Why the Joker/Harley Romance Movie Is a Bad Idea
I love the Joker and Harley Quinn, don't get me wrong. I just don't think a "love story" type of movie is a step in the right direction.
Earlier this week it was announced that Warner Bros. wants to make a Harley Quinn/Joker love story-type of movie. Which I wholeheartedly disagree with. If you know anything about Harley and Jokers relationship in the comics, you know that it's not exactly something you should romanticize.
Here's a little history into the Harley/Joker relationship that not everyone knows or likes to acknowledge...
The Joker is a classic DC villain. Probably one of the most well known villains in all of comic book history.
Harley Quinn is a bit new to the comic book scene when you consider that the Joker's first appearance in comics was in 1940, and Harley Quinn's was in 1993. (Although her first ACTUAL appearance was in the 1992 Batman the Animated Series...Tah-may-to, tah-mah-to). Despite Harley being so 'new' compared to the Joker everyone instantly fell in love with her and the Joker's dynamic. They were the ultimate villain couple. The DC Bonnie and Clyde.
And for those of you that are only familiar with the Batman the Animated Series Harley, and the Suicide Squad Harley, it's understandable that you would think that a Harley/Joker romance type of movie would be a good idea. For those of us that have read the comics, let's just say that relationship isn't all sunshine and rainbows.
With this movie, I'm afraid that there's going to be a new generation of kids out there that think that a Harley/Joker relationship is #goals. IT IS NOT. And I'm not just talking about the villainy aspect of it. In general: This is NOT a relationship that should EVER be glorified.
I mean, sure, in the cartoon the violence against Harley was meant as a gag. "Oh, Harley's being annoying. Let's shove her off the desk! Haha!" But that whole 'pushing her around to get a laugh' in the cartoon escalated to actual physical abuse and attempted murder multiple time in the comics. Seriously. The Joker has chained Harley up and beaten her, shot her point blank, and given her a bouquet of dynamite...on more than one occasion.
Let's look at the facts, shall we?
-Harleen Quinzel. Trained therapist.
-The Joker. The Clown King of Crime.
-The Joker psychologically manipulates Harleen to become so enamored with him that she does his bidding.
-Makes her do his dirty work.
-Insults her intelligence, despite the fact that she has a PhD. (That's why she is shown to be such a ditz. She does it intentionally because the Joker is constantly telling her she is stupid. So she believes it.)
-Abuses her constantly. (Mentally and physically).
-Tries to kill her. A lot.
-And yet she always comes back to him because he's messed up her head so bad that she thinks this is love.
My point is, if this Harley/Joker movie happens I know that they're going to glorify the hell out of this relationship and practically skim over the abusive aspects of it just like they did in Suicide Squad. Yes, they showed some it, but in the end it was all about 'their love for each other' and blah blah blah...HE STRAPPED HER DOWN AND ELECTROCUTED HER AND THEN MANIPULATED HER INTO CHUCKING HERSELF INTO A VAT OF CHEMICALS. WHY ARE WE IGNORING THIS?? And that was AFTER they toned down the story. (Also, in the original comics, he shoves her in that vat while she's screaming "NO!") They changed their relationship on screen because they knew that audiences wouldn't like the glorification of abuse against women. HUH. WHO'DA THUNK??
In reality, the Joker never would have gone back and saved her in the end. Harley is his scapegoat. Any horrible situation he gets her in, is her job to get out of.
I'm tired of people saying that they want a "Joker/Harley" relationship. (I mean, if you want to be on COPS that bad, go for it...) I'm tired of Hot Topic and other stores making a profit from Joker/Harley merchandise during Valentine's Day. I'm tired of people ignoring what this relationship is: The WORST relationship to EVER be glorified in the HISTORY of fictional relationships.
THIS is what a Joker/Harley relationship is...
It's the kind of relationship where when Harley gets pregnant (Yeah, THAT happens) and she's too afraid to tell the Joker because she's afraid that he would have forced her to have an abortion or just killed her. Not exactly the "family man" Suicide Squad painted him out to be...
So, I guess my point is: If they make this movie it would be bad because:
A.) In order to sell it and have audiences like it, they would have to change a lot about Harley and the Joker's relationship. Which will make it not comic book accurate. Which would make a lot of die-hard comic book fans mad.
B. )If they DID make it comic book accurate it wouldn't make a lot of money because it would essentially be a movie glorifying relationship based on abusing a woman in the worst ways possible. No one wants to see that.
The only way for this movie to work to make both sides happy would be for the movie to depict the relationship as it is in the comics (maybe a bit toned down...or a lot) and end with Harley realizing the horrible situation she's in and leaving the Joker. It would work well in connecting Harley to the Gotham City Sirens, which is a movie that Warner Bros. planned to make but is getting pushed back thanks to this Harley/Joker movie. Because if they did that, you'd get to see Harley's redemption arc post-Joker.
Gotham City Sirens movie: Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn team up to get back at the men in their lives for screwing them over. Also, possible Harley/Ivy relationship.
Harley/Joker movie: Abusive relationship that will be toned down so they can get a bunch of pre-teens to buy all the merch at Hot Topic.
NO THANK YOU.