Granted, I had an extremely generous mindset going into the theater--I wanted to love this movie. Oh, boy, did I want to love this movie. FIRST FEMALE BUDDY COPS, FEMALE SCREENWRITER, MIDDLE-AGE HEROINES, MELISSA MCCARTHY'S UNCONVENTIONAL BEAUTY! My gender equality dreamz exploding into unicorns.
Look, it's not GD American Beauty, but it's way way way better than, like, eighty percent of Will Ferrell's summer movies. I have way too much to think and say about this film, but this is my crummy blog, and I don't get paid for it, so I am just going to give some bullet points.
-It was just as exciting to see women run around with guns and narrowly dodging explosives as it would be watching men. Truth. Of course the amount of violence is problematic, but that's not what I'm focusing on right now.
-Witty, gritty women. Some of the banter and one-liners. #SupesSmartDialogue #SupesSmartDialogueInLadyMouths
-I was worried at first when the women were so horribly opposed, but I had to recognize that they were not just competitive women (cough, Bridesmaids), they were just two opposing protagonists. It's a buddy cop movie. That's how it goes.
-Perhaps women can be a little more emotional, but they don't have to be. The women become friends/learn from each other, but they maintain a playful hate/love relationship until the end. Like, women (especially women in the FBI maybe?) can be affectionate jerks.
-No sexualization besides minor comedic club dancing. More awkward than body-focused. In buddy cop comedies, we don't need to actually get into a dude's six-pack. Same goes got Sandra's bangin' bod.
-THAT said, the women talk about each other's appearances more than average cop duos might. (Although, it does happen. Opening scene in 48 Hours.) But, let's be real...that's part of being a woman. That stuff matters more. It's natural, they would make it matter more in their conversation. It was never drippy. It was punchy and often entertaining.
-Men also commented a lot on their appearances/ages/hygiene. I think this may have been overblown. (The villain always commenting on the relative "hottness" of the pair.) But, possible (sad). It was done comedically like, "Oh, great! This silly guy not being attracted to Melissa LOL." In seriousness, I'm sure true male villains do use appearance as a wedge to make their female victims feel uncomfortable. But, that would be a different genre.
-Lack of romantic focus. Each woman had a little backstory (I'm wondering if to prove they weren't gay?) but not even a B plot worth. Not even a C plot worth.
-The supposedly touching friendship moment was actually touching for me. I wonder if it was just written well or if I could connect more as a lady. Is this what I have been missing out on bromance movies all this time!? Seriously felt slightly choked up. During The Heat.
-There was a big ol' lack of other women. One one hand, this was probably accurate. Female cops in high places? Meh? It helped show a subtle feminist message: woman against everyone else. But, I thought that may have been too strong. Of course Sandra wants a promotion that her male boss can't see she deserves. What if it had been a woman? Maybe, I'm reading too much into it.
-These humans were supremely unlikable at the outset and didn't get much better (although they grew on me). Perhaps showing some negative women blown up? I think no. I think that's just what comedy is. They were whole humans. That's the important thing. I mean, we can't complain about lack of women in film if we expect them all to be perfect. Perfect is boring.
-The plot skeleton was pretty intriguing. The cops are on the trail of a huge drug bust. Kinda one of the less important rings of investigation? (According to me, who, you know, doesn't know anything about the worst impacts of coke economy.) I guess it's comedy, so murders aren't the best bet. But, still...something about the women succeeding at a pyseduo-fruitless mission...Hm.
-For a female-centric movie, there were still a lot of dick jokes. But, part of standing up as a woman is making aiming some guns at guy crotches.
-No one ever made fun of Melissa's weight or even alluded to it. #SoFreakingHappy
-Mainly, SO COOL THAT THE WORD "MISOGYNY" IS JUST CHILLIN' IN A SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!
Things are happening, and I feel really excited for the future.