Evelyn: Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
Evelyn: I… am a librarian.
Ah, The Mummy! I know it’s a silly little movie, but something about it is just so damn enjoyable. I barely remember the sequel, and I didn’t even see the third movie of the trilogy, so I can’t speak to those. But man, do librarians love The Mummy, if only because it gave us one of the best quotes re: librarianship in the history of all things ever. When Evelyn passionately (and drunkenly) proclaims her pride in her profession, I can’t help but want to reply “You go, girl!”
The Mummy came out in 1999, and you can watch the trailer here. Rachel Weisz – one of my personal favorite actresses – portrays Evelyn (Evie) Carnahan, an intelligent but seemingly failed scholar and Egyptologist turned librarian who joins with Brendan Fraser‘s adventure guy Rick O’Connell to… well, it’s all very silly. What started off as a remake of the classic horror film starring Boris Karloff became a blockbuster. Funny how things evolve, am I right?
Oh, but Evie! She’s awkward and bespectacled, and in her first scene she takes down a dozen bookshelves while trying to re-shelve a book. “Oops.” Oh, how we love the clumsy and inept librarian with fuzzy hair and glasses! As much as the filmmakers tried to make Weisz mousy and less gorgeous, it’s impossible. This woman is perfection, and when she receives her inevitable makeover – courtesy of a formfitting black outfit, some eyeliner, and a veil – it’s less of an remake and more like a retooling. Gone are the glasses and mussed up hair piled on top of her head; hello, hottie librarian! In such a popcorn flick as this does “let her hair down” become less of a saying and more of an actual thing a woman must do to seem more womanly and less matronly.
This woman is perfection, srsly.
Evie as a character grows in the expected ways: mousy librarian is mousy; mousy librarian is not so mousy? Not so mousy librarian is hot! Hot librarian falls for adventure guy. Hot librarian and adventure guy live happily every after. Underneath the usual stereotype, however, Evie is focused on her career. The only reason why she agrees to travel with adventure guy and such is because she wants to prove herself to the Bembridge Scholars, a group that rejected her due to lack of experience. Something tells me tangling with a reanimated mummy and other other-worldly things would count as some sort of “experience”.
Despite being a 1920s gal, Evie is a rather modern woman. In some ways she fills the standard Marian the Librarian stereotype of being a forward-looking, career-driven, happily single woman on the outside – but of course she gets the guy at the end, because that’s just what happens in these types of films. Evie may be a bit awkward and goofy (and she certainly can’t hold her liquor), but she’s my kind of girl.