Temis the Vorta wrote:
Emphasize that Dejah Thoris is the leader of her noble embattled people, blahblahblah. Here comes the Earthman to help her. Not rescue her, help her. Don't be shy about explaining his Confederate backstory. There's still some romance there (much as I may find that phenomenon yucky).
That's about as much as you can do to make this story female-friendly.
Temis, that's pretty much exactly how the movie plays out.