Why Ambers in Film Are Always the Worst

There isn’t a time in my life that I can’t recall identifying as one half of “The Ambers”. My best friend and I share the same name and have been best friends for 30 years now. Maybe it’s kitschy to share a name but I’ve got to say, it’s also proved to be rather convenient over the years considering we have often come as a package deal. 

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Look at us. Just a couple of regular, wholesome Ambers.

We hope we are raising the bar with our name because I’m not sure you’ve ever noticed but there is a definite THING with Ambers. Literally every Amber in the history of film or television has been either ill-mannered, ill-fated, or both. Like a mean-spirited stripper or the dim-witted cheerleader in a horror film who’s always the first one to get killed because she runs up the stairs to her bedroom instead of running out the door front door. It’s tragic, really.

If you’ll humor me, I’d like to share some hard-hitting evidence

Exhibit A:

Amber from Clueless (or “Ambular” if you prefer) who was a total snob, a “valley girl”, and basically the 90’s version of someone who “literally can’t even”.

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Exhibit B:

This one happens to be my personal favorite and is a classic case of an Amber both ill-fated and ill-mannered. Amy Poehler’s recurring role as “Amber” on SNL was overly confident, one-legged, flatulent, and proud of it. She was always going on VHI dating shows and saying things like “Yah, I farted. Jealous?” and “Here’s why I’m the bomb: I’m super fine, I’m round-the-clock-horny, and I got one leg. JEALOUS?”

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Whatever this Amber lacked in appendages she made up for in sass and poor taste.

Next up we’ve got two Ambers who had a rough start but against all odds, are trying to make a better name for themselves…

Exhibits C + D:

Amber from Sofia the First. If you can’t tell from disdainful arch in her eyebrow, this Amber is both bratty and entitled. She’s mean, shallow, and divisive but it’s Disney so they’re trying to give her an arc. You know, have her learn a few life lessons and become a better person.

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And then we’ve got the actual person, Amber Rose, who started out as an exotic dancer/adult film star but seems to have made a better name for herself. This is also a personal favorite because it just so happens that my-best-friend-Amber’s middle name is Rose. I mean, you just can’t make this stuff up.

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Then we’ve got the same story, but in reverse with an Amber who started off well but then lost her way.

Exhibit E: Amanda Bynes as Amber.

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Next up is a whole group of Ambers in film that you’ll miss if you’re not paying close attention. We’ll call this Exhibit F:

The first in this group is an Amber that I cannot actually show you because she was a stripper with a neck brace in the movie That’s My Boy and well…I couldn’t find any decent pictures of her. It was that bad.

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Even in the recent Spy movie starring Melissa McCarthy, which touted some “kick-ass women”,

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there is a scene in which Susan and Nancy are discussing what their spy names should be and Nancy says her name will be Amber Valentine, to which Susan replies, “Why? Is she a porn star?”

You know how labrador retrievers are always named Bo? Well, exotic dancers are always named Amber. It’s the same thing. This carries over from movies to television too. Remember last season on Modern Family when Phil and Claire’s trashy neighbors caused all that trouble? That was classic work of an Amber. (Interesting side-note: Steve Zahn is my husband’s doppelgänger, so maybe I was just destined to be an Amber.)

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Finally, I give you the Amber that is the epitome of this unfortunate stigma:

Amber from the movie The Other Woman.

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She is not the wife of the leading man, not even the mistress, she is the third wench in the equation. She’s always a little slow on the uptake and she’s definitely not the brains of the operation. Her job is to be bubbly, take selfies, run on the beach,

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and do things like play paper-rock-scissors to see who has to sleep with the guy.

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Now don’t get me wrong. This Amber is bangin’. I have no problem being associated with the likes of Kate Upton every now and again. She’s hot and that’s cool and everything, but what’s the deal? Seriously. Can someone write a part for an Amber who happens to be a fun loving librarian? Or a small-town veterinarian looking for love? Or a witty engineer who moonlights as a stand up comedian? Or a doctor? 

Just sayin.

 

image* This is Day 20 of a 31 Day series on Keeping It Real. You can find all of the posts in this series here I hope you follow along and join the conversation! *

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