I'd like to talk about something that really bothered me about the film, Gwen Stacy.
end of spoilers
A lot of praise has been given to Gwen's characterization and how she was the "perfect girlfriend" (which I feel like is an insult to Mary Jane) for Peter...why though? Because she's shown as such. She has ZERO flaws, she's patient, understanding, sweet, adores Peter no matter what, she's never wrong, doesn't lose her cool, she has no conflicts, and has no goals other then being Peter's girlfriend. She's given basically no character development, we know next to nothing about her. She falls in love with Peter but we never actually know why. She's just completely fallen head-over-heels for him for no reason whatsoever. Sure she sees him stand up for someone but that's it. It's the same kind of non-realistic romance Twilight is criticized so harshly for.
We learn a lot about Peter, but what do we know about Gwen though? We know that her father going out at night worries her, but that's as far as our look on how her relationship with George goes. When George dies Gwen is nowhere to be seen. The film builds George's relationship with Peter more then his own child. George tells Peter to stay away from Gwen yet Gwen is never given the chance to voice how she feels and how she can make her own choices in life. We know she likes science, but as the film shows she's only Connors intern to be there to flirt with Peter. What are her goals? Does she want to be a scientist? A doctor? A nurse? Why is she there? It's never told or asked about. Yes she does help create the formula to beat Lizard, but she's given no credit and George is shown as a real "hero" in the end with Peter.
As I mentioned all the praise for Gwen I feel as an insult towards MJ so let's look at what we knew about Mary Jane from the first film. Early in the film we are told that she wants to become an actor and move to New York City and through the trilogy we see her work towards her goal. We learn that she comes from an abusive family as well. She made mistakes, she had flaws, she said the wrong things, she got angry, and she didn't take Peter's crap. In other words, she was human. There was actually a character there and not some doll of a woman.
This is in no means an insult towards Emma Stone who I think did the best she could with what she was given and I say that as someone who is not a fan of Emma Stone. As I said before, I thought the film was incredibly well cast it's just everything else that has the problems.