest. He’s a housekeeper and works for a bunch of women who are bringing their kids up together.
Seems our women are pairing off, mostly in a platonic way with their closest friends for companionship and support in bringing up their daughters. The women have varying opinions on men, understandably, some aren’t really that fussed about them at all (sounds legit) while some lament the impending passing of them with a wistful look in their eyes.
Most of the younger girls just like Andrew and having him around, having grown up with hardly any male influence.
Sex doesn’t seem to be an issue while self-love is a thing, plus there is still love and romance in the world, it’s just of a more Sapphic nature (and not as much as you’d expect either). For me that was surprising but I guess it shouldn’t be. If men one day ceased to exist, would I just switch to being attracted to women because that was the only option? I guess not. Or maybe. It’s a thought-provoking piece, put it that way.
Anyway, we meet two women who live together as a pairing, Terra and Iris who have been together since high school and have daughters ‘together’. The women are Andrew’s employers and have vastly different views on the world and, it seems, Andrew himself. Disconcertingly for Terra, Iris seems very interested in Andrew who she paints with a regularity (she’s an artist) that has her defending herself as ‘not obsessed’.
Iris too is frustrated with the way in which Terra and lots of the other women talk about men as if they’ve already died off.
While Iris and Terra discuss their differing views (and Terra more or less bites her tongue about her true feelings), we learn that ‘the men’ are being set up in sanctuaries across the world (and the entire continent of Australia – LOL) to live out their final days. These ‘safe places’ keep men happy by feeding them, allowing them to play golf all day and basically keeping them ticking over nicely into old age.
One man who isn’t so impressed with this state of affairs is Darius Smith (Cameron McDonald), leader of the Men’s Liberation Organisation (MLO). He’s outraged and planning a comeback for all mankind (“It’s not called Womankind, it’s called Mankind!”WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH).
He’s exactly what you’d expect him to be, the worst of all hyper-masculine men and we’ve all known one like him. Hell, I’ve been out with him and he is a total joke. His parts are funny though, as his anger at being edged out of existence exacerbates with every turn. Look out for the hunger strike he heads up, which ends exactly as you’d expect. (You had one job Darius. One job.)
Women in this new world BTW are taking over from men on the world stage, helming huge corporations and introducing this thing called World Peace for the very first time, much to Darius’ disgust. In the 1960s we witness the inauguration of the first female US President (hmm, topical indeed).
Running through the heart of this film is a love story between Iris and Andrew, something that doesn’t exactly come as a shock to the viewer. It does however turn the life she has with Terra on its head when it is finally uncovered. Andrew is sent to one of the sanctuaries when he struggles to find new work (he’s obviously fired) and hates it as he’s so much younger and vital than his camp mates.
Iris tries to get on with her own life without Andrew, hanging with the daughters, celebrating their periods with moon parties and doing yoga. But something’s eventually got to give and all good love stories must have a conclusion. I’ll let you find out for yourself how it all goes but it’s a sweet ending, whether you agree with it or not.
Nice. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and a fun way to look at an alternative world view. I’m sure it’s a film that will piss off a few of its male viewers and fuck them frankly if they can’t handle it. The #notallmen brigade can suck it.
Would I like to live in a world without dudes? Honestly, no. I like a lot of the men in my life. Can I pick the ones I want to keep, Mother Nature? (It’s a short list).
My Rating: 4/5. Fun and thought-provoking.