Bridesmaids is the $ 124 Million grossing film spawning sequels and apparently a new respect for female driven – R rated comedy (that in some circles is considered gross-out).
“Within a week of its opening there was talk of a sequel, and this week, two studios bought pitches for two comedies that are likely to appeal to women.” So states an article from industry news site The Wrap (the article was written by a male).
I tend to think it is the theme not so much the gender that has helped this so much. Being a bridesmaid (willingly or not) is a very universal theme much like The Hangover’s bachelor party premise. I know for a fact there are bridesmaids fanatics much like the gals in this hit. Combine that with the time of year (in case you are not one of those fanatics, this time of year is prime wedding season) so I’m sure half the ticket sales were in the form of gaggles of gals that were actually a gaggle of bridesmaids.
Regardless, I’m happy there is an apparent ‘new genre’ of female driven, flat out funny comedies because I have one that has been on the cusp of acceptance for two-years now – hopefully this will push it over.
The screenplay was written in 6 weeks and at 2 hours 5 min. (125 pgs) sets another genre-bending example – a very long comedy. Is this because it is written for women and they need a little more emotional investment, perhaps but that’s a stretch for me to believe. HANGOVER 2 is an hour forty-two (or about 100 pages). The early draft I have is actually a mind-roasting 135 pages.
The 1st 10 pages of BRIDESMAIDS does successfully introduce the two main characters and their deeply embedded personality quirks. But by no means is it evidently brilliant at the start.
What it does do successfully though is provide easily visualized business throughout the PAGES of expositional dialogue – business that no doubt was expanded upon via terrific acting with a solid foundation in improv, propelled by being a Judd Apatow production.
Proportionate to its excessive length, the wedding announcement and subsequent maid of honor appointment happens a little later around page 12 – which is fine really especially considering this was their first screenplay.
They got the green light on a pitch to Judd Apatow, not a script, which explains a lot. This is a perfect example of ‘high concept’ you hear so often. The talented comedians apparently bought a book on writing screenplays opened a bag a chips and started writing.
Aside from the fact that it reads as a first screenplay, beyond the 1st 10 pages my problem with it is that I just don’t find it funny. To be fair, my comments on the writing are based on what is clearly an early draft – (for one, the roommate changed into the very funny brother and sister that you see on screen). However, I will say that in this rough draft, Annie our protagonist is very well developed and it is clear that it is her story – it’s just too predictable and the things that really define those male-driven comedies the (often gross) surprise factor, is not evident in these early pages.
But hey, to each his own and now I’m off to rephrase my pitch to include the previously shunned ‘female-driven’ comedy.