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Can Fart Jokes Save the World?
And it's a funny movie, it really is. I valued it most for its exploration of female friendship—it is truly refreshing to see women in a Hollywood film competing not over the living Ken doll that most romantic comedies tout, but instead over a female friend. Plus, the success of "Bridesmaids" has spawned a whole slew of female-centric movies and television shows meant to portray funny, smart women. If nothing else, that's got to be good for women in Hollywood-- actresses like Zooey Deschanel ("The New Girl") and Christina Applegate ("Up All Night") get to star in their own series in which they get to play more than just The Girlfriend. But, as Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in The Atlantic, "in some ways this year's sitcoms...feel a lot more like throwbacks to Archie comics than a continuation of the R-rated exploration of sex, materialism, and friendship that proved so powerful with movie audiences." In other words, it's great that women are getting all this attention in the media, but it raises the question: is this really the kind of attention women need? So the "Bridesmaids"-spinoff-flurry is getting its message heard, but what is the message? That women can be just as silly and bawdy and dumb as the man-boys of the Judd Apatow set? So... what?
Of course, it's gratifying that people are having these conversations about "Bridesmaids" and women in general. Good things happening for Kristen Wiig and her buddies can only mean good things for the rest of us too. Maybe "Bridesmaids" will remain just a beloved, funny movie about some ladies that spawns a new generation of screwball comediennes (welcome, admittedly). Maybe it will be remembered as the thing that somehow turned the tide of sexism in Hollywood, or the country. Seems like a lot to ask from a movie full of fart jokes but hey, they're really funny fart jokes.
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