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Hell-Raising Heroines: Three Ladies With Spitfire

A woman breathing fire

In this age of bland romantic comedy leads, when the feminine ideal seems to mix two parts sweetly smiling Jennifer Aniston with three parts saucer-eyed Rapunzel, nothing can bring more satisfaction than the antiheroine.

She's a woman, short in temper and long in neurotic tics, whose life is defined by her worst choices. If she's not insecure and sharp-tongued, she's prone to extended sulky spells. If she's not marrying an arrogant man, she's becoming an arrogant married man's mistress. Maybe she's young and hopelessly narcissistic, yet endlessly rejectable. Maybe she's older than is demographically desirable, but far less wise than she feels she should be by now. No matter. We love her for her flaws.

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