Bridesmaids is Funny, or, the Women in Film Epiphany

Before you start reading, I’m going to drop a bomb on you. Bridesmaids is NOT a chick flick. Repeat, NOT a chick flick. not a romantic comedy. Not a romantic dramedy. It’s a comedy with women. And there is a huge difference.

Okay, I’ve harped on this a lot. Women aren’t given a large enough presence in film. We aren’t afforded the same chances men are, in every film position across the board. In 2010, the first female won Best Director at the Oscars. It was the FIRST TIME. We all believe we’ve come so far, that equality is just within our grasp. And then we look at the film industry.The numbers are dismal. LA Times talks about this in an article from February, which you can read here. And this is all just behind the scenes. Movies about women? Yeah, how many times in the last year have you gone to see any one of the two or three films that came out where a woman starred? You didn’t. You wanna know why? We (men and women) are brainwashed by Hollywood to believe that a film about a woman/women is a chick flick/sappy romance/all around bad film. After The Brave One, a film starring Jodie Foster about a woman seeking revenge for the death of her husband, bombed at the box office, Fox execs said that they would never make another film starring a woman because no one wants to see them. Heh. Yeah. When three films in a row come out and either do well or do poorly at the box office, it’s considered a trend. So when three superhero films come out and do fantastic at the box office, what happens? They make a billion more. So what happened when three films directed by women just aren’t that well made and bomb? It means that women can’t direct movies and that all such films will bomb. No matter the fact that movies made by men bomb all the time.Oh, and that Wonder Woman television show we were all waiting for? It’s already been canceled. Not even one episode was filmed. No one wants to risk making a film or television show about women. Here’s why: the reigning ideology in Hollywood is that the biggest audience going to see films are young men 16-25. Girls only go to see films with their boyfriends. Yes, this is how Hollywood thinks. Make films that appeal to that audience majority. And young men don’t want to see films about women.But are the majority of film going audiences young men because young men are more likely to see movies? Or are they the majority because most of the films coming out today are directed at them?

So here’s the thing. Bridesmaids was hilarious. It was hysterical. It was gross and raunchy and touching and just as funny, if not funnier, than any of Judd Apatow’s films (he executive produced, by the way). It had all the elements any comedy needs to be successful. I even saw groups of guys coming into the theater, no girlfriends or sisters in sight. By the end of the night, they were just as in tears as I was. And it starred and was written by women.

So here’s the deal. You probably should have seen this film on opening weekend. Opening weekend box office revenues are pretty much the deciding factor when it comes to, “do we or don’t we make other films like this one?” But go see it anyway. Go see it because it’s a funny movie and it will make you laugh. Go see it because Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are actually pretty great actors and their onscreen relationship is something we all can relate to.

Go see it because it’s important to the future of women in film.

What do you think? Will you go see Bridesmaids?

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