What’s it about?
Admittedly sexist and gory, Love is Dead! presents three interconnected one-act plays emulating sitcoms that explore the question is love dead?
What'd I experience?
Last night, Trevor was raped. No one believes it was rape because the assailants were two women and “women can’t rape men!” says Trevor’s amused father. For some reason it’s necessary to mention that the women were Asian. Trevor’s mother and father advise their son that if he got caught for cheating on his wife Ginger again he should just come clean instead of fabricating stories. Ginger arrives just as a distraught Trevor is about to commit suicide and tells him that she’s leaving him, that she can’t deal with the cheating and lying anymore. Trevor takes the gun that he was going to use to kill himself and he shoots her.
And then he leaves her body and the gun in his parents’ apartment where his father shoots his mother. Then the second act begins and a man kills another woman and then the final act begins and Trevor’s back, this time to see Maggie, a prostitute who has conversations with her goldfish. Things go awry with Maggie and Trevor quickly and Maggie kills Trevor. Things escalate and she remorselessly kills two more men, one of them her abusive father.
That’s the show. Apparently love is dead with multiple gunshots to the torso.
BUT HOLD UP.
Can we take a minute to talk about how often women are shown senselessly murdered in works of fiction – especially in works by men? Or if they are not the ones being murdered they’re the ones “unhinged” enough to commit murder? Whether in television crime shows, movies, or even the news women are so rarely characterized as anything other than weak or psychotic, as victim or assailant.
But this isn’t just about women. When women are treated as just props of violence the very real feelings and experiences of men, like Trevor, who face trauma generally associated with women are also invalidated.
So I am left wondering what point Love is Dead! was hoping to make with every bullet. Am I just an overly-sensitive-can’t-take-a-joke woman if I all I saw was valueless aggression and a parody of gruesome realities? Am I supposed to laugh when a male friends tells me that he’s been assaulted? Am I just supposed to think it's funny when a man calls me a cunt or when my significant other shoots me for trying to leave him? Am I supposed to lie in a pool of my own blood and be amused? Maybe the nausea I felt as I left the theatre was the reaction the play was intended to invoke, but honestly, why?