By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood June 28, 2013 at 10:07AM
Yesterday, I wrote a piece that gave my argument about why you need to go and see The Heat this weekend. What I didn't share since I was embargoed was the fact that I really liked the movie and it made me laugh so hard, harder than I have done in a long, long time.
I want to be very clear. Even though this film stars women, it is a big Hollywood movie. It is going for very broad strokes. I congratulate Katie Dippold for her big screen debut as a screenwriter, but you can tell it has the typical problem of most Hollywood movies -- too many cooks in the kitchen. It's a bit all over the place and the story is not perfect but that didn't bother me because that is what I expect from studio films. And I still enjoyed myself.
At least the filmmakers were able to fight back against some of the awful stuff the studio was pushing for. A story from The Wrap yesterday talked about how the studio really wanted a boyfriend for Sandra Bullock's character. Here's a quote from Jenno Topping (a woman) who runs Chernin Entertainment which produced the film talking about all the push back they got about having two female characters in a movie and not having any male leads:
We had all the naysayers saying you're going to cancel out your audience, because men aren't going to want to see a movie about two women being cops and women won't want to see women playing cops and not wearing pink fluffy dresses.
I'm sorry but do people really think that women don't want to see women playing cops (which we watch on TV all the time) and seeing women not wear pink fluffy dresses? What!!!!
But I digress.
The film is no Bridesmaids and if you are expecting Bridesmaids 2 because it has Melissa McCarthy in it and is directed by Paul Feig, you will be disappointed. This film confirmed what we all already know, which is that Melissa McCarthy is a big fucking movie star. The fact that she is not skinny is icing on the cake. She has earned it. She just shines on screen.
At times the film feels like a stand up comedy routine for McCarthy. She was in The Identity Thief earlier this year and that film was just awful. The whole film made me anxious because the comedy played off of her appearance and size. This film is completely different. There are no fat jokes, and hardly any indication that she is even heavy except for the fact that she has a hilarious scene with Sandra Bullock where she discovers these things called Spanx.
The premise is that Bullock plays an FBI agent who comes to Boston and is forced to partner with McCarthy, a local Boston cop whose brother is in trouble, to catch a drug lord. Be prepared, it's a cop movie so there are a lot of guns. And it's an R rated comedy and the language is crude. Every other word out of Melissa McCarthy's mouth is a curse. I'm not saying the film is perfect, far from it. But you have to take it for what it is, a big broad comedy from a studio that stars broads. These are an endangered species. If not for Paul Feig, who seems to be the only only in Hollywood willing to stand up and support the ladies, maybe we'd never see women in funny films released from the studios.
The film has a lot of competition this weekend. This $43 million movie (small by Hollywood's standards) is opening against White House Down which cost $150 million and there is also the animated Monsters University. Hopefully people will be interested in something different this summer -- a movie starring some funny women. GO SEE THIS.