A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2011 – Bridesmaids
How can it not be?
This was the breakout hit of 2011. This came out to little fanfare, really, and then gradually, through word of mouth, became one of the biggest comedy hits of all time.
The important thing about this film is the fact that it really brought women to the forefront of comedy. It’s not that women were never present in comedy. You think of writers like Ruth Gordon and Elaine May, and stars like Lucille Ball and so on. It’s just that, over the past 20 years, women have become marginalized. They’re always playing a type, or stuck playing the girlfriend role. Especially has comedy has become… whatever the hell it’s become. That dumb, raunchy, sophomoric Apatow shit. Which is so clearly male dominated.
So the real importance of this film is that it brought women back to mainstream comedy and allowed them to do the kind of comedy men do and have a lot of people enjoy it.
I’m obviously keeping my personal feelings about the film in check, because the film actually does represent everything that was going on in 2011. This was a film that most people didn’t even have on their radar at the beginning of the year, and then, when it came out, it opened well, and continued to make money and remain in theaters well past other films that came out around the same time.
The best description I’ve read is probably from Roger Ebert: “(the film) seems to be a more or less deliberate attempt to cross the Chick Flick with the Raunch Comedy. It definitively proves that women are the equal of men in vulgarity, sexual frankness, lust, vulnerability, overdrinking and insecurity.”
And, however you feel (or I feel) about the movie, it made a lot of money, people really liked it, it’s spawned big comedy careers for its stars, and really acted as a huge breakthrough for women in comedy.
I am such a huge proponent of female writers and directors, and this film is a big step forward in there being more of that. And that’s a big deal.
Plus, you look at 2011 as a year, the only other choices there aren’t particularly “mainstream” movies. (Because I’m not going with franchises. Those are the norm at this point and don’t represent any year.) When you look, you think, if not this movie, it’s The Artist. But even then, that didn’t have as big of an appeal as this movie. It didn’t represent the year as well as this did. And it didn’t have as many social implications as this did.
So this was the choice. Explosive diarrhea scene and all.