May 15, 2011
Did you see Bridesmaids? Because it's really funny. A lot of people saw it, sure, though not enough to achieve my desired goal of it becoming the #1 movie in America. That's because Thor is the #1 movie in America, for the second week.
According to the head of distribution for the the studio that released Bridesmaids, Nikki Rocco, coming in second on opening weekend is "pretty good considering this is a picture titled Bridesmaids." Maybe a little defeatist there, Rocco, about a movie that it's your job to promote? What about a picture titled Thor? I'll tell you right now, I'm not interested in a picture titled Thor, particularly if it's directed by Kenneth Branagh. I'll see Shakespeare by Kenneth Branagh, but a Norse god comic book adaptation? I'll stick with Bridesmaids.
Also, am I just being paranoid, or is the (female) head of distribution for Universal implying that a movie primarily by and about women is inherently less watchable than a movie by and about men? She's just flat out saying that, right?
Bridesmaids is a very funny movie, and Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote, co-produced, and stars) is wildly talented, but it's most notable for two things. First, Melissa McCarthy, aka Sookie from "Gilmore Girls", as the sister of the groom. She is a comic genius, and her character is, in Manohla Dargis's words, almost radical: a fat lady whose sexual confidence and outrageously brash physical comedy aren't signs of any pathology or deeper insecurity, but are accepted as simple, hilarious fact. Sort of like a female Jack Black. Everything she says and does is funny.
Also, Bridesmaids might be the best example of the then-nonexistent movies about believable, cool women that Cynthia Heimel described in her wonderful short essay from 1992, "I'd Like to Lose it At the Movies", which you can read on Google Books:
She then goes on to imagine her own movie studio, where she would remake every movie that stars Jack Nicholson with a woman playing his role: "Picture Five Easy Pieces with Goldie Hawn as a lapsed concert pianist who is so tortured by the ironies of life that she has to pick up Matt Dillon at a bowling alley and fuck his brains out." Yeah, it's from 1992. Still.
It's not perfect, it's heavy on the poop jokes, and it's 100% formulaic, but I think Cynthia Heimel finally got the movie she was looking for. And it's a lot funnier than Baby Mama.
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