Sorry, I Have No Desire To See ‘Bridesmaids’

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.

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    • Topf

      I dont understand why on the other article someone claims that we need to save chick flicks. No, sorry but most chick flicks I know are hella sexist, the dialogues are terrible, the character development is non-existent and the story lines are ridiculous. I would be pleased if chick flicks died and movies with women as characters with depth and substance started to be made.

    • Heather

      Oh, well. It’s your loss, I guess. The movie is not ABOUT farting, belching, shitting, etc. — it’s about friendship, humor and a group of hilariously goofy characters. You’re ignorantly dismissing “Bridesmaids” as a “women-bickering” movie when you haven’t even fucking seen it. The fact that a FEW annoying women took it upon themselves to get all preachy (telling us it’s our responsibility to see the movie, blah, blah, blah) has nothing to do with the movie itself (nor the talented writers/actresses who did their sincere best to make a movie unlike one we’ve seen before). I think it’s unfair (and a little strange) of you to use your reactions to those (two?) preachy women as an excuse for being so snarky about this movie. It just seems unnecessarily bitchy.

      Why would a comedy feature characters who have their shit together? What’s funny about someone with a perfect life?! Go ahead and watch movies about such women — but why trash this one simply because you’re overly sensitive about bodily functions? Why the negativity and bashing? Enjoy “Thor,” — I’d rather watch “Bridesmaids” again and laugh myself silly as opposed to seeing YET ANOTHER JUVENILE MALE FANTASY PIECE OF SHIT movie.

    • Here’s a thought

      Why don’t you just see both? I have, and they were both really enjoyable in their own ways. For once, this can be a “have your cake and eat it too” moment… forget whatever feminist statement you think you’d be making or if it’s your duty to see Bridesmaids or whatever, it’s a hilarious Judd Apatow movie, and Thor is goofy and cute and more romantic than the supposed girly movie anyway.

    • Talia

      I saw Bridesmaids last night, and yes, it does include some toilet humor, “harried” characters, John Hamm with his shirt off and lots of competition. But the thing is, this movie is opening the door to female comedy even further, which is a great thing. Judd Apatow has produced movies in the past that are centered around male bonding, bromance and male oriented comedy. Bridesmaids dives headfirst into the vast ocean of female oriented comedy, so kudos to Kristen Wiig, Amy Mumolo and Apatow for that!

      Bridesmaids is a *comedy* so the characters HAD to be goofy and weird and maybe not so successful. I feel like that is way more relatable than watching a movie with female characters that are all successful and what not. The central conflict of this movie was Helen vs. Annie who were at first competing against each other to make the best possible wedding experience for their bff. Of course, the movie really lacked female bonding (I wanted to see more of those other bridesmaids, they were hilarious) and it isn’t great that every time Annie had a problem she went to the men in her life, but we’re getting there.

      I can’t wait to see future films follow the lead with female comedy and “womance”. Yes, the film features two women bickering about wedding related topics, but it was FUNNY, and I don’t know about anyone else, but as an aspiring comedian, I’d LOVE to see more hilarious movies with females as central characters with “female” humor.

      PS- it is no ones “social responsibility” to see Bridesmaids. See it because it’s freakin’ hilarious and a good time.

    • Jo

      In agreement with most of the previous comments.

      I think it’s kind of ridiculous how long this rant of a piece is considering it’s about a movie you HAVEN’T seen. Whether or not you want to, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to write an entire, lengthy post berating it. Mostly because you sound, surprise, largely misinformed.

      Let me tell you, I don’t bodily function humor either, nor physical comedy generally speaking. And yes, the movie still focused on heterosexual relationships and and monogamist traditions such as marriage; it made cheap fat jokes.

      HOWEVER, there were a lot of things that made the movie great. When I go to see a big movie production, I don’t usually expect it to align perfectly with my interests. Despite the flaws mentioned above, the quality of comedy, and the depth of the female characters, made it well worth seeing. And i agree with Talia, it’s a stepping stone and gives me hope that movies about women won’t always and forever be shit. Why you’d rather see “something borrowed” after seeing the trailer for a movie that perpetuates sexist cliches, I don’t know.

      Honestly, it’s offensive that you’d compare it to sex and the city 2, because these movies have little in common aside from, you know, that they feature women (that rare 50% of the population), are funny (that’s debatable as far as satc is concerned) and are ignorant capitalism-pushing… oh wait, no, that’s just sex and the city 2.

      Look, I’m not saying you have to like Bridesmaids, or that you have to see it. But please, (and I wish I didn’t have to rely on as clichĂ© a phrase), don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

      • Jo

        I don’t like bodily function humor either*

      • Heather

        Absolutely. You don’t want to see it – fine. I’d be up for you writing an article criticizing the idea that if you don’t hate women you should see a certain movie. Fine. I’d ever read it and probably nod along and then see the movie. But I’m not too interested in hearing about your take on the movie if you’re basing it entirely on trailers/the fact that you don’t like fart-humour.

    • Penelope

      I have no opinion on ‘Bridesmaids’, I just wanted to say you double-rock for having seen and loved the orginal version of ‘The Women’. It’s one of my favorite movies – THANK YOU for actually having seen it!!

      • kjon

        The original was amazing! One of my favorites, too!

    • nicole

      these are some pretty interesting comments, I just wanted to follow up to Topf and say that chick flicks should in fact be saved, and what they should be saved from is the cesspool of sexist bullshit that currently constitutes a chick flick. It’s the idea that movies for women are all goofy and stupid that needs to be stopped, not movies for women. That being said I saw bridesmaids yesterday and it is hilarious. The one sequence involving gross out humor was done pretty well, I thought. The rest of the humor was more character-driven and driven by the dialogue between the women. Men were sort of on the sidelines, emblematic rather than the cure/cause/driving force of the movie. Maya’s characters hubby didn’t even speak.

    • ruth

      God forbid that this film helps young girls realise that it’s not just men that can be funny. This is a genuinely funny film written by women that isn’t just for women. It is consistently laugh-out-loud and appeals to the masses – both male and female audiences.

      Women don’t have to be sidelined into their own humour genre that sees pretty women in high powered jobs and stylish dresses turning into nervous and clumsy messes around men, or chuckling along empathetically with jokes about tampons.