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'Women Are Very Much Underserved By Modern Comedy:' Director Paul Feig Talks 'Bridesmaids'

by Oliver Lyttelton
February 2, 2011 2:31 AM
3 Comments
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Fingers crossed, it's looking like the summer of 2011 will be incredibly strong for comedy. Not only have we got the return of the biggest grossing R-rated comedy of all time with "The Hangover 2," but there's also Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal in Jake Kasdan's "Bad Teacher"; Will Gluck's follow-up to the excellent "Easy A," "Friends With Benefits"; Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in "Crazy Stupid Love"; Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman swapping bodies in "The Change-Up"; David Gordon Green and Jonah Hill teaming on "The Sitter" and Ruben Fleischer's "30 Minutes or Less," with Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride.

But first out of the gates is the Judd Apatow-produced "Bridesmaids," and yesterday's trailer suggested that it's worth looking forward to as much as any of its competitors. Its a consistently funny couple of minutes displaying the top-notch cast, with Kristen Wiig leading the crew of Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jon Hamm, Matt Lucas and Chris O'Dowd and suggesting that our faith wasn't misplaced when we praised the script last year.

Apatow's long-time pal Paul Feig, the co-creator of classic series "Freaks and Geeks," and veteran of other high quality TV directing gigs on shows like "Arrested Development," "Mad Men" and "The Office," is helming, and he took a little time out to talk about the project to EW following the trailer's release, and it's all boding equally well for the film.

What seems particularly refreshing about the film is that it's a comedy mostly featuring, and aimed at, women, that seems far smarter, more honest and funnier than dreck like "Bride Wars" or "Sex and the City," and Feig reveals that it was very much the intention: “The whole goal of making this movie was to make a very funny, very honest movie about women in a way that they’re not normally made. Both Judd and I feel women are very much underserved by modern comedy, because it’s all so guy-centric."

While it's a little rich for Apatow to feel this, considering that he's responsible for this in a big way (not to mention the wide strain of misogyny running through films like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), it's still an honorable aim, particularly with the strain of good, honest vulgarity that seems to be present: "If you’ve ever overheard a group of women together, it’s not a tea party most of the time. It was important for us to do that so when women come to see the movie, they would go, like, ‘Oh god, that’s just like my friends – maybe a funnier version of my friends.'"

In the Apatow tradition, however, it's not just going to be vagina jokes, but there should be plenty of heart -- something that was firmly in evidence in the draft that we read: "It’s a hard movie to sum up in a trailer because it’s also very emotionally honest. There’s tons of comedy but there’s also very relatable honest moments that are real and not always reaching for a laugh." "Bridesmaids" hits on May 13th, and we're firmly looking forward to it.


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More: Films, Paul Feig, Bridesmaids

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3 Comments

  • Kathleen Walsh | February 2, 2011 4:12 AMReply

    The draft of the script I read was hilarious and a great portrayal of female friendship and 30s life while also lampooning the Wedding Industrial Complex. This particular trailer failed to properly convey that, but I still have hopes that Paul Feig didn't completely muck it up. I think if expectations are low that could work in Bridesmaids' favor. I also think all of the women in the film are true comedians and I think that's another advantage it has going in. I'm happy to see unknown but experienced comedians like Wendy McLendon-Covey featuring rather than an actress playing comedy like Katherine Heigl, Kate Hudson, etc.

  • Kevin | February 2, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    The trailer makes this film seem like the anti-thesis of "a very funny, very honest movie about women in a way that they’re not normally made." It looks like a bunch of female caricatures who don't get along in a film where the whole plot is simply the women not getting along (which is why it isn't like the Hangover and closer to Death at a Funeral)

    I went more into this at soulhonky.com but the trailer makes it seem like it stumbles into all of the standard potholes of female-centric misfire.

  • Frank Armitage | February 2, 2011 2:56 AMReply

    Bridesmaids looks like a steaming pile. Let's call it out for what it is: a Hangover for the ladies. That may make it modern, but it sure as shit doesn't make it smart. Quit licking the Apatow machine's asshole, Playlist.

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