Monday, 16 May 2011

So. Bridemaids. Um...

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I'm breaking a few of my own rules here, because I'm posting about a film I haven't seen, a film I have no interest in seeing, and even throwing up some attitude on something that I'm not really interested in discussing and won't likely change my opinion on. But I can't ignore this poster or what it says. Why does this poster read:

"Chick Flicks Don't Have to Suck!" And then have quotes from 3 male reviewers.

Wouldn't it have a little more clout to have some quotes from the women film reviewers out there? And there's got to be some positive reviews out there given that it's 90% of Rotten Tomatoes at the moment (May 16, 2011), although at quick glance there was only 1 female happy tomato-er on the front page of the reviews. When I looked at my go-to gals I found response for both ends of the spectrum with MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher giving it a Skip It rating and Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood encouraging people to see it.

There is usually 1 film a year that gets me totally annoyed over gender crap. Not the film in it of itself (there is more than 1 a year of those!), but the coverage of the film. In 2008 it was Sex in the City, where all the podcasts I listened to has a 1-time female co-host on to 'help' review the film, as if all the guys were scared to take it one. This year the weirdness feels like it will be centred on Bridesmaids. Even though I rarely see or review comedies, sadly all the brouhaha has me even less interested in seeing it. Ah, well.

11 comments:

Bob Turnbull said...

I get where you're coming from Shannon, but the studio must be sensing that they can grab hold of some of that big "The Hangover" audience that's out there - a huge part of which is male and would typically (for right or wrong) not be interested in a film called "Bridesmaids". So gathering positive reviews by men for what has been assumed to be a "chick flick" and bringing it down to a lowest common denominator style plug for the film (ie. "It Doesn't Suck Dude!") is their strategy to get more men into the theatres. I'm not saying I like the marketing, but given the stereotypes that the studios work with (and help create), I can see why they went this way.

By the way, I dislike the term "chick flick" as much as anyone. It's demeaning and it's now assumed by many that it means "bad movie". Even if I understand the basic "genre" that the name indicates, like any other type of movie there are good and bad ones. Think of the people who skipped over "Amelie" or "In Her Shoes" because they thought they were "chick flicks". Their loss...

Of course, when I see commercials obviously aiming a movie at "Guys", I tune right out. I suppose I've probably missed a few good ones because I assumed that they were stupid. For example, I've had little interest in any of the Fast And The Furious movies, but I keep hearing Fast Five is actually a whole whack of fun...

Stupid marketing.

Suzie Ridler said...

UNBELIEVABLE offensive! I mean, SERIOUSLY. I find it shocking that the film industry still doesn't get it that women movies make money and don't have to market so hard to men. It's like they're trying to apologize or something. So demeaning.

For me, the hard part is it's written by two women who really wanted to make an original movie with different roles for talented female comedians to portray. Why do they have to market it like a d*ck-flick movie I don't want to see. Sorry to being crude but this makes me mad.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Interesting perspective Bob, and I can totally see it as bringing it down to it's lowest common denominator. I wonder how many guys brought women to see this film. It's odd though because I don't think of chick flicks as bad per se, but I know probably more women than not that say they just aren't interested in them. But I'm with you on people missing out if they didn't consider films like Amelie (and In Her Shows is still on my radar!)

I'm not sure I would go as far to say I find it offensive or demeaning, but it really was a missed opportunity. I had to go searching to find out what the women reviewers thought of the film. One possibility is that they really are trying to market it to men... which would be odd, although might be what they are doing.

This just reminds me of how generalization drives me bananas. I know marketing is a part of the game, but certain tactics, responses and focuses just drive me crazy.

Oh - and Fast Five was aweeeeesome :) I was definitely the target market for that one!

Allison said...

I also dislike the terms 'chick flick' & 'chick lit' - people (well, most people) - don't use the term Dick Flick to describe the latest action film. The age old Men-As-Default thing. Ick.

I dislike this poster a lot, but still planning on seeing the movie. I want to support films that star more than one token woman - films written by women, film with funny women, etc. Even if it takes getting produced by Judd Apatow to occur.

I just have to remind myself that so much & so many people thumbs are in the pie that is the film industry.

Tom Clift said...

I'm not so offended by the "chick flicks don't have to suck" quote, as it's clearly just the studio trying to sell to a wider (read: male) audience. That said, it is rather ridiculous that there aren't any quotes by female critics. But I think this is more indicitave of issues within the critical community itself, not just with the advertisers of BRIDESMAIDS

inMovies said...

Bridesmaids is a great movie for all audiences, not just women. If you’re looking for a good laugh, many agree that it’s one of the funniest movies of 2011. The male movie reviews may be an attempt to attract a male audience and to avoid having the movie being called “just another chick flick.”

The Mad Hatter said...

Shannon, I'm trying to think of a film that's been this mis-marketed and I'm really having trouble coming up with one.

Even beyond the generalizations, the studio has tried to sell the film on an angle that is a pretty big misdirect...which actually turned it into a surprising filmgoing experience.

I know you aren't easily swayed, but I'm willing to once again offer up the INGLORIOUS BASTERDS special:

Tuesday at the bar, I'll stake $20 for you to go see it. If you hate it, you keep the cash and all it has cost you is two hours of your life. If you like it, I get my $20 back.

Whaddaya think?

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I oddly don't mind the term chick-lit, although for ages I though people were referring to gum (Chiclets)!

Oh Hatter - although that would be easy money, I have no desire to see Inglorious Basterds. The chances of me enjoying it are so slim that it's really not worth it - especially when I have a handy-dandy stack of films to see that I actually... want to see. I admire your persistence though!

The Mad Hatter said...

Moxie, you misunderstand me. I'm offering to stake you to watch BRIDESMAIDS. (The BASTERDS offer is so named because of it's initial occurance to Chris McGee with BASTERDS).

Essentially, I'll pay your way (plus change) if you go see BRIDESMAIDS because I think you might actually like it. If you do, I get my money back, if not, you've only lost 2 hours.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Ah! I did misunderstood (I was rather confused .. heh...). Not sure I feel strongly enough about it one way or the other, to be honest...

Bob Turnbull said...

Let me just say that I saw Bridesmaids on Monday with 3 other guys (yes, we are indeed that secure with our manhoood...) and all 4 of us laughed ourselves silly.

The film isn't perfect by a long stretch - several pauses were awkward, a few timing issues missed bigger laughs and they definitely went for the gross laughs in a few spots - but there is so much more attention to character-based humour than something like "The Hangover" that brought a much more satisfying laugh to certain situations. Also, I'm a sucker for Kristen Whig's subtle under-her-breath-side- comments.

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