Quick plot synopsis:
And Feministing, among other places raved about how great it was to see a woman-driven comedy.
The thing is, I'm not convinced that it was woman-driven. I thought it was a movie about a wedding, not a movie about women. My partner turned to me about halfway through the film and whispered, "So, if we count talking about weddings as talking about men, has this even passed the Bechdel test?" and we decided that no, it probably had not (although it does later in the movie).
I left the movie deeply disappointed. Maybe if I hadn't been expecting an awesome, hilarious feminist flick, I would have been less distraught, but nonetheless, these are the major ways in which I thought the movie failed (beyond plot holes and choppy writing in general, which I'd love to discuss further if anyone's interested):
1. The characters were paper thin. All I left the theatre knowing about the main character, who gets an awful lot of screentime, is that she liked this one kareoke song and also likes to bake (hello, acceptable female profession?). I learned absolutely nothing about her best friend. The one character who I felt was even remotely fleshed out and interesting, Megan (Melissa McCarthy), was also dealt with terribly, see #2.
2. Oh my goodness, fatphobia. Megan's size is never mentioned, but she is nevertheless pretty consistently the butt of jokes. Is it a coincidence that she is the first of the bridesmaids to show signs of food poisoning? Doubtful. Or that she is the one whose sexuality is represented as deviant? Also doubtful. It's funny that she's hitting on (read: sexually harassing, sigh) the guy on the plane because she's fat, right? Get it? Get it? Man, Megan was SO CLOSE to being a super awesome character. In fact, I loved her character. I just hated the context in which her character was placed (and ridiculed).
3. I'm going to make an admission that an awful lot of people who I share strong beliefs with would have me drawn and quartered for: I've enjoyed a number of Apatow's dudebro comedies. They can be problematic in a number of ways, yeah, (that said, I feel they are often misrepresented in feminist circles), but that's a conversation for another thread. What I felt was most lacking from this film was what makes those films tick: bromance. Bramance. Sisterhood. Whatever you want to call it. I had no idea why Annie and Lillian were friends. I had no idea, when Megan comes to rescue Annie from herself, WHY she felt compelled to do so. There was no chemistry whatsoever between the characters. All. They. Ever. Did. Was talk about men.
I walked out of the theatre so angry. I had been promised a movie about women! A FUNNY movie about women! And I got a movie about a wedding, with a few fat jokes and toilet humour thrown in.
But of course, I'm not the authority here. What did you think?