When Bridesmaids came out, Melissa McCarthy became the newest flashpoint in public discussion of all things fat. The latest evidence of that is November’s cover of ELLE, where the magazine has swathed her in the largest trenchcoat imaginable. Longtime decipherers of women’s magazine jargon will recognize this as a maneuver by evil fashion stylists to “flatter her strengths.” In this particular frame, as June Thomas points out at Slate, it’s obvious that these purported strengths were not her body as a whole. So the result is this: ELLE runs a fat-positive cover that seems afraid of its subject’s actual, well, fat. … Read More
Let’s get this out in the open: being a movie critic is a pretty easy job. It’s not all fun and games and popcorn — you have to deal with publicists, for one thing, and coming up with new and intelligent things to say about cookie-cutter studio movies is a challenge, and you often have to sit through movies you’re not all that excited to see. But, to be clear, we’re not breaking rocks here. You get to see movies for free before they’re released, often in the comfort of private screening rooms, and you get to pontificate about them for (hopefully) lots of readers. It’s a pretty cushy gig. And that’s why it’s so maddening that the New York Observer’s Rex Reed continues to fuck it up — and why it’s time to take the job away from him. … Read More
Hollywood has never been short on buddy cop movies. Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours are just a few of the films featuring bonded lawmen. There’s even a fairly substantial subgenre of buddy cop films with dogs, including Turner & Hooch and K-9. It’s mind-blowing that Paul Feig’s The Heat is one of the only films in the bunch starring women as agents on a mission. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play the typical odd couple (with guns). One’s an uptight FBI agent, the other a zany cop from Boston. … Read More
Modern cinema can be broken down into two specific distinctions: pre-Bridesmaids and post-Bridesmaids. In the former era, we had female-driven comedies like Outrageous Fortune, Sister Act, and Miss Congeniality — all considered box-office hits (the latter two warranted sequels). In our current era, when every six months or so there’s a debate over the comic abilities of women, it seems that any major release is a major coup for feminism. This year’s contribution to the cause of solving sexism in film is The Heat, directed by Paul Feig (who was at the helm of Bridesmaids), penned by Parks and Recreation writer Katie Dippold, and starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. … Read More
Try as you might, mom won’t ever let you forget that she knows what’s best for you. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we played matchmaker and set you up with a few film characters that mom would approve of. She only wants you to be happy. We chose ten films, guesstimated who you probably have a crush on, and then selected a character from the same movie that mom would prefer you invite over for dinner sometime. Feel free to leave your own mom-approved film character crushes in the comments section. … Read More
Melissa McCarthy didn’t waste any time getting right to the funny stuff in last night’s episode of SNL, with musical guest Phoenix. She entered the stage staggering in sky-high stripper heels, face-planting in front of the band. The gag was more nuanced than we’re describing, which is what we love about the actress. You can watch it, below.
McCarthy is easily as gifted as Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and SNL’s other greatest ladies. Her commitment to a role is unwavering, and her physical comedy skills show courage and a willingness to stretch boundaries that’s on par with other uninhibited SNL all-stars like Will Ferrell and the late, great Chris Farley.
For McCarthy’s second hosting appearance, the writers leaned a little too heavily on the Bridesmaids star as the same crude and ridiculous character for nearly every sketch: the clumsy, oblivious, frumpy woman. She’s certainly adept at playing the loose canon, but just as things started to venture somewhere different, tired comedy like the food jokes — this time ham and pizza — returned. Also, where the hell were the other women? This ep felt more guy-heavy than usual. We took a look at more of the best and worst of last night’s episode after the jump. … Read More
Judd Apatow’s This is 40, out this Friday, is — as its ads carefully note — a “sort-of sequel” to his 2007 hit Knocked Up. It doesn’t concern that film’s leading characters; Seth Rogen’s Ben is only mentioned in passing, and Katherine Hiegl’s Alison is absent altogether. Instead, Apatow focuses on supporting couple Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their two kids — played by Apatow and Mann’s real-life offspring. The idea of making a spin-off instead of a sequel is a fairly rare one; there are a few examples, like U.S. Marshalls (from The Fugitive), Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Beauty Shop (from Barbershop 2) and Puss in Boots (from Shrek 2), but overall, it’s not all that common. Which is funny, because we think it’s a more interesting way to continue a franchise than the standard sequel, so after the jump, we’ve got suggestions for supporting characters we’d like to see bumped up to leads. (Warning: Some spoilers follow.) … Read More
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy have to be two of the most well-liked actresses in Hollywood, so we can only imagine how overjoyed studio execs were to have them team up in The Heat, Paul Feig’s highly-anticipated followup to Bridesmaids. Instant box office success! But here’s the thing: casting two female leads in a buddy cop comedy isn’t enough to make the material feel fresh. Sure, there’s something kind of amusing about watching McCarthy threaten people with physical harm, but we were hoping for a movie with a little more edge. Instead, this looks more like Miss Congeniality 3, complete with a wacky dance number and a joke about Spanx. We can only hope that they’re saving all of the good stuff for the red band version. Click through to see for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More
It’s not like us to get so excited about broad Hollywood comedies, but check out Identity Thief: Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy co-star as a yuppie with an androgynous name and the big-haired Florida woman who steals his identity and maxes out his credit card. After reporting the theft and missing his court date, Bateman decides to hunt down McCarthy on his own. Hilarity — including some amusingly unlikely action sequences — ensues. Aside from the joy of seeing two of our favorite comic actors play off each other, Identity Thief boasts the directing talents of Seth Gordon, who brought us not only last year’s surprisingly decent Horrible Bosses but also the wonderful video game documentary The King of Kong. The movie hits theaters February 8th. … Read More
1. After facing the ire of many professional musicians, Amanda Palmer has announced that she’ll now pay the volunteer string, brass, and saxophone players who have been joining her on stage with money — not just “beer, hugs, merch, free tickets, and love.” [via ArtsBeat]
2. Best Coast is opening for Green Day… Read More