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Tuesday Meditations: ‘MARRYING YOUNG.’ by Rebecca Leib

Okay, a couple more words on Bridesmaids.  Turns out, I’m not as sick of loving to hate this crap-bin of a shit-show.  Admittedly, Laura Mannino did a good job addressing the strengths of the film, and gave it an in-depth, thought-provoking read (which I think was more than it deserved). Check her shit out here: http://saysomethingfunnybitch.tumblr.com/post/6499461206/why-bridesmaids-matters-by-laura-mannino

Laura, your considerations are valid. Listen; if Judd Apatow wanted me to make a movie starring me, I would do it. And yeah, I’d probably wear something flattering while doing so. We are allowed to like and not like things, agree and disagree, but the opportunity taken- FOR ME- seemed to be less groundbreaking and more an exercise in trying to make funny what women may want, and not following through in what intelligent filmmaking could do for women within the industry and in comedy, as a whole.   

Anyhow, I’ve gotta get back to this six-pack of Coors light and this edition of The Bad Girls Club: Love Games.  Oh wait, no.  I think I’m watchhing MASH.   

Still, I was thinking about marriage after all this Bridesmaids talk, and  I’ve decided something.   

I should have married young.  Like,  super baby-prostitute young. Like,  just-had-my period young.  

Well, not that young.  Not like, REPUBLIC OF GAMBIA young. But you get what I’m saying, gentle readers.   

  And you know what? I’m pretty anti-marriage. A lot of the time, people who marry lose sight of their individuality and the meaning of the marital bond. It’s about pleasing everyone else,  about making something into what society deems acceptably celebratory BLAH BLAH BLAH and spending a shit-ton of money on Jordan almonds and an open bar. 

That’s right. I’m anti-open bar. I’ll bring my own, thankyouverymuch.   

After dating a shit-ton of dudes (and I have, for being barely 21), I’ve realized that we all have SO MUCH GODDAMNED BAGGAGE.  Marrying young (and by young, I mean 18-22) allows people to: 

  1. Not learn about themselves as individuals, and grow a sense of co-dependency that is unprecedented therefore, hard to break.  That means, loyalty through a sense of fear! 
  2. Not deal with painful exes when they get paroled.
  3. Not understand the Whitman’s sampler that is a multi-faceted sex life.  Listen, you know what you know, and you’ll LIKE IT!
  4. You won’t have to be jealous or worry about the marriage, because you’ll be spending more time worrying about your student loans, career and your still-present acne.  Yeah,  put Clearasil on your registry, people. 
  5. There is no 5. 

Think about it, people.  I’m all KINDS OF BANGED UP ON MY INSIDES.  Had I married my high school sweetheart, I could be overweight with 3 kids, living in a townhouse in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, happy doing Data entry and spending weekends with my precious Coors Lights and my equally-overweight cat.   

Oh wait, I already do that shit!  I WIN!   
 

You’re welcome, 

Rebecca

'Why Bridesmaids Matters' by Laura Mannino

A few weeks back, my SSFB colleague Rebecca Leib shared her thoughts about the film Bridesmaids.  Per the title of the post, I Hated Bridesmaids, it’s safe to say Rebecca hated it.  I have total respect to Ms. Leib and her opinion, but I would like to share a different perspective on the film. Most of this isn’t necessarily a direct response to Rebecca’s post, but my own thoughts in general.  If you haven’t seen the film yet and want to be surprised, stop reading now. 

I loved Bridesmaids.  I walked into the theater wanting to love it, ready to love it and it didn’t disappoint.  More important than my subjective opinion, I think Bridesmaids matters and it’s a game-changer for women driven studio-released films.  Here’s why: 

  1. This movie isn’t about men, weddings, babies, dieting or shopping or anything else Hollywood believes women only care about.  Forget the title.  Really, this movie is about a human being coming to terms with the inevitable changes of a lifelong friendship while in the midst of regaining control of her life and dusting herself off after the failure of her business. Kristin Wiig’s character, Annie, is a mess.  I found it refreshing that she was a mess not because of the rejection of a man but rather the failure of a business she worked hard to build.  Yes, she desperately seeks the affection of an asshole and is oblivious to the nice guy.  Her relationships with men only come into clear focus once she rediscovers her passion and gets excited about what she does best, baking.
  2. Yes, we see women compete with each other and go to ridiculous levels to win, but what they’re competing for isn’t something we see in a lot of movies.  We normally see women in pop culture competing over men, who’s hotter, who’s richer, who’s thinner, etc.  This is first time we see two women fight over the affection, friendship and acceptance of another woman. 
  3. This movie isn’t about men at all, and doesn’t even celebrates marriage.  In fact, all the married characters in this movie are miserable.  Rose Byrne’s character; Helen is obviously a bored trophy wife.   The one substantial scene between Wendi McLendon-Covey’s character, Rita, and Ellie Kemper’s character, Becca, takes place on the plane when they discuss the horrible sex they have with their husbands.  Again, let’s forget the title.
  4. No period, Spanx, or “high heels are hard” jokes and no one lip-synced around a dining room table singing into a hairbrush.
  5. No fat jokes. (Okay, the scene of Melissa McCarthy’s character, Megan, having “sandwich sex” with her boyfriend during the credits is stupid.)  Megan is obviously larger than the rest of the women, but she is also the most self-assured and confident.  During their ill-fated lamb meat lunch she prided herself on not bloating after she eats, thus the joke was at the expense of Helen, the silly skinny woman who frets needlessly over food.  Also, the post Bridal Shower scene with Megan and Annie on the couch was really endearing and clever.  Just when we were about to chalk her up as the clown of the group, we discover that she’s actually the most intellectually and professionally serious out of the women.
  6. The one “gross out, raunchy” scene was actually a genius statement about the wedding industry.  It was so cathartic to watch people literally shit all over an industry that sells women the idea that they must commit months of their lives and thousands of dollars to spend one day displayed on a pedestal as an ivory draped, perfect little princess.   That scene best represented what I believe this movie was trying to say: Women are people too.
  7. Puppies in berets. 

Other stuff to consider while forming an opinion about the film:

  1. All Apatow movies are 15 minutes too long.  Funny People is 5 different movies.
  2. Kristin Wiig wrote a movie for herself.  So?  If Judd Apatow approached me with a bag of money and said, “People will come see a movie with you as the lead.  Write it and I’ll make it,” I will write a movie with me as the lead and take the bag of money.  I don’t think we should be critical of Kristen for taking advantage of a huge career opportunity.
  3. Women with long skinny legs in cutesy short skirts are allowed to have problems too.  We leave the house everyday wearing clothes that flatter our best features and hide our not-so-great features.  Why would costume designers who work on major studio films dress their leads any different?  If you leave the house wearing a potato sack of a T-shirt, doesn’t that make as much of a statement as wearing a skirt up to your vulva?  Men didn’t walk out of The Hangover saying to each other, “Bradley Cooper’s concern about his missing friend would’ve been so much more realistic if he didn’t show off his perfect torso in that sweaty linen shirt. What a show off!”
  4. Puppies in berets.

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