Oh, you’re going to see Bridesmaids this weekend. That’s great. I went to see Somthing Borrowed last week. It was terrible! But I think that Ginnifer Goodwin is cute. Call me when you finish seeing it, we should get drinks. Wait, you say it’s my social repsonsibility to see Bridesmaids? Are you joking? No, you nutter-butter. No. How are we even friends? How do I have friends who say things like that?
Wait. I don’t have friends like that. I just got that jargon from some article.
Look, a lot of the reasons I have for having no desire whatsoever to see Bridesmaids are personal. I’m not really that into gross-out humor, and the previews seem to hinge largely upon a group of women getting food poisoning and vomiting in the street (sometimes in fancy dresses). Which is fine! Just fine! Except I absolutely hate watching other people get sick to their stomachs. I wouldn’t go to a movie that had male characters doing that a whole bunch, either. It will pretty much immediately make me feel queasy and awful. Now, obviously, I’m willling to hold your hair if you’re my best friend and are vomiting up tequila shots, but it’s not something I’d like to pay $13 to watch strangers do. Just not my thing!
I guess I’m in the minority. Rebecca Traister at Salon remarks, “Perhaps I will try to take my daughter to the earliest neighborhood matinee, provided she’s not fussing. She’s in the only stage of a woman’s life in which she’s actively encouraged to do what the ladies in this movie apparently are doing: belching, farting, barfing.” She says that advocating the movie. Right. I don’t feel a need to be actively encouraged to do those things. I’m planning on not doing those things regularly until my body shuts down from some sort of horrible, crippling old-person disease, and I’m trying to keep that at bay for as long as I can. I’m pretty cool with controlling my bodily functions until then. Like, 90% of the time I’m good with not burping the alphabet. The other 10% is only for people I really want to impress.
Perhaps that goes along with the fact that I also really like – and here’s why I begin to feel that it’s not my social responsibility to see this movie – movies or shows about women succeeding at life and their careers and being witty and well put together. Gentlewomen. That’s what I like seeing in movies. Sure, that’s probably why I watch a shit-ton of movies starring Katharine Hepburn and have Designing Women on a repeat loop. But Bridesmaids seems to revolve around women who are… not doing so well from any major life standpoint. Or at least, are, in their own ways, each harried and miserable. I hate that, because I hate thinking that the only women female viewers can relate to are ones who are frazzled and unsatisfied. Even if I did think that was an accurate representation of myself or my friends (and I really don’t, because we can all burp the alphabet like its our job, so we are cool) I get no vicarious pleasure and sense of escapism from watching harried, put upon people. Oh, sure, maybe a movie about brilliant, poised, pulled-together women wouldn’t be interesting but… wait. Yes it would. Look, imagine it: Katherine Hepburn’s-Character-In-Any-Movie-She-Ever-Did and Julia Sugarbaker and Miranda Priestly are all on a plane talking about stuff…
Why don’t they make that movie? Why? Why? No one will ever teach my invisible unborn infant daughter that it’s okay to be well dressed, and ridiculously quick witted, and good at your job! Oh, well. She’ll know how to fart.
But fine, I’m happy to politely go along with you to watch normal women doing normal things, as long as they don’t vomit copious amounts, because, as we’ve established, I hate vomit. But I’m not sure just having a huge female cast of talented performer signifies any kind of feminist triumph. If you need proof of that, please look at the absolutely appalling remake of The Women, in which women were, I imagine, supposed to come off as appealing but instead seemed like horrible, Saks-loving shrews. Or Sex and the City 2. Or any of the great many movies made about women on adventures together that aren’t straight-up romantic comedies.
But Bridesmaids isn’t about men! Umm, it’s all about a woman getting married, right? And pretty much every review alludes to Jon Hamm taking off his shirt.
But Bridesmaids is about women working together! Now, I haven’t seen the movie, obviously, but what I’ve gleaned from the previews and reviews I’ve read is that the female characters all bicker about how to handle various bridesmaid related activities. The down-to-earth character is second guessed constantly by the wealthy one who can use her husband’s money to pay for everything, right? I’m not sure why this is… new or exciting, I guess. I don’t think “acknowledging that women bicker amongst themselves and puke, sometimes” is a feminist triumph.
Movie producer Lynda Obst wrote: “Seriously, we have to see this movie this weekend. If you are a woman, like women, or simply don’t hate them … if we don’t go, they won’t build them anymore.”
Bullshit, lady. Bullshit. The ladies-bickering movie? They build them essentially every year. They’re everything from The Old Version of The Women (awesome) to The New Version of The Women (why?) I’ll be at Thor. And I think it’s your duty to go, too, at least, if you like mythology, or simply don’t hate mythology.