Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bridesmaids: Have You Seen it Yet?

Alright, so there's been tons of buzz that the fate of Bridesmaids will either greenlight or kill several other women-centric comedies and that you MUST MUST MUST see this film. Well, that might be true and that sucks--especially since the demographic its supposed to appeal to WOMEN are not some strange sub-set of the population. Women are 51% of the population for goodness sake!!! Of course, the logic is that women will see male-centric movies, but men won't see films led by female protagonists. Well, there were plenty of men (okay, only 33% according to the stats laid out HERE) present and they, along with the women, laughed our collective assess off. It was really funny and not really in a gross-out kinda way alluded to in the previews (yes, there was a pretty bad case of collective food poisoning, but that was part of the overall plot showing Wiigs character trying, but failing to do her duty as Maid of Honor on a seriously restricted budget due to her dream & small business, Cake Baby--a bakery--failing due to the economy. That felt really real and another nice thing about this film was that they didn't try to make everything better, no rich person swept in at the end and gave her back her business like Daddy Warbucks, we were left feeling like she'll figure it out now that she's really clawing her way out of this slump in life, but not exactly how or when. I liked that (I don't think that that really spoils anything in the plot because there's plenty to resolve in the main storyline as well). Anyway, go see Bridesmaids, not because you should due your duty, but because its funny.

Another film that looks like it is challenging our view of what a comedy can be is Jumping the Broom, which, much like Bridesmaids, is a comedy that dares to talk/show/think about issues of class. I haven't seen Jumping the Broom yet and I have read one very critical take on it HERE, but I have also seen several positive reviews over at Jezebel (though not an indepth review that it deserves, Jezzies--it was just contrasted in the concluding paragraph in a review of the new Kate Hudson vehicle, Something Borrowed, HERE.). Anyway, class is something that the movies have tended to shy away from in recent years--Hollywood prefers to show us the safe happy lives of the upper-middle class, the outright rich or the damn dirty poor--working class, working poor, middle-middle class, these folks rarely get to see their lives reflected on the silver screen. Jumping the Broom takes that a bit further by showing a tension between a working class family and an upper-middle class (no, probably outright rich family, but they are supposed to be upper-middle class I think) within the African American community. One of the producers is a preacher from Atlanta, so the critical Pandagon article really casts his eye on how the resolution seems "too pat" through commonalities reached through "the Black Church." So, I haven't seen it yet, but I will this weekend.

Overall, I'm glad to see two comedies taking on issues of class, a subject that begs for examination!

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