Ok so I was going to reblog this and add on, but I want to deviate a little from the original post, and specifically address a comment made in response to it. But the original post is here (x).
Alright so this is the comment from @mrsgilbertholtzmann I want to touch on just a little bit:
Now I’m going to start off with yes, there is absolutely truth to this comment in the sense that with it being one singular movie, where there are four main characters, this means there is limited screen time to truly flesh out individual characters and give them back stories - because plot, and action etc. This can be wonderful for fandom, look characters for us to really delve into and play with, create head cannons on their history, how they would act in certain situations etc. So no we cannot truly say what the creators of the movie TRULY intended. BUT we can work with what we are given. This is what the original post is actually about.
1. Holtzmann is not fantastic with feelings. Her speech at the end of the movie makes this one pretty obvious straight off. It’s very rehearsed and stilted. She does not speak with easy nor comfort.
Physics is the study of movement of bodies and space and it can unlock the mysteries of the universe but it cannot answer the essential question of what is our purpose here and to me the purpose of life is to love and to love is what you have shown me. I didn’t think that I would ever really have a friend until I met Abby and then I feel like I have a family of my own and I love you, thank you.
Two other aspects of this scene often ignored, firstly Abby’s face during the whole speech for starters, but this face right here, this is the exact moment where Holtzmann says she didn’t think she would every really have a friend until she met Abby.
This is completely new information to Abby. They’ve been friends for potentially years depending on your views of canon timeline. But Holtzmann has clearly never spoken about her past in great depth, not enough to reveal she’d never had friends or even a good family environment.
Secondly the sound Holtzmann makes once she’s done and sits down, and the fact she won’t even make eye contact with any of the others as they acknowledge what she has said.
This is someone really uncomfortable with sharing her feelings and any potential response she receives.
2. The majority of the movie Holtzmann only engages in conversation when it is about the science, either loosely or directly. Beyond that it’s jokes (primarily at Erin’s expense) or comments made to another character/s. Now this one is probably a little vague. But hear me out, I’m going to define conversation as being an exchange of ideas, thought, or feelings between two or more people. I’m also going to add on to that, being involved in a discussion means contributing more than a line here or there.
Now not every interaction Holtzmann has would be classed as a discussion. So just a couple of examples.
The speech we just looked at, not a discussion, she said what she wanted to say, then closed down, there was no exchange of thoughts and feelings, it was one sided.
Her first scene, where she introduces herself to Erin, other than really the opening statement, and the occasional remark to Abby. Most of this scene is Abby doing the talking.
The ghost in the subway, Holtzmann actually engages here a little more than she has thus far, but it’s about the science, the equipment she’s created and what needs to happen.
The same can be said for when they’re trying out her new toys in the alley (both times)
Holtzmann has the least amount of lines in the movie that the other three ladies. Most of her lines are short and amusing. But note when I say amusing here I mean it is amusing to us as an audience (which is a whole other thing).
3. Science is her safe place. This one is fairly obvious, its clearly somewhere she often retreats to. The movie takes place over a very short timeline yet Holtzmann has created all these wonderful toys to play with within that time. Now don’t get me wrong she’s very good at what she does, but that’s a lot of time she’s spending on this stuff. Science is also where she feels most comfortable to engage with new people. It’s where she’s happy to be open and talk more (as I just covered off.
Things Holtzmann is not:
1. A sex god - this is not canon, this is not implied at all. Feelings and sex for some are absolutely two different things. So saying Holtzmann is bad with feelings does not automatically mean she cannot also be a sex god. BUT the fact that Holtzmann is bad with feelings, and does not easily engage in conversation with new people other than science based conversations indicates that meeting and having sex with random strangers is probably not something she is doing on the regular.
2. Always knows what to say and it’s hilarious - consider what you actually find “hilarious” about Holtzmann. Think about the moments in the movie really hard. Now ask yourself this question, would you find that line, that action just as funny if you were in the scene, if it was real life. You’ll probably find if you really give it some thought, that answer is probably no. That’s because what’s funny about Holtzmann is humorous to us as an audience ONLY.
3. Makes you gay - now talk about a problematic statement right there. Now where to actually start here. So sure it’s all fun and games to say I was straight until I saw this person and now I’m gay. It’s humorous, everyone has a good laugh, and it’s overused something shocking. What you are implying is being gay is a choice, it is something that can be changed about a person. I’m going to assume that the majority of the people who will read this post would define their sexuality as something different from strictly heterosexual. Now consider how you feel about been told that your sexuality which might have taken you years of heartache, anguish, and struggle to come to terms with, is really only just a choice. It’s laughable even. Ignoring all of that though, again you’re projecting a lot of your outside opinions onto a character. If you met this awkward, admittedly attractive, science geek, in horribly mismatched clothing and coloured glasses, are you going to automatically think “well shit I never realised this but I’m totally gay!” Probably not, let’s be real.
In summary YES we can all have different head cannons of Holtzmann, or any of the other ladies, they don’t all have to be the same. We all do see different things in the movie. BUT there are some clearly defined aspects of Holtzmann’s character from the movie being actively ignored or twisted.