THE BRIDESMAIDS EFFECT
Hollywood’s latest affair with funny flicks for chicks


The Bridesmaids Effect has taken hold of Hollywood with as firm a grip as Kim Kardashian on a financially lucrative wedding.  Until Kristen Wiig and her BFFs burped and farted their way onto our screens, studio executives were reluctant to green light female-driven comedies, unless they involved Jennifer Aniston bagging a boyfriend or Angelina Jolie kicking butt.  Now, there's a veritable feast of female friendly films and TV productions coming our way.

 

For reasons best known to the men in grey, the film industry has long been convinced that the only people who go to the cinema are eighteen to twenty-five-year-old males who appreciate nothing other than testosterone charged extravaganzas filled with action, sex and violence.  This is not only stupid, but also insulting.  Box office figures for Bridesmaids ($288m worldwide) proved it wasn't just women who found the sight of Maya Rudolph defecating in the middle of the street in her wedding dress hilarious, but blokes did as well.  Producers suddenly had an epiphany. Women could be funny, too!  Who knew?

 

Channel Four is first in line, in bringing us the new wave of femme-friendly comedies coming out of the US.  Already airing is our favourite manic pixie dream girl Zooey Deschanel in New Girl as Jess who, after discovering her dunderheaded boyfriend is a cheat, moves into a flat with three guys.  There's a convincing chemistry between the four, as the whimsically weird Jess bestows life lessons on her lovable man-children.

 

Four has also purchased Whitney and 2 Broke Girls.  Stand up comic Whitney Cummings' eponymous comedy tackles classic battle of the sexes dilemmas.  She also wrote 2 Broke Girls, along with Michael Patrick King (the man behind Sex And The City), which is based on an unlikely friendship that develops between Max, Kat Dennings' street smart waitress, and down on her luck ex-socialite Caroline, played by Beth Behrs, as they struggle to build a cupcake business.  Both draw heavily from Friends and follow a traditional sitcom format with laughter on cue, but have decidedly bawdy dialogue that might raise some eyebrows.

 

It's unlikely any of these ladies will last as long as Rachel et al, but writer-director Lena Dunham could go the distance.  Girls, in which Dunham stars, follows a group of twenty-something women struggling with life in the Big Apple.  Airing on HBO in April, it's already being compared to Sex And The City, but if the droll, self-deprecating humour of Dunham's Tiny Furniture is anything to go by, Girls will be a very different sitcom.

 

 

Read the rest of The Bridesmaids Effect, in our April 2012 issue.  Out now!

 

 

What do you think - have Hollywood honchos finally woken up to the power of women?  Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section, below.

Producers suddenly had an epiphany. Women could be funny, too! Who knew?

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