It was intensely refreshing to watch Bridesmaids, a film about a young woman whose life story actually (and hilariously) didn’t come out peaches. This doesn't mean that the character crumbles to the ground and emotionally eats Haagen-Dazs after the "failed" meet-cute. I mean that Kristen Wiig’s character has a seriously shitty life and has real problems: her business didn’t survive the recession; she works in retail; her bff since childhood is about to abandon her for married life; her incestuous roommates are beyond our worst roommate stories; she's forced to move back home, and the list goes on.
This is not the Katherine Heigl life success story that we envy and hate. This is the story we ache with empathy for. I’d like to believe that the film was "subversive" in this vein. Penis-face-rubbing conversations and shitting your dress happens in a woman's life and all of us have always known this. But to have real problems happen to somebody who isn't a Seth Rogen or even a sad bastard Robert Downey Jr. is a great sigh of relief for those women who just don't have their shit together, who are stuck in a rut, or who aren't working for a shi-shi-poo-poo fashion magazine in Manhattan. So thank-you, Kristen Wiig, for raging against the chick flick machine with more than just cheap tricks, but with a real story that real hard-done-by women can relate to.
Rather than complain about the Academy and their decision making, I'm going to focus on some favorites of 2011. In the spirit of collaboration, I've asked friends to contribute thoughts. If you're interested in doing so, shoot me an email. wboothe at geemale