The Bechdel, Russo and Race Test: Blind Dating

Blind Dating stared Chris Pine, a blind man looking for love, and it just barely passed the Bechdel test.

There were several named women in Blind Dating who spoke to each other, but they almost always talked about men, and they were more likely to speak to a man than to talk to another woman. However, because there was instance where two named women conversed over something besides a man (e.g., the psychotherapist briefly told Pine’s mother, “I’m here if you need me”) the film passed the Bechdel test.

In respect to the Russo test, there was one male bodybuilder in Blind Dating who was hinted at as being gay, but he only had 10 seconds of screen time so there was no way the character (and thus the film) could have passed any of the test’s requirements.

As to the race test, there were several Black, Asian and Indian characters in the film, and there were a couple of instances where non-White characters talked to each other without mentioning White people so the film did pass the race test.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a film passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in film. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the film.

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