Dear Every Guy With Whom I’ve Seen A R-Rated Comedy in the Movie Theater2comments
Dear Every Guy With Whom I’ve Seen A R-Rated Comedy in the Movie Theater,
When the The Hangover came out I went to see it (in the theater I might add!), and, for the most part, thought it was hilarious. Considering it’s a movie about a bunch of stereotyped dudes at a bachelor party in Vegas, I appreciated that the movie skipped past some of the more obvious “man-off-the-leash” tropes like the skanky strip club or sex debauchery at a roadside whorehouse. Okay, it isn’t exactly a feminist masterwork, what with the dumber than dumb hooker, and the fact that all female characters in the movie are either merely there to keep the furniture warm or complete nagging bitches. But I didn’t get overly offended, and I laughed at almost all the right places.
I say all this to give credit where credit is due. Sure, they did tack all that stripper crap on at the end, but so long as I skipped the end credits, I could, for once, make it most of the way through an R-rated dude comedy without the typical barrage of ignorant waifs and unmotivated, unnecessary boob shots. It’s fair to say that I (and we ladies collectively), have endured a great deal in the typical R-Rated comedy. Did I complain that 75% of the jokes in Hot Tub Time Machine were about straight guys calling each other gay? Okay, yes I did. But I didn’t sigh audibly, or if I did sigh audibly, I at least didn’t sigh super loudly.
Having said all that, I’m now brought to a movie of which I’ve grown very fond: Bridesmaids. The Hangover is about a group of people celebrating the fact that their friend is getting married, and during the course of the movie, a ton of funny shit happens. Similarly, Bridesmaids is about a group of people celebrating the fact that their friend is getting married and during the course of the movie, a ton of funny shit happens. Both films have outrageous, over-the-top scenarios. Both films star funny, charismatic people. Both use the opposite sex as either a punch-line or a side note. My point (yes, I’m sure you’ve figured out where I’m going with this) is that The Hangover isn’t considered a comedy only guys would want to see. And Bridesmaids shouldn’t be a comedy only for girls. So no, Bridesmaids isn’t The Hangover for women. It’s more like The Hangover about women. An important distinction.
I’m a little irritated that people are looking at the success or failure of Bridesmaids as a litmus test about whether there is a place in the market for female driven comedies. Didn’t we already settle that question with Sex and The City? Though, to be fair, the success of SATC was not contributed to by straight men. The fact that 90%* of the female and gay population between ages 16 and 60 went to see it was it’s recipe for success. Sure, Sex and The City 2 didn’t do as well at the box office as the first one, but that’s because it totally sucked. Hall Pass didn’t crush any financial records either, but no one wondered if that was a symptom of the white-male buddy comedy no longer being culturally relevant.
We all know that female driven comedies can succeed at the box office, but they are usually of the romantic and saccharin variety. So yes, in that regard, Bridesmaids can be seen as a trailblazer. Katherine Heigl is not in it, and huzzah for that. Those films succeed in spite of almost zero attendance by straight men.
But really, that’s a side note to what I’m trying to say. I’m not saying you should see Bridesmaids because it is important to support equitable gender roles in society in general and the cinema in particular. It is up to you to decide if that’s something that is important to you. Watching a movie you don’t want to see is not, perhaps, the best way to express a commitment to gender equality anyway. But it’s not like I’m saying I think you’re anti-woman if you don’t want to go see Something Borrowed. In fact, if you did see Something Borrowed you’d be seeing it by yourself because I’m sure as hell not sitting through it.
And I’m not saying that you should go see Bridesmaids because I sat through all your dude comedies and you owe me. I’m saying you should go see Bridemaids for the same reason I went to see The Hangover, Superbad, 40 Year Old Virgin, Pineapple Express, Hot Tub Time Machine and There’s Something About Mary… because it is fucking funny. Yes, there will be a scene where women try on dresses, but the scene ends with (spoiler alert) one character vomiting on another woman’s head while another character shits in the street. It’s hilarious.
I could try and guilt you into it… say something about your mother or your sister or your hypothetical daughter, but I won’t, because that seems like something Katherine Heigl would do in one of those movies neither of us wants to see. But Bridesmaids is not that movie. So you better get your ass to the theater mister. I mean it.
*totally specious statistic