By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood June 27, 2011 at 1:49AM
Cameron Diaz' film Bad Teacher took second place at the box office this weekend with a total of $31 million.
That makes it already a hit since it cost only $20 million to make and also took in $12.9 million overseas. That's almost $50 million. Women were the majority of tickets purchasers at 63% and 57% of the audiences was over 25. I
But the reviews were decidedly mixed and this film has continued the conversation about whether women can be raunchy and funny. The conversation has become so loud that the guys are even getting into it. Here's what the film's co-star Jason Segel had to say to Movieline:
You mentioned Paul Feig, and Bad Teacher is coming out six weeks after Bridesmaids kinda flipped the script on female-fronted comedies. Do you think there’s any pressure on the film to perform at the box office?
You know, it’s sort of an ironic question. It points to the whole problem. If there was a comedy with a bunch of dudes in it, and then there was another comedy with a dude in it, you wouldn’t be asking if it was weird to have a comedy with men coming out right after a comedy with men came out. You know what I mean? I think that points to that there’s still a discrepancy with the way women and men are viewed, especially in comedy. In my opinion, it’s about time — there’s so many funny women out there. I dare you to find three men who can contend with Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in a room together.
Here are some of the reviews and the points that discuss women and comedy:
From the LA Times Review by Betsy Sharkey
I guess in the current comedy culture where F-bombs are king, it's good that Hollywood is finally allowing women to be just as foul as the guys, though I don't think that's what the feminist movement had in mind with the whole gender-equality fight. That the filmmakers find the idea of a woman saying something really blue to be both shocking and fall-down hilarious tells you just how far we have to go.
From LA Weekly (via the Broward Palm Beach Times) by Karina Longworth
The general argument holds that because studios produce so few films built around strong women protagonists, Hollywood must hate women. But be careful what you wish for. Here, a "strong woman" means a lazy, lying, scheming, slutty, and obstinately materialistic one whose sole redeeming virtue is her hard body (which the camera shamelessly ogles, as if the men watching need their hand held to look at an actress' ass), who is so delusional that she thinks her ostentatious assholery is rock-star sexy, and whose delusions are essentially validated by narrative resolution.
At least Bad Teacher offers opportunities to ponder an evergreen pop-culture conundrum: At what point do professional performers with evident talent and a proven ability to make smart choices realize they're trapped in a film that — due to lazy writing, style-free direction and visual design, and a general refusal to aim above the lowest common denominator — simply can't be good? What compels someone like Timberlake — so charismatically contemptible in The Social Network, so often a saving grace on SNL — to take a role centered on a cringe-worthy set piece involving him dry-humping his real-life ex-girlfriend? Are actresses like Diaz and Punch really cool with punishing material based on the worst male-invented stereotypes of the way women deceptively control men and compete with one another? If they're at all conscious of what they've gotten into, did they try to make it better, or did they submit to mediocrity because, you know, fuck it — the check cleared? Are they so far inside that they can't possibly gauge what the fix they're in might look like from the outside?
From Movieline written by Stephanie Zacharek:
In the grand scheme of Hollywood marketing, woman characters are appealing only when they’re self-deprecating, when they allow themselves to be the butt of the joke. Even in a supposedly game-changing woman-centric comedy like Bridesmaids, you can’t just be a crude and funny Kristen Wiig. You also have to be a little pathetic, a loser at dating with a recently failed baking business in your past. Bad Teacher is hardly a perfect picture, but in the context of every other comedy on the summer movie landscape — from the faux empowerment of Bridesmaids to the neurotic frat-guy heteromania of The Hangover Part II — it feels revolutionary.
From the NY Times written by Manohla Dargis:
With “Bridesmaids” still doing gangbusters at the box office, Hollywood apparently thinks it’s time for the ladies to get their hands and other parts dirty. Well, if that’s what it takes to get women out of the house, off the pedestal and into the same serious comedy club where the boys frolic and play, I say let her rip.
Did anybody see the film? Thoughts?
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