I saw Suicide Squad on Friday and left the theater a lot gay for Margot Robbie. While she was on the screen, I was making noises best described as inadvertent agreements to every single move she made. I’d seen her as the duchess to Leo’s douchebag in The Wolf of Wall Street and watched her do her best impression of someone attracted to Will Smith in Focus, but I hadn’t seen this: Robbie’s baseball bat-wielding Harley Quinn, a straight G of a bad bitch proving that white leather boots, especially when paired with black fishnets and hot pants, are an absolute yes, Margot, yes.
The film, unfortunately, did its best to distract me from the yes-ness of it all. Jared Leto couldn’t figure out which Joker he wanted to channel — Romero or Nicholson or Ledger — and somehow ended up with a hell of a lot of Marc Anthony. Will Smith was jacked. Definitely nice to look at. But, alas, he was still Will Smith, and the sound of his voice, as always, made me think of how the people at The Fresh Prince thought we wouldn’t notice when they swapped dark-skinned Aunt Viv for light-skinned Aunt Viv.
I was trying to figure out how I could splice myself into the movie. Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn and Dr. Erica Dawson/American Boss would drive off into the sunset, Thelma and Louise-style, running forever from the law, but with her on my lap instead of in the passenger’s seat.
Suicide Squad, for franchise's sake, wouldn’t let me ride out that fantasy. For a minute, it was all “Looks like we made it!” Harley Quinn made the move that saved the world but ended up back in prison. I was more than fine with that. She was accountable for her past but got to do her thing.
Then, for patriarchy’s sake, her one true love, the Joker, busts through the cage’s bars and rescues her.
I had it all for that minute and it sure was my kind of feminism. A woman saves the world and she does it in booty shorts. She was triumphant and trashy. With her powder-white face, her ode-to-the-American flag hair and constantly smeared red lipstick, she was a tacky Lady Liberty, half give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and half my ass is redonkulous.
Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Robbie’s Harley Quinn was like, “Fuck that guy.”
George Washington said, “It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.” Harley Quinn was like, “Fuck that guy, too.”
I don’t know dick about comics. The Joker saving Harley Quinn is more than likely just how the story goes. But, in the throes of my grown woman crush, I didn’t need dick. We can have a female presidential candidate. We can have an ass-out heroine. And I can rub on her a bit.
A woman can dream, can’t she?