“Oh, no you didn’t, Oscar!”

Katie Gile

By: Katie Gile, Staff Reporter

 

The opulent evening of Cartier jewels, borrowed evening gowns and Clooney in a tux came and went, complete with the requisite disbursement of gilded men to another crop of stars. I’m speaking, of course, of the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

The choices of some award winners were “duh” and others were, in my humble opinion, highway robbery.

The grandest travesty: “Bridesmaids” went home with nothing more than the chance to present and continue a drinking game from the Golden Globes. (Scorcese!)

OK, I get it. Comedies often go home empty-handed at the Oscars. Well, pretty much anything lighter-hearted than a PG-13 thriller that Pixar hasn’t created tends to leave sans-Oscar.

And while Melissa McCarthy did an absolutely phenomenal job and stole the show as Megan in “Bridesmaids,” Octavia Spencer earned the daylights out of the little gold statuette she won for “The Help.”

But the fact that “Bridesmaids,” with one of the best screenplays ever written for women, by women and about women, didn’t win Best Original Screenplay is appalling.

Hyperbole? I think not.

For the first time in my movie-loving life, amid women-targeted trite, vapid bullshit like “Bride Wars” and “Sex & the City 2,” a film handled the business of being a real, flawed, awkward woman with legitimate humor, wit and intelligence.

Not only was its main character, Annie, an odd and oddly relatable piece of work, but each of the male and female supporting players played round, dynamic and vivid characters instead of predictable stereotypes.

Were some of them mildly insane and larger than life? Yep. It’s a comedy; that happens.

But what separates these characters and their portrayal from surface comedies like “Dude, Where’s My Car?” is soul. And soul permeated from every moment of this film and from each of its extremely funny women.

Which reminds me: This movie, with its primarily female cast and script penned by funny ladies Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, was inaccurately smeared with what is probably the worst genre in all of moviedom: the chick flick.

But like what Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal said in his review of “Bridesmaids”: “If this is only a chick flick, then call me a chick.” Yeah, you read that correctly. The Wall Street Journal likes a “chick flick.”

“Bridesmaids” appeals to women; I’m certainly not arguing that. But almost every guy I know whose girlfriend “dragged” him to see it came out of the movie still laughing from its final scene and couldn’t wait to see it again.

This movie also got a bum rap for being a female buddy comedy, trying desperately to match its male counterpart “The Hangover.” Many comparisons played to this idea, which was entirely unfair to a movie that was, in my mind, in a league all its own. By offering several breeds of humor, with sharp, comedic timing and a ton of heart underneath, “Bridemaids” had something for the funny bone in everyone.

The movie settled slapstick, “dumb” comedy cravings, kept the awkward witty jokes rolling and challenged audiences’ expectations of what women can do as comedians.

Speaking of which, what an absolutely tremendous cast. Like Maya Rudolph’s character, Lillian, calls them, these women are “a stone-cold pack of weirdos,” and it was a delight to watch them work.

But while I hope to see these ladies work together again, I truly hope there’s not a “Bridesmaids 2: even Maid-ier.” Nothing kills brilliance quite like a sequel, and it would be a shame to see this light dampened by dim-witted mimicry.

Let’s hope Hollywood at least learns that lesson.

 

Email Katie Gile at [email protected]