Catch Me If You Can is an American biographical drama with some elements of comedy about the life of infamous con artist Frank William Abagnale Jr’s life, who was employed as a co - pilot, a pediatrician, and a lawyer all before his 21st birthday. Frank was able to master the art of forging checks at such a high degree that between the ages of 17 and 20 managed to forge over 1 million dollars in checks and consistently escape the grasp of the Detective Carl Hanratty who was pursuing him.
The movie was released on December 25, 2002, and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The star-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role and Tom Hanks in the supporting role as Detective Carl Hanratty. The cast also includes Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Pompeo.
As this movie did extremely well at the box office raining in 164 million dollars and scoring high on manly audience reviews it does not pass simple gender equality movie standard tests such as the Bechdel test or the Mako Mori test.
The Bechdel test is an analysis to see if movies show the same type of respectful character development to women as they do to men. It was developed in 1985 by a cartoonist Alison Bechdel in a comic strip called “The Rule”. The test can be conducted by seeing is a movie has at least two female characters, who have a conversation with each other, and it can not be pertaining to a man.
It is hard to believe that Catch Me If You Can with such a high female cast does not fit these requirements. All the main characters female never even speak to each other. So they are stopped at the second checkpoint of the Bechdel test.
The second test that analyzes gender equality in the telling of a movie the Mako Mori test. This test was invented after some criticism was made to the Bechdel test. After the movie, Pacific Rim was released with a strong female with her own narrative that wasn’t related to a man.
Sadly the movie Catch Me If You Can also doesn’t fit this test. It doesn’t fit this test because all of the females in the movie are just plot devices to show how many women Frank Abagnale was able to seduce or to show his skills of frauding his way around life.
I propose that we use a new test to show if movies show women in not just a morally positive light but an educationally positive light. My test would be that a movie must have at least three women, at least two of them have jobs, and at least one of them has a job that requires some form of a college degree.
One movie that fits this criterion is the movie “The Martian” (2015). This movie fits because it contains many female characters who are astronauts and work as a scientist for NASA.