Alright, I’m sorry (NOT SORRY AT ALL), I am not going to let this die. I just can’t let go.
I was in a rage all last night, I could barely sleep and I couldn’t figure out why until this morning when I was lying in the semi-darkness of our room, nursing Olive for the seventeenth time since 3 am (she must have sensed my rage from her crib. My moods are incredibly contagious.) and I finally figured it out.
I drank one and a half coffees and am crossing my fingers that she naps long enough for me to eviscerate this movie, and elaborate on each and every one of the many, many, MANY reasons why it enraged me so.
1st of all.
Firstly and WORSTLY, it let me down. I had such incredible high expectations for this movie because look at the cast! Can I list the cast for you? Here it is, neatly organized into a handy list:
– Kirstin Dunst (dead eyes, but a fucking fantastic actress, fish eyed stares notwithstanding)
– Isla Fisher (ADORABLE, hello)
– Rebel Wilson (my girl. MY GIRL REBEL. Had like eight fucking lines the whole movie and I swear the most substantive one was where she confronted a male stripper for calling her Pigface. WHAT)
– James Marsden (Dimples. Eye candy. I have no feelings about this dude)
– and Adam Scott (his face annoys me, but he’s pretty talented)
So, I mean a pretty decent cast on the whole, but the women in particular, including Rebel, especially because of Rebel, told me that this movie was going to be a good time. A few hours of funny. The premise, the TITLE, promised me a bachelorette party. The party itself lasted all of five minutes.
Secondly. The relationships. I swore that the screenplay was written by a man (it wasn’t.) The reason I was so sure of this, the reason I would have bet every penny I had that it was, was because of the way relationships between women are portrayed in this film.
If you haven’t seen it (and please don’t. Seriously, never ever watch this movie) the main characters (Rebel, Kirstin, Isla and Lizzy) are supposedly best friends. But they are cruel to each other. And not in the way that we know and value in our best friends, the “I love you like you are my sister, my mother, my daughter, and I’m going to call you on your bullshit insanity for your own good you’ll thank me later” way.
They are cruel to each other in the way that enemies are, they take cruel shots at each other’s most vulnerable spots. They lunge for the jugular at the least amount of provocation, mocking each other’s eating disorders, abortions, weight problems – who does this? Answer: NO ONE.
That’s why I was so sure it had been written by a man, because I was positive that no woman who had friends, real friends, would portray relationships like this. Yes you say cruel things sometimes, female relationships (like all human relationships) almost always contain elements of meanness, hints of jealousy or envy, schadenfreude, sabotage. But never like this. Not from your core crew, the women you call your friends. I watched the movie with my mouth open for half of it because they were just so mean. It wasn’t funny, there was no warmth, so sense of shared history, not a shred of indication that the women even liked each other, it was just…heartless.
Thirdly, Rebel. My girl Rebel Wilson is the bride in this movie. When I saw this in the trailer I fist-pumped, because YES! The overweight girl isn’t just a sidekick anymore! She can actually be the female lead, in a romantic relationship! Oh my god a movie with a female cast AND a stereotype shattering main character!
Literally her entire character revolves around her weight. The movie opens at a restaurant with her friend placing an order for a small salad, then cuts to Rebel ordering a bacon cheeseburger with fries BECAUSE SHE’S SO FAT, GET IT? Fat people are fat because they have no self control and eat shit all the time! She could be skinny, too, if she would only order plain lettuce salads like her bestie! She’s fat and it’s okay to make fun of her because she’s doing it to herself SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
That was the first two minutes.
And that scene set the tone for the whole movie. Her friends are shocked that she is getting married because SHE’S FAT! And everyone knows that fat people don’t get married before skinny people! Especially not to hot guys! What is happening?! Two of her “friends” cram themselves into her wedding dress and take a picture to post on Facebook BECAUSE SHE’S SO FAT THAT TWO PEOPLE CAN FIT IN A WEDDING DRESS MADE FOR ONE (FAT) PERSON! HAHAHAHA! OMG!
Would you ever do this to your friend? Seriously?
Not only were the constant fat jokes unfunny, (unfunny as in tasteless and offensive, but also just lazy, picking low-lying fruit) but they completely wasted the movie’s best asset, REBEL. If they just needed a chubby girl to make fat jokes about, why bother hiring one of the funniest comediennes to emerge in recent years? Rebel Wilson has incredible comedic timing, she’s innately hilarious and we saw none of that. This movie reduced her to a number on a scale, and that is fucking depressing. ESPECIALLY since this movie was made by, and FOR women.
Fourth, the misogyny. Women do not need to be funny like men, in order to be funny. A comedy featuring an all-female cast should not be interchangeable with the same movie featuring a male cast.
It’s not about the swearing and the crudeness and the constant, constant blowjob jokes, because Bridesmaids had the same elements and it was fucking hilarious. Do you want to see a funny, genuine, warm scene with two friends talking about blow jobs?
Do you see? THIS was written by women, for women. It is a scene with warmth, genuine caring, and fucking hilarious inside joke that’s a wink to an experience that we all know and laugh about with our besties. It’s a conversation we all could have had with our best friend over breakfast.
It’s funny because it’s about a common experience with men, not women trying to act like men.
This is what bugs me about the whole “equality” thing. Being equal to men does not mean being the SAME AS men. Women are intrinsically powerful and ambitious and funny in our own way, we don’t need to put on a man-suit of stereotypically “male” attributes like aggression and ego and machismo to be successful or humorous. That’s not going to get us anywhere. As this movie showed over and over and over again.
Fifth, everything. Just the entire stupid goddamn movie. You can’t just have a bunch of characters being unnecessarily cruel and fucked up, running around swearing and doing coke, hating each other and switching from one crazy scene to the next (cocaine! bachelorette party! ruined wedding dress! sassy black lady! more cocaine! strip club! someone’s mom! strange abortion back story thrown in to make characters more likeable, failing miserably! more cocaine! date rape jokes! overdose!) and call it a movie. At least not one that anyone will feel good about watching.
I’m disappointed because I feel like with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson and Kristin Wiig we are teetering on the edge of something. We are on the cusp of Hollywood realizing that women are hungry for films that pass the Bechdel test. Hungry for meaty roles with women that have souls and lives and identities that go beyond our relationship to men.
We are thisclose to Hollywood realizing that women will pay money, our own money that we made by working our own jobs that we got by using with our own educated, fully-functioning brains, to see movies by women, about women, for women. Movies that are funny and heartfelt and intelligent. Movies that allow actresses to shine and flex and hone their talents in starring roles that run the gamut from heartbreaking to gut busting to enraging.
But not like this. Not with nasty fat jokes and rape jokes, not with characters that never edge one footstep beyond the clichés – The Fat One, The Uptight One, The Bimbo, The Burnout.
We are better than this.
We have seen that before and we need to see it again so QUIT RUINING EVERYTHING, BACHELORETTE!