Love for Kristen Wiig and defending Bridesmaids
They’re considering a Bridesmaids sequel without Kristen Wiig. This is what almost everyone was focusing on yesterday. The detail that gets lost in that headline though is that Kristen Wiig didn’t want to do it. And, well, don’t you love her for that?
When asked about making another Bridesmaids, Wiig told The Hollywood Reporter:
"We aren't working on that. (My writing partner) Annie and I aren't planning a sequel. We are writing something else."
And then she wouldn’t comment about the rumour that she was disappointed that Universal offered all the Bridemaids only $100,000 each in bonuses after the movie did so well - in other words, they were cheapasses and she was unimpressed. (Before you open your mouth and tut about that figure, consider that in the industry, this isn’t an impressive amount, and certainly not in comparison to the men of The Hangover, for example.)
But Universal wanted Kristen for Bridesmaids 2 so badly - because it made them so much money - that the big boss Ron Meyer even took her out for dinner to try and talk her into it. And by talking her into it, THR means that he probably slid a cheque across the table in the neighbourhood of $10,000,000. Yeah, that’s 10 MILLION DOLLARS.
And she walked.
Because, well, she wasn’t feeling it. Not even for all that cash money. Is a Bridesmaids sequel really necessary? NO. And they always do the unnecessary in Hollywood.
Some love for Kristen then, yes? She’s getting my love. And she’s getting a lot of award season love too which some of you aren’t down with. You’ve emailed me about it, Sarah from Cinesnark is tweeting it, Duana is agreeing with it...
And I don’t disagree to your point and their point that Bridesmaids was alright but it wasn’t great, and certainly not the best comedy ever and shouldn’t be considered among the best of the year but...
If we’re talking this year’s award season and a movie that should not be receiving nominations, I’ll throw out The Help and sh-t on that WAAAAAAAAAAAAY before Bridesmaids.
Bridesmaids was funnier than The Help was intelligent. Bridesmaids was smarter than The Help was insightful. Bridemaids was less insulting than The Help. You know my feelings on The Help. Frankly, promoting The Help is much more dangerous and weak than praising Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids is supposed to be a comedy. It doesn’t pretend it’s any more than a comedy. The Help thinks it’s some kind of watershed moment in race relations when it only gives you easy solutions and absolutions to troubling questions. It doesn’t ask you to be uncomfortable and confront the truths that need to be addressed in order to affect change. And what’s especially frightening is that by honouring it The Help is allowed to continue to play it like that’s exactly what is has accomplished. As for its merits as a film, the story is overwrought and the characters are clichéd. Much as I love Viola Davis and think she is deserving of the recognition, it’s more that she managed to excel with such weak material than thrive in an already strong environment.
I recently went back and re-watched Bridesmaids, twice. And what I enjoyed more about it upon second viewing was how all 6 ladies, even the ones with smaller roles, each had their own memorable moments of magic. Writing that is that inclusive is underappreciated. It takes just as much talent to bring that to life than it does to play an over the top racist Hilly Holbrook caricature who gets more respect because she’s in a drama. Please.
Do I think Bridesmaids should be nominated for Best Picture? OF COURSE NOT. But if we’re having that conversation, how come no one is mentioning The Help first, and, while we’re at it, The Ides Of March, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo at the same time, if not before?