This Memorial Day, we remember our fallen soldiers. Many have died in combat, but increasingly, for off-duty members of the National Guard and Army Reserves, soldiers are dying by their own hands. Nationally, the number of those who’ve committed suicide has nearly doubled from 80 in 2009 to 145 last year.
As per usual, I saw a film all the blogs I follow were talking about a while ago, but I think it’s nice to throw my couple of pennies into the imaginary ring.
I really, really liked this movie. I was concerned for the reasons everyone else was: I wanted this to be a movie that not only had a bunch of awesome women in it, but was positive. I also can’t really say that I’ve liked any film Judd Apatow has been attached to, with the exception of Pineapple Express and The Cable Guy.
I was surprised by how central Kristen Wiig’s character was. It really doesn’t feel like an ensemble film, which at times is unfortunate because everyone in this film is great.
As everyone has said prior to me writing this, Melissa McCarthy, who plays Megan, steals the show and is absolutely amazing in this film. Are there jokes made at her expense? At times, and perhaps this is something that should talked about. I realize that I’m not really actually familiar with the tropes and stereotypes that come with characters like Megan, so if I’m really missing the boat, correct me and educate me!. There is some flatulence in the movie, but, beyond that, it feels like her character is incredibly well written.
The writing of this film is, for me, the best and worst part of this film. Feminist Film and I always discuss how the writing on the TV show Community frustrates us. We want people to be good representations of progressivism. We want Gillian Jacobs’ character to be a good feminist. But, with the exception of the wonderful and problematic Abed, these people are flawed in a really human way, which can also be a pretty amazing thing when done well.
The characters in Bridesmaids are similar. Even characters with lesser screen time really put forth an amazing presence, due both to the wonderful acting and the smart writing. There are moments when I absolutely loved Chris O’Dowd, who is a pretty feminist male character in the sense that he’s not an asshole. But, he does eventually do asshole things and be assholey. But, everyone has an asshole side in this film, and it feels real, despite some crazy moments that take place in this film.
A couple quicker things: As far as politics, it’s hard to really poo-poo a film with such a gendered concept to begin with, but there’s a lot of female positivity in this film, and the ending is a feel goodery of greatness. Despite being two hours long, it doesn’t overstay its welcome (which is awesome, because nearly every 2 hour comedy I’ve seen in the past ten years makes me want to scream throughout the awful final half hour), and Jon Hamm plays an amazing asshole. An incredibly attractive douchebag. Like, he’s really attractive in this. I’ve also never laughed as hard at someone’s facial reactions then when Tim Heidecker is on screen.
I love when I can find a film that actually makes me feel good. This is one of those. I highly recommend.
Peace go with you brother Don’t make no sense for us to be arguing now Time is right up on us now brother Don’t make no sense for us to be arguing now All of your children and all of my children are gonna have to pay for our mistakes someday Yes - and until then may peace guide your way Peace go with you brother; wherever you go Peace go with you brother
The directorial debut of the Coens leaves us little to talk about when it comes to the representation of women. The film follows three mains characters: A bar owner, his wife, and the bartender she is having an affair with. Frances McDormand is our lone female character, and while she’s great in the film, her being the only female character doesn’t really make it possible for this film to pass any part of the Bechdel Test.
But, still, what does this film say about women? What role do they play in this bloody, very-Coenesque film?
Umm…Okay, let’s walk through this a little bit. Spoilers and all.
I’ve been so out of touch with recently released movies (as in, movies made within the past two years) that I can’t remember if “The Runaways” was a big deal or not. If it wasn’t, I’d like to recommend it, to well, everybody.
First, the bad. The script is rather lacking, and the dialog can be pretty wooden. It is certainly heightened by the performances of Michael Shannon and Kristen Stewart (who is so good in this movie, it almost, almost makes me want to watch a “Twilight” movie), but the film attempts to cover up the poor writing with an enormous amount of music. And, in some ways, that’s acceptable, because it’s a movie about music, you know? Unlike a film such as “Stick It,” being inundated with music seems acceptable.
Secondly, the film is a little too episodic for me. But, perhaps I am never as committed to a music biopic as I’m supposed to be. In some ways, it reminded me of the God awful “Nowhere Boy,” where it felt like pieces of the story, rather than an actual cohesive film.
That being said, the film is far better than “Nowhere Boy,” and although I can’t say it’s a great film, it’s an addictive movie that I couldn’t stop watching. Even when I was bored, I was invested with where the film was taking me. It makes me want to go out and try to find some Runaway records, or some Joan Jett music. The acting is great, and the direction at times can be rather interesting (in a good way).
I’m curious what a fan of the group, or Joan Jett, would feel about this film, as I was only aware of the group and people involved and not really immersed in the music prior to viewing the film. But, I think it’s something people should check out. I don’t know how this got overlooked. It shouldn’t have been.