mrsl wrote:I just feel I have to add one more bit in my own defense.
Hi Anne, you don't have to defend yourself to me. My comments were directed entirely at John Farr's article. In your initial post, you make the case as to what you were expecting from the film and why, when those expectations weren't met, you were disappointed. Perfectly valid, as is your disdain for bodily function bits. (Although, I seem to remember that most of those came from Melissa McCarthy's Academy Award nominated performance, which you did seem to appreciate. And, I would also suggest that bodily function jokes were de rigueur even back in early cinema, particularly by Chaplin, who kept at it at least through Modern Times
, where his gastrointestinal issues are at play. But I digress…)
mrsl wrote:I went back and read the article again and nowhere did the man state that he did NOT like the movie.
If my post implied that Farr didn't like Bridesmaids
, I apologize. He plainly states that he "laughed hard" at Bridesmaids
, which, one would presume, means he liked it. But, while he liked it, he also says that he feels sad
about doing so. Really really sad
. That, in and of itself, is fine by me. He can feel embarrassed or whatever over the fact that he enjoyed, what in his mind is a "low, in-your-face" comedy. It's when he implies that any and every one who enjoyed Bridesmaids
should share in that embarrassment and guilt that I have a problem.
His remedy for our stooping so low as to laugh at 'below the belt' and 'dropping drawers' humor--the "easy laugh" as he also puts it, compelled him to offer suggestions of other, more appropriate films that would be better for us; namely the six classic screwball comedies he lists. Now, in my mind at least, by comparing a modern, R-rated film like Bridesmaids
to His Girl Friday
, Farr is comparing apples to oranges.
His essay also indirectly compares Kristin Wiig to "those fabulous screen comedians…of yore," as well as--and this is where he really throws me--Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Bill Cosby
. These comparisons, again to me, are like comparing apples to Tuesday
. Or apples to tiny, model Smart Cars
. (I happened to have on my desk.) They are unrelated.
What concerns me about essays like this is that they usually do the exact opposite of what is intended. Imagine a twenty-something person perusing the Huffington Post, innocently checking out what nefarious deeds our politicians may be up to. He/she sees there's an essay about Bridesmaids
, a movie they have just seen and loved. And then imagine them reading that essay, and the author tells them that, while the movie they liked so much is funny, it's low-brow and all things icky, and, well…you know. Instead of that dreck you should check out these, "highly sophisticated comedies that are long extinct."
What do you suppose the chances are that that twenty-something, after being told how awful their taste is in movies (even those that make you "laugh hard"), are going to do? Dollars to this Smart Car, they aren't going to exclaim, "Forget Bridesmaids
, I simply must see Twentieth Century
Farr missed his opportunity to try and get those twenty-somethings and everyone else reading his blog to try out one of those classic screwball comedies. He could have written that he enjoyed Bridesmaid
, too, and then offer his suggestions. Something like, "if you like films with strong, funny, female protagonists, here's a list of some of the very best."
For the record, I watched Bridesmaids
by myself when it came out on DVD. While I thought the dialogue was often very funny, the film felt overlong. The plot had enough unexpected elements to keep me interested, but I was far more interested in Wiig's romance with the cop than any of the wedding shenanigans, and I knew about the "gross out" scene, so wasn't very surprised, except, maybe that it wasn't nearly as outrageous as the buzz had indicated. That sequence, and the other broad-comedy set pieces also felt long, but I'm sure that was because I was watching the film alone. I suspect that seeing Bridesmaids
with a full theater, the entire film would have been a lot funnier.
As I seem to be writing a dissertation, let me over-analyze that "gross-out" sequence a little. Yes, it's gross, and yes, it could have easily been excised from the film without too much bother. But, that sequence is actually pretty crucial, for it is the one in which Wiig not only embarrasses herself, but the other bridesmaids, too. (Except the "bad" one, of course.) By having a sequence, where the--delicate situation
--befalls all of them and is indirectly caused by Wiig, it provides the motivation for the rest of the film, including the decision by the bride-to-be to replace her maid-of-honor.
If you don't buy that, I can say that the sequence offered, what for me, was the one laugh-out-loud scene. While the other bridesmaids are…occupied
, Wiig is desperately trying to show that she herself is fine. Every time the camera shows her, she has more sweat on her face and her gown, yet she continues to insist she's fine. It's a terrific echo back to the dueling wedding-toast sequence earlier in the film, and I laughed hard. And didn't feel bad at all.
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS