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Film / Advantageous

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Advantageous is a 2015 science-fiction film directed by Jennifer Phang, released exclusively to Netflix on June 23, 2015. It stars Jacqueline Kim as Gwen and Samantha Kim (no relation) as her daughter, Jules, with supporting characters played by James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong and Jennifer Ehle.

In the not-too-distant future, Gwen Koh is a single mother working as a spokeswoman for the biotech firm Center for Advanced Health and Living, while trying to get her daughter into a good school. At the same time, unemployment is at catastrophic levels, and companies are not interested in hiring middle-aged women.

To hold onto her job, Gwen will have to submit herself to a drastic procedure. However, it requires the ultimate sacrifice...

The film Advantageous provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Gwen 2.0 is this.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Gwen 2.0
  • Big Brother Is Watching: There seems to be CCTV everywhere, and Gwen's employers have access to it.
  • Bio Data: Gwen is seen signing a contract using her thumbprint.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The original Gwen is dead and her clone is an inexact copy. However the original Gwen has secured Jules' future and Gwen 2.0 has reconciled with her cousin and Jules' father, and is starting to grow closer to Jules.
  • Came Back Wrong: Gwen 2.0 does not have any maternal instinct towards Jules and is constantly having to inject herself with medicine to keep her lungs working.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The characters live in a beautiful clean city with many green spaces. However, there is uncontrollable unemployment, rising sterility, child prostitution and a terrorist organisation regularly causing explosions.
    (A woman is crying.)
    Gwen: Upstairs woman or downstairs woman?
    (Jules stands up on her bed and listens, then puts her ear to the floor and listens.)
    Jules: Both.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jules' father turns out to be the husband of Gwen's cousin Lily. Gwen tells him and Lily when she is desperately trying to avoid the procedure.
  • Education Mama: Gwen has good reason to be this, even prep schools are extremely hard to get into.
  • Foot Focus: There are many shots of feet in this movie.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: AI has made many careers extinct.
  • Mega City: Where the film takes place.
  • Men Get Old, Women Get Replaced:
    Gwen: Am I too old, to be of use?
    David: What are you talking about Gwen?
    Gwen: So many women are out of work. Some are in real trouble.
    David: ...To be frank, there is talk among recruiters about letting women stay unemployed and well, return to the home. The perception is it's safer than putting millions of desperate men on the street.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Adds to the grounded tone of the movie.
  • Race Lift: Nearly all the potential models Gwen is given to choose from are white. Jules picks out the Ambiguously Brown option.
  • So Proud of You: Said verbatim by Gwen to Jules. Her daughter is kind, extremely smart and a very gifted artist and pianist. However that may not be enough for the world they live in, it is more than enough for Gwen.
  • Sterility Plague: Quietly happening in the background. Jules theorises that this is because of the insane amount of stress children are under.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: A news broadcast reveals child prostitution is a big problem. When Gwen is in the park she sees a girl (about the same age as Jules) change out of a revealing outfit and red high heels into more age-appropriate clothing.
  • Twinmaker: How the technology really works.