The Incredible Jessica Williams

Sarah Posted by Sarah at June 27, 2017 19:01:54 June 27, 2017 19:01:54

One of the biggest hits at Sundance this year was The Incredible Jessica James, starring Jessica Williams. You might recall that at Sundance, Salma Hayek devoured her own foot while talking over Williams at a luncheon for women in the film industry. Kathleen covered it here, and I forgot how infuriating it is to even read about that “conversation”—it sounds more like Williams was being lectured by people who refuse to recognize her experience. But it’s worth revisiting, because it’s a reminder of how f*cking great Williams is: A stand-out alum of The Daily Show, a popular podcaster (“2 Dope Queens”), a talented actress and comedian, and most importantly, an essential voice for this time. Does she have a book deal yet? No? It’s only a matter of time.

All this is to say that the teaser trailer for The Incredible Jessica James was released this week and it looks, well, incredible. It’s 95% percent Williams dancing and 5% Williams shutting down men, and I am HERE FOR IT. That clapping thing she does to the man-spreader? Totally stealing that to use during my commute on the L, where manspreading is an epidemic. (They will not only spread but sit SIDEWAYS so that they are SPREADING INTO THE AISLE. This should be grounds for justifiable homicide during rush hour.)

But mostly it’s Williams dancing that is so winning. It’s fifty seconds of Williams being explosively charismatic, playing this exuberant, CONFIDENT character. Jessica James declares herself “pretty, smart, and a coco queen”, and there’s no apology or sheepishness on display. It reminds me of what Patty Jenkins said about the word “cheesy” and the need for sincerity in these times. That extends to confidence, too, doesn’t it? To be sincere in your confidence, to not apologize for yourself or your life. I have no idea what The Incredible Jessica James is about beyond Jessica Williams playing this character, and I’m already 100% on board. A few weeks ago we had Wonder Woman, now we have GLOW (we will be posting about GLOW later this week), and next month we have Jessica James. Let’s keep this train of confident badass babes rolling.

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