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February 7, 2011

Oh 'Bridesmaids,' This Is How You Treat Melissa McCarthy?
by rachelv - 4

By WICF Contributor Rachel van der Steur

My esteemed colleague Meghan O'Keefe recently posted her excitement about the upcoming movie Bridesmaids, and I share her glee. An ensemble comedy packed with undeniable female talents written by 2 chicks? What's not to celebrate? This movie is a giant leap forward for women in comedy. There is nothing not to rejoice about here.


Except for Melissa McCarthy. I LOVE Melissa McCarthy. She nailed the "best friend/wacky sidekick/voice of reason" role as Sookie St. James on "Gilmore Girls" for 7 years. She was great alongside Christina Applegate in "Samantha Who?" She's hilarious and relatable in the current series "Mike and Molly". She is extremely beautiful. And this movie wastes her. In Bridesmaids, Melissa plays an aggressively unattractive tomboy. Greasy hair, unflattering clothes, gas problems. I'm not suggesting that women have to be beautiful all the time. Certainly not. But, and let me be candid here, why's it gotta be the fat girl?

I'm a fat girl. A lot of my friends are fat girls. And we manage to be attractive, smart, and really funny at the same time. It's obvious from her other work that McCarthy can do that, too. I know ensembles require a variety of personality types to work. I know that if this movie were The Hangover, she'd be Zach Galifianakis. It's a characterization that fits well in a movie like this. But why couldn't she be played by Ellie Kemper? Or Wendi McLendon-Covey? Or Rose Byrne? Why does the women already viewed by most of society as undesirable have to play the ugly girl?

Hollywood doesn't like overweight people. Neither does the fashion industry. Neither does this writer for Marie Claire. But shouldn't we like ourselves enough to refuse to play these bigoted reindeer games? Shouldn't we be secure enough in our talents to not let our appearance be the joke?

I'm still excited about Bridesmaids. I'll probably still see it opening weekend. But my ass won't be the only thing weighing heavily when I do.


  1. It certainly looks like a case of fat hate: but I wasn't too excited about the film anyway because it looks like a laddish film like The Hangover, just populated with women instead of the usual all-male cast. I'll keep waiting for intelligent comedies with women that don't involve weddings -- or belching and farting. It's not that farting can't be funny (Chaucer was the master), but that seems to be the only kind of humor American moviemakers know.

  2. I can't say I am surprised, I'm just glad they didn't have a black character. I would love to see some female funny without weddings or childbirth. Or is that all?

  3. Yeah, K.A., it does seem very similar to The Hangover, doesn't it? It seems unfair to judge the entire movie based on the trailer, though, so I'm holding out hope.

  4. Aw, c'mon Webstar! All this movie (or ANY movie) needs is a sassy black lady! ;) Thanks for reading!