"Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" (2019): Wyldstyle Was a Terrible Girlfriend
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is the 2019 sequel to Lego Movie (duh) and I love it to little pieces. I think I only saw the first film twice whereas I saw the second film fifty times. I mean, what's not to love? There's plenty of awesome music, jokes, and finally more female characters!
Unfortunately, watching the sequel over and over also made me realize that WyldStyle (aka Lucy) was actually a terrible girlfriend! In fact, she's the reason for everything: she's the reason the Duplo aliens invaded and also the reason Emmet went dark and became Rex.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that I don't hate WyldStyle and this article is not about bashing her. I'm just analyzing her character as presented in the film.
The movie actually opens with WyldStyle somewhat fondly mocking Emmet for being so chipper and happy in spite of the fact that they are living in an apocalypse after the Duplo alien invasion.
She talks about him as if he's childish simply because he refuses to be grim and dark and brooding. In fact, WyldStyle's monologue makes it clear why she was with Batman before Emmet: Batman is the stereotypical broody, dark guy.
But we see how "strong" and "grown up" Batman is when he is introduced sitting with Alfred and crying.
There's nothing wrong with crying.
But Batman chooses to wallow in those emotions, to the point that they rule his life! He is not strong because he is broody and dark and lonely. Those things make him weak! They cripple him!
Later in the film, Batman chooses love when he proposes to Queen Whatevra Wa'Nabi (the cutest thing ever) and his newfound love makes him strong. No longer is he wallowing in self-pity and tears. Now he can face the world and do what needs to be done.
Because true love doesn't weaken us -- it strengthens us!
Emmet is actually the strongest person in the entire film. He is kind, compassionate, and knows the value of peace, hope, and joy. Those are strengths.
Choosing to be happy in spite of ones circumstances, choosing to just go on having hope, is a tremendous strength! And Emmet has it!
Every day, he refuses to be depressed about his situation, instead getting up, singing about how awesome the world is, being grateful for what he has, and being himself.
It's not denial. Emmet isn't pretending to be happy. He's choosing to be happy!
It's actually a very emotionally mature, emotionally strong reaction to crappy circumstances.
Unfortunately, WyldStyle can't see how strong Emmet is.
When General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) mocks Emmet as not very special, WyldStyle stands up for him with a series of backhanded compliments that just wind up insulting him.
WyldStyle doesn't think much of Emmet just because he's not a macho warrior and lets him know it in front of an entire crowd of people. This is not only a crappy thing to do to your boyfriend; it's also sexist.
Mocking and bullying men for being feminine is as much a part of sexism as mocking women for being masculine. Feminine and masculine is all about personality traits and has nothing to do with biology.
No one should be made to feel like shit because their personality doesn't match up with some bigoted stereotypes.
Given the LEGO company's history with sexism, I was actually happy to see them touch up on this in the movie. It will probably go over the heads of many children, but hopefully, the parents in the audience were paying attention and won't go home and tell their daughters they have to play with pretty, pink LEGO sets that are insultingly easy to build simply because they are girls with "lady brains."
Thankfully, I had a mother who didn't buy into that tripe and bought me the more advanced "boy" sets that I asked for.
We learn later in the film that WyldStyle actually "dyed" her hair with marker in an attempt to make herself more "grown up" and serious. She was also the original singer for the pop song "Everything is Awesome," which heavily implies that she was once a cutesy, innocent person like Emmet, but for whatever reason, decided that she hated herself and wanted to change.
So basically, WyldStyle's disdain for Emmet was a result of her disdain for herself. She was pretty much projecting her own insecurities onto him, and as a result, tried to make him change into someone dark and broody.
Rex is Emmet from another timeline, a dark and broody asshole who only cares about himself (basically Lego Batman). He goes back in time in an attempt to save Emmet from becoming him (which creates a sort of paradox but that's not important here).
Rex was only able to come into existence because of the insecurities Emmet suffered after WyldStyle told him he wasn't good enough.
Fueling this bitter fire was also the fact that Emmet fell under the dryer while trying to rescue WyldStyle, who never came to save him and instead left him for hours -- which is an entire lifetime to a LEGO minifigure.
Angry and resentful, Emmet became Rex and flew off in a spaceship to adventure on his own, forgetting his girlfriend and all his friends.
WyldStyle eventually meets Rex and notices he is an asshole, but she is too busy being mean, grumpy, and surly to recognize that she has essentially turned Emmet into a male version of herself.
As I said higher up, it's actually WyldStyle's fault that the Duplos invaded.
Emmet offered the Duplo's a heart made of bricks as a sign of peace. More Duplos came, and -- taking that as a sign of aggression -- WyldStyle quickly attacked without provocation, causing the massive invasion that ruined Bricksburg.
WyldStyle is the definition of toxic masculinity. When people talk about that, she's what they're talking about. She's all violence first, questions later. She completely ignores her heart, instead always leading with her head, and it results in catastrophe.
True masculinity is just the opposite. True masculinity doesn't put down femininity but respects feminine people as equals who have valuable things to offer outside of logic and violence -- such as creativity and compassion.
True masculinity is leading with the heart but having the strength to turn to violence only when necessary. Think Disney's Hercules.
You could also say that WyldStyle's insecurities are also a result of sexism: she hated herself for being feminine (because being feminine is associated with women and thus looked down upon), so she became toxically masculine and embodied toxic masculine traits as an act of selfhate.
Again, there's a difference between toxic masculinity and normal masculinity. If you don't understand the difference, then you won't understand my babbling.
Thankfully, instead of being handwaved and called a gendered slur (aka a bitch), WyldStyle is allowed to be human, make mistakes, and learn from them.
She learns to have hope during the dark times, and that when things aren't awesome, you have to make them awesome.
It's likely that WyldStyle didn't save the original Emmet because she was so busy brooding and being grumpy and sad. Once she chose to be happy and have hope, she was able to get out of the storage bin and save Emmet from Rex.
Because WyldStyle comes back for Emmet, Emmet never becomes Rex, which causes Rex to disappear (even though he should have disappeared when he saved Emmet, but whatever. It's a kid's film).
WyldStyle then realizes she was wrong and apologizes to Emmet. She made a mistake, she recognized it, she apologized, and she didn't repeat the behavior.
This is good.
Life goes on.
And what's more, WyldStyle finally learns to love herself, because the movie ends with her keeping her original hair and embracing her true upbeat personality. Now she walks down the street with Emmet, singing that everything is awesome, rather than standing off to the side and mocking him.
WyldStyle is actually very well written. Again, she is allowed to be flawed without being called a bitch or otherwise having sexism hurled at her. Instead, she is allowed to be a fully three dimensional human being.
WyldStyle is basically what we feminists are talking about when we talk about Strong Female Characters.
And because Emmet is responsible for his own actions, he also apologizes. He actually takes responsibility for what he did in destroying the wedding, rather than continue to point fingers at his friends, which shows that he has grown emotionally as well.
I mean, being emotionally abused by your girlfriend doesn't give you an excuse to banish everyone to eternal darkness -- even if it was on accident.
Emmet made that mistake because his weakness is letting what others think get to him. This is something that was touched on in the first film as well, with Emmet trying so desperately to fit in by following the instructions.
So the two main characters overcome their emotional wounds so that they can better love each other.
The perfect ending to a perfect film.
Unbelievable. Super cool. Outrageous. And amazing.
Own this fantastic sequel now!
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© 2019 Ash