From Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, an Apatow movie with chicks instead of dudes that was somehow hailed as the first time women had ever been funny (not that I should have to cite examples here, but Baby Mama came three years earlier and was better), comes The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. They each play over-the-top, cop-movie caricatures, with Bullock as the tight-ass Joe Friday (they even call her a “tight ass” in the voice over) and McCarthy as the brash, slovenly Jack Black. She’s neat! She’s a slob! Familiar jokes! Is this equality? Where women get to do all the lame hacky crap we’re already tired of guys doing? I’m all for fairness, but there are better ways.
Jesus Christ, we’ve got the odd couple, the meet cute, the gruff captain, the pickin’-an-outfit montage, the free-spirit-teaches-workaholic-to-loosen-up sequence, the “unusual-methods” interrogation… all glued together with that Hives song that’s been in roughly eight billion trailers already. I’ve seen Mexican soap operas with more subtlety than this.
It’s like Melissa McCarthy is playing Pam from Archer, only they have to dress her in over-the-top clown clothes with fingerless gloves and Oakleys just to make sure the foreign language autistics don’t miss any of the jokes. Paul Feig has done some great stuff and I like both these actresses okay, but can the big studios just stop making comedies? They play to the test audience, and this is what happens when you play to the test audience. You get Big Bang Theory meets Cop Out with chicks. Or Bridesmaids meets Miss Congeniality. Yeah, let’s go with the second one, it’s less creative.