Thursday, May 26, 2011

On Bridesmaids & Changing Your Mind

People are wiiggin' about Bridesmaids. (Get it? Wiiggin?) I have to admit, I am very interested. I like women. I like comedy. I love women doing comedy. I really love Kristen Wiig.

I like that people are accepting women as naturally funny because of this movie. It doesn't have to be an anomaly anymore. But, this movie was still produced by Judd Apatow. I don't hate or even dislike this guy as much as I probably should. The truth is I laughed a lot at Superbad. Like, a lot.

Muff hates his movies because they all remind us that men spend mucho percent of their time talking about and noticing hot women. Whether it's art imitating life or vice versa, I don't really care. It's something I'd rather not have continue in society, and splicing comedy with an unfavorable male habit tricks everyone into liking it. Or, at least accepting it subliminally.

So, naturally, Jamin suggests Bridesmaids to me because he knows what I said in line one: I am all about women busting into comedy. And I said, "No, thanks." Because I read an interview with Wiig about the process, and there's at least one part of the movie she didn't want in--some scene where all the girls, like, get diarrhea or fall in mud or something. So, that bugs me. I don't really want to contribute to box office sales of a movie that could have been perfectly funny without Mr. Apatow butting in and asking for all the girls to lose all self-respect just for a while. Maybe it's purely because anyone falling in mud and losing face is funny, but it's different having men, who already run comedy, get involved in shtick. I guess you could argue it's sexist to NOT have women do the same stupid stuff men do in movies. There's a point there, but it's balancing on the fine line of...something.

Jamin said, "But Wiig co-produced, and you probably want to support her." Which is true. I do want to support her. I am really involved with how I spend my money, because I really do see it as a vote. I don't personally have a problem with my health because of McDonald's, but I know a lot of this country does, so, if I can, I don't contribute to the problem--even though it doesn't directly affect me. But, that's really just half the battle.

The other half is not exposing yourself to things that you don't support because they do change your mind. It's pretty naive to think we can just enter restaurants we feel fundamentally against and not slowly come to like them better, to watch movies we know will involve themes we don't support and leave with the same pure mindset we had before showtime. Even though I will be a vegetarian forever, when I enter McDonalds, I see the prettiest picture of chicken strips--with a vibrant purple backdrop. Maybe I'll never act on the sudden impulse to eat some, but the thought has been planted, and that makes my ideas on the subject just a little weaker. Just a little cloudier.

Seeing Bridesmaids may be a big step for women in comedy, but it's still women in comedy as a man views them. And even if I know that going in, I'm obviously going to leave subliminally thinking things about myself as a women and a comedian I didn't think before. And, I'm not ready for that.

*Our actions are important because we actually give physical support to things. Let's make it stuff we do support.
*Our actions are important because what we do changes our minds whether we recognize that immediately or not.
*The part where McLovin says he almost got "Muhammad" is the funniest ever.


Tobias said...

I couldn't agree more with this, and after seeing said movie (a roommate-bonding compromise) leaves me even more unsettled with the fact that ultimately the presence of a wise man is what brings a woman's downward spiral into control. Booo.

Clearly, we all just need to be saved.

Benjo said...

HEY. LISTEN LADY. Don't just be tossing things like this around:

"Muff hates his movies because they all remind us that men spend mucho percent of their time talking about and noticing hot women. Whether it's art imitating life or vice versa, I don't really care."

That's a negative and sexist stereotype, and it's lazy and irresponsible of you as a person who so champions egalitarianism to go spoutin such bad ma'amojamma. I don't see how you can care as much about women's rights as I know you do and not care about the way that that plays into human rights as a whole, including how men are sexualized and characterized in crap like that.

The fact that that Douchebag McGee makes movies that encourage misogynistic and idiotic behavior doesn't have to be EITHER art reflecting life or life reflecting art to be flat out stupid and wrong and untrue. I've tried so much all my damn life to be a good man and to stand up for the positive qualities of masculinity and to treat women with respect, and I fight hard all the time to not be assumed to be a disgusting horndog, and I know I'm not alone.

I'm just sayin, it's flip flappin frustrating to get painted with the same brush that the Jersey Shore crew paint themselves with. I respect you and your ideas, but it's easy in carving out your beliefs to demonize the "other" and get lax about loving those by whom you feel persecuted.

AliceOutOfContext said...

M--I'm glad you agree! Ughhhh!

Dude, Benjo! That's exactly what I mean! In his lame movies that's what he portrays and it makes it okay for us to accept that stereotype--even if it's wrong. Which it is for a lot of guys. Dur.

Benjo said...

Well if that's what you meant, then great! But in that paragraph you made it sound like you agree that it is the normal state of a man to be crude in his attitude towards women (men spend mucho percent of their time talking about and noticing hot women), that being crude and overtly sexual is a bad *male* habit (splicing comedy with an unfavorable male habit tricks everyone into liking it), and that it was sad to be *reminded* of that, which implies you're already convinced that this is the case and the best we can do is ignore it. Maybe I'm just reading your tone wrong, but I think to be REminded of something, you must already be of that mind, and I think that's where I'm getting hung up.

Elleoneiram said...

I definitely didn't read her comment like that, but at least you're trying to change stereotypes, Benjo. I myself saw the movie and found it almost alarmingly refreshing - there is a guy involved, but I really didn't see him as the one who saves the girl. Her make up with him was just part of her trying to make up with everyone, including her girlfriends. As crude as the movie sometimes was, its humor and take on female friendship felt like the story was told very much from a woman's point of view. Didn't two women write it? That said, I look forward to the day when the number of male directors and producers of the 100 top grossing movies dwindles to less than 97%.