James Worsdale is back and, per usual, he’s making lists and taking names. Quite literally.
This week the trailer for Judd Apatow production Bridesmaids, cowritten by SNL’s Kristen Wiig and relative newcomer Annie Mumulo, was unleashed onto the internet and reception to it has been, well, mixed.
The first time I saw the trailer, I really wanted to laugh, but at most got a light chuckle. But, like listening to a Rihanna song, after a couple of times it grew on me. Regardless to whether or not this type of film is indicative of progress, it’s nice to see women in a comedic film about women who are more than just accessories to the male characters. Especially when those roles usually consist of either pulling their hair back and holding their husbands down or just taking off their tops.
Apatow has a bit of a bad rep for being a principal bearer of the aforementioned binary. But he has non-defensively refuted that point and suggested that he has actually given many women in comedy opportunities to showcase their abilities in his films and, I agree with him. I very well might not have known about Leslie Mann or Charlyne Yi among others had it not been for his movies. Jane Lynch’s brilliant role as Steve Carrel’s boss in 40 Year Old Virgin was originally written for a man. We could benefit from Apatow using his influence as an ally to women in comedy doing things women and feminists want to see.
With Bridesmaids featuring Wiig, The Office’s Ellie Kemper, Get Him to the Greek’s Rose Byrne, Reno 911’s Wendi McLendon-Covey, Gilmore Girls’ Melissa McCarthy, and SNL’s Maya Rudolph, what other actresses would we like to see featured in a female focused comedic feature?
When I first heard of this movie I was just waiting for them to announce that the wonderfully witty and shamelessly girly Kelly Kapoor would be joining this cast. Her presence as a writer and actress on The Office, as well as a notorious Twitter feed has solidified this girl as all young feminists’ dream best friend. She needs a moment, and not one where she’s some skinny white A-lister’s best friend.
Featured in Elle magazine’s Favorite 25-Somethings 25 Year Anniversary Issue looking like the epitome of an adorable clown (whatever I mean by that) (well this is what I mean), she is, at the moment, an understated talent. Which is weird because between the appearance in Elle and a gushing review in The New York Times, she seems obviously worthy of more appreciation from the masses! I just hope she’s not relegated to the realms of acquired tastes and indie darlings. Give this girl a break! And, again, not opposite some skinn…oh hell, not opposite Natalie Portman!
Janice Ian is already a character that is engrained into our generation’s pop cultural consciousness. But it’s one of those roles where you are more familiar with the character than the person playing her (which is indicative of great writing by Fey and great acting by Caplan!). A role on the disappointing short-lived Party Down also showcased her abilities, but the world would be better for her receiving a boost of an opportunity.
Already having received a push from Apatow in Funny People, you may also recognize her as the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department’s intern with an affected nature April. She also does a really good Sarah Silverman that you’re not sure if it’s tongue-in-cheek or malicious but, honestly, you love it either way, especially because it’s this cute girl making fun of the cute girl with a dirty mouth stock comedy routine. Plaza’s postmodern and playfully dry delivery needs a chance to shine a brighter light.
With a small part in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg (alongside Gerwig) and a role on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Wever is a master of slapstick with a charmingly plucky presence to her whenever she’s featured in something. Also capable of dramatic turns having bit parts in Michael Clayton and Signs, her versatility will hopefully serve her well and we’ll be enjoying her guffaws and snafus for years to come and on larger screens.
The first time I saw Mamet was in her turn as Courtney, sex-crazed, scorned and relentlessly vengeful high school student who lost her v-card to Marshall (gay), on Showtime’s United States of Tara. She played a similar outwardly sexed-up, but ostensibly clueless, type in The Kids Are All Right, but for some reason her desperation is so perfectly satirical that great things could come from this space she’s carved for herself. She also had a recurring role in season four of Mad Men where she played a woman named Joyce Ramsay, but I just finished season three and am waiting until March for the next DVD box set to come out so PLEASE NO PLOT SPOILERS!
Though I understand the gut reaction to recommending a Disney star is to close the page, but I’ve always thought there was something about Stoner that transcended the plucky precocity of her peers. Maybe it’s her having been featured in that Missy Elliot video, but I always thought that there was just something about her that showed a lot of promise. She’s real young though, so there’s time for her yet. Hopefully she doesn’t mess up whatever it is she’s got going for her by completely sexing up her image in a pursuit to become the next Jennifer Aniston like SOME people.
This is admittedly just a sampling of women I’d love to see given the opportunity to lead in comedies that men so repeatedly are given the chance to. Who did I miss? Who are your favorite funny girl up and comers that you’d love to see gain a boost from Apatow, Fey, Barrymore, or any other comedy king pins who seem to have shown an interest in giving women what they really want to see?