Will Bridesmaids Close Doors, or Open Windows?

On Sunday night bloggers and critics around the globe will sit poised by their computers to write whether or not Bridesmaids, opening this weekend, will herald a blossoming of female driven comedies in the future, or if we must all settle for The Hangover 3. I will be one of those bloggers.

I have high hopes for Bridesmaids, but I’m also terrified about what I might read on Monday. I have a habit of reading things I know will probably make me upset; so far, I’ve read that women just aren’t funny, that men will never patron a movie like Bridesmaids, and that it’s all up to us girls to send a message to Hollywood. And this is before opening weekend. So yeah, I’m worried. Unfortunately, Bridesmaids has a lot riding on it. If it does well, it means that Hollywood may be more inclined to throw money at female-driven comedies. It may mean better roles for female comedic actors in the future. Like I’ve said before, I want nothing more than to love Bridesmaids and have the world finally give credit where credit is due.

In thinking about Bridesmaids, I got to thinking about past female-driven comedies, why I liked them/didn’t like them, and whether or not Bridesmaids could elevate the “chick” comedy to something new and possibly more universal.

Legally Blonde

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this film when I first saw it. Reese Witherspoon portrays a typical “dumb blonde” who is dumped by her Harvard Law-bound boyfriend because she’s a “Marilyn” and he needs a “Jackie.” His attitude prompts her to apply to Harvard Law and while she gets in based on her looks, she soon realizes she can play with the best of them at Harvard while still staying true to her pretty in pink self. Despite its flaws, this is one of few instances where an actress gets to be intelligent, ditzy, charming and pretty all at the same time. A rare occurrence indeed.

Miss Congeniality 

When I first saw this film, I actually wasn’t bothered by the fact that Sandra Bullock’s character was a successful FBI agent that was inept at relationships and taking care of herself. It wasn’t until I started to watch 30 Rock (a show that I enjoy very much) when I started to get annoyed at the whole, I’m a successful, intelligent, and attractive woman, who is clumsy and retarded around men. Perhaps it didn’t ring true to life for me because most of the successful women I know bring that into their relationships. Why should us gals have to choose between having a career and having a relationship? All that aside, I’m definitely in the pro-Bullock camp, and I wouldn’t mind seeing her in more well-written comedies in the future.

Easy A

This film was an unexpected pleasure. Emma Stone is a fantastic comedic presence, I can only hope we see more of her capitalizing on this huge success. Easy A flirts the line of being a typical teen comedy, but it never looses it’s focus or message. It’s a refreshing way to look at a teenage reality that is already mired by too much sex for its own good. Gals taking charge of their own sexuality one webcast at a time.

Mean Girls 

I love this movie. Because it addresses one of the biggest problems facing female empowerment and advancement-other women. Women do a fantastic job putting other women down, and it’s one of the main reasons female comedies fail (yup, it’s not just the guys, women also have little confidence in comediennes and their ability to make them laugh). This is one of Tina Fey’s gems, and actually the first thing I ever watched by Tina Fey (I’m not into SNL). It critiques the world of the teenage girl like nothing before or after and it’s funny as hell.

So, will Bridesmaids, despite being yet another relationship/wedding movie (old territory for the ladies), elevate people’s opinions of the good ol’ gals? I guess we’ll see….