Cat Person, oddball attempt at feminism

Nicholas Braun and Emilia Jones in Cat Person

Cat Person is a fantastical elaboration on the idea that women are afraid of men while men can’t bear to be rejected by women. A college sophomore gets involved with an older man. She thinks she’s an enlightened feminist while she suspects him of every kind of toxic masculinity.

Cat Person begins with Margot (Emilia Jones), who works the concession stand at the multiplex, willingly giving her phone number to Robert (Nicholas Braun). They start texting. She likes him while he’s inside her phone. But when they interact in real life she imagines all sorts of horrifying scenarios for what he’s up to.

Her professor, Dr. Zabala (Isabella Rossellini), has stories about ants and bees that seem to apply to Margot’s situation with Robert. In spite of Margot’s vivid imagination, in spite of the ants and the bees, in spite of her own inner feminist voice talking sense – Margot keeps seeing Robert. They kiss (terribly), they have a date, they have sex. He loves it. She hates it.

Emilia Jones and Geraldine Viswanathan in Cat Person

Margot’s roommate is Taylor (Geraldine Viswanathan). Taylor moderates a feminist subreddit called β€œThe Vagenda.” According to her all men are evil. This feeds into Margot’s split personality approach to Robert – not liking him but continuing to cater to him.

Eventually there’s a big confrontation between Margot and Robert. It includes a very well done fight sequence that was the most exciting part of the movie. Another well directed scene was the crazy awkward sex scene between Margot and Robert.

Susanna Fogel directed Cat Person, which was why I wanted to watch it. She did a fine job with what she had, but the story itself was disappointingly jumbled and failed to make a clear point.

In the end, I wasn’t sure if Robert was really a bad guy or if Margot was really an enlightened feminist.

You can see the film on Hulu or Prime Video. If you watch it, please share what you thought about it in the comments.

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