We Gotta Talk About IT's Beverly Marsh
For those of you unaware (I doubt anyone's unaware), IT is the movie based on the Stephen King book about a group of kids living in Derry, Maine. The town's weird because more kids and adults disappear or die there than anywhere else. The reason being, the murderous clown named Pennywise who lives in the sewers and only shows up once every twenty-seven years.
First of all, no explanation is given as to why he's gotta wait twenty-seven years. Let him murder whenever he wants! Time is a social construct!
Second of all, BEVERLY MARSH DESERVED BETTER.
Actually, before we get into that, I have to take a slight detour and talk about how forked up the IT book is. After they defeat the clown, they all make a pact that if the clown isn't really dead, they'll come back in twenty-seven years to kill him once and for all. In order to really solidify this bond, Book Beverly decides she'll have sex with all the boys in the sewers. One after the other.
Yeah, Stephen King wrote an orgy scene about fourteen-year-olds that goes on for a whole FORKING CHAPTER. It's unreal that somehow that made it through an editor. My editor made me stop swearing so much, but Stephen King's editor sends him out there writing about kids having a damn orgy. (Seriously, it's real. More people need to talk about this. It's all I think about when I see people reading this book.)
In case you were wondering, the movie opted for a blood oath instead. Like sane humans. Anyway, back to Beverly.
Beverly's the only girl in the group, and the subsequent object of affection of at least two boys in the Loser Club. There are moments when she genuinely shines. She runs headlong into danger with the murderous bullies and is the first one to actually stab Pennywise with a spear. Until the last half hour of the movie, Beverly shines as the strongest hero of the Loser Club. But, she still ends up sidelined throughout. Take when they go to the Niebolt house for the first time.
Bill is leading the charge because he feels in his heart that Georgie is there and alive and nothing is going to stop him from finding his brother. It's his driving force. All the boys are like, you're nuts. Stan offers to stay outside and keep watch and Bill says who else wants to keep watch. Every boy raises his hand. Beverly doesn't. But who goes in the house?
Bill, Eddie, and Richie.
Side note. I love my boy Eddie and his cast and his fanny pack. We have the same haircut:
In the book, the clown can only be killed by a silver bullet. Since Beverly's the best shot, it's her job. In the movie, she's the damsel in distress who misses the majority of the action in the final fight scene.
There's a very uncomfortable True Love's Kiss to wake Beverly up from the "floating" thing Pennywise did to her. The kiss comes from Ben, who has a one-sided crush on Beverly. She's been nice to him, but that does not entitle him to a kiss. He kissed her without her consent and that does not sit right with me. Especially since Beverly has spent the whole movie not only fighting the damn clown, but also her abusive father.
What they did well was show what it's like to be a young woman coming of age and the way men start looking at young women differently. I remember someone telling me when I was around her age that I was getting close to the age where people would mistake me for my dad's girlfriend, not his daughter. I was like WHAT THE FORK?! WHY IS THIS OKAY? I mean, with my gay haircut, no one would've thought that, BUT STILL. Growing up is awful for women.
All in all, they got a lot right and they got a lot wrong in Beverly's character. And some of the kids were cute. Some of them were not. It was also weird having Richie make that many dick comments over the course of two hours. But I'm ride or die for the '80s movie aesthetic of kids riding on bikes on suburban roads.
Speaking of wrong, though, wtf was up with the horrible Pennywise CGI?? And the DANCING. Also, if you're one of those people out there who's sexually attracted to the clown, are you okay???