Bridget Jones’Baby and the state of female-centric comedy.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, from what I remember, was okay and the sequel was, from what I remember, forgettable. The threequel though was something altogether worse; devoid of heart and smeared with forced sentimentality . Although, somehow, even though over a decade late and missing a key player, it has made over $40 million in the UK alone, making studio Working title the first British film studio to break $1 billion; also beating competing films such as The Magnificent Seven at the Box Office. Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver is killed off before the film begins although in reality he didn’t return because Grant felt the script wasn’t up to scratch. His spot in the love triangle is filled with Patrick Dempsey’s internet dating mogul; Jack. Who, whilst being adequately charming and handsome provides no comedic or emotional attraction. Colin Firth returns and as always is incredibly likeable as the stern yet awkward Mark Darcy.

As the lead, Renée Zellweger has lost the relate-ability that made this franchise a hit. No longer is she a chunky, unsuccessful, boozy smoker but a skinny, fag-free model employee with a top job. There’s nothing wrong with success, it just isn’t very funny. As well as no longer acting like the audience, Zellweger is near unrecognisable due to surgery and whatnot which makes it often hard to tell what exactly Bridget is supposed to be feeling. Similar to Ricky Gervais playing David Brent after so long in Hollywood, with teeth, hair and and body fit for the red carpet the characters just aren’t the same.

I feel sorry for women, whilst trying not to sound patronising, I feel this film is insulting towards you. If you don’t find: somebody swearing, somebody falling over, or somebody being gay funny then there isn’t really anything for you in Bridget Jones’ Baby. It, like all female comedians (I nearly said most but no, all is correct), assumes that your comedic range spans from: the fact that you all have vaginas to the fact that some of you have sex. Although, in a sold out theatre, I was the minority. There were people howling with laughter, literally spitting Prosecco out of their mouths and crying, ‘Oh Bridget’, so what do I know.

I think that films like Bridget Jones’ Baby and comedy shows like Miranda, Inside Amy Schumer and all the female-centric comedy in-between imply that the only thing women find funny is the fact that they are women.

Before Bridget Jones’ Baby started a trailer for Fifty Shades Darker played and it struck me that that is the next film to come out aimed solely at a female audience. It comes out on valentines day… in four months. The reason that so many women were forcing out such loud and frequent laughs in BJB is that there are such gaps between films that they’ll actually choose to watch. The outing to the cinema is a bigger deal for a group of women and has more pressure on it to be a success. When I go to the cinema with friends, if the film is rubbish it’s okay because there will be something else out that is aimed at us in another screen or we’ll even relish the poor film too. Whereas the female audience have to wait four months for another chance. So I guess it’s just easier to pretend that this instance was better than it was.

I encourage women everywhere to demand more films and films of a higher standard. Keep eating up what you’re being fed and nothing will change. There are films, such as the Marvel movies and the recent Star Wars films that pretend that they’re not 100% aimed at males, but don’t be fooled, they are. With no Black Widow, Gamora, or Rey (literally the main character) merchandise in stores it is clear that whilst filmmakers such as Whedon, Gunn and Abrams might be doing their bit for diversity, the distributors simply do not care. Those films are aimed at a mainstream male audience but interested females are considered alternative or nerdy. What about the new Ghostbusters I can hear you thinking. I’m trying to consider if it were me, and if the standard set for movies aimed at me was so low and infrequent that I’m supposed to rejoice when Melissa McCarthy, star of hit films such as The Boss, Tammy and Identity Thief stars in an all female reboot of a male-led classic, regardless of whether it’s funny or not. You’re sexist if you don’t like the new Ghostbusters, its producers would have you believe… what a clever scam. I work in a cinema and didn’t hear one complaint about Ghostbusters’ all female cast, only complaints about it not being funny.

Ghostbusters.jpg

Most films in the cinema currently are reboots, remakes or, like Bridget Jones’ Baby, belated sequels. If you want something funny, female-driven and original – see Bad Moms. A surprising hit before which I said I would rather stick pins in my eyes than watch. Proof that there is room for female comedy when the premise of every joke isn’t ‘I am a woman and I have a vagina’ and also proof that I’ll admit when a female cast is actually funny, yes Ghostbusters I’m talking to you again. 

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