28 May 2011

Hangover II: The Hunt For Greater Offensiveness

In response to The Hangover II's completely tone-less, tasteless, and inappropriate use of iconic imagery, I searched the internet for a review which also mentioned this mis-fire. Here's my comment based on Roeper's review of the film:

Thank God one reviewer has said it! My husband, brother and I thought we were the only ones to notice the horribly offensive and far, far from funny re-enactment of the iconic Viet Nam war photograph of a man being executed by a gunshot to the head during the end credits. While I argued that there is no way Phillips could actually have thought this would be funny and had done it unintentionally (using an image stuck in his head but not purposefully referring to this horrible image), my brother and husband argue that he intentionally used it and thought it would be funny. Regardless, I am happy to hear someone else point out its taste-less-ness and as an end to what had in general been expected and tolerable offensiveness, closing with this intolerable image has left us with a terrible taste in our mouths.

15 May 2011

Pushing Women's Humor Back Into The Stone Age....

Response to Edelstein's review of BrideWars over at NPR:

Dear Edelstein,

As a female-of color-English Ph.D. student with very broad interests and sensibilities, I am having trouble figuring out in what way your 'review' of this film is most offensive! Is it:

1)In its essentializing of the female experience - as if there is some exclusively female frailty that is inherent and prohibitive of certain behavior. In other words, you seem to believe that if men find it funny women can't as well because...?

2)In your presumption that to be Female is to only find specific (what, "ladylike"?) forms of humor funny or acceptable. The scene at the bridal shop became more funny for me than for my husband because he doesn't know the value/cost of bridal gowns (I do) nor the strain women regularly are under Not to allow any untoward smells to escape their person- let alone a food poisoning explosions. For the women of our group, this made the scene a cathartic rush revealing that we too are human... and in pain over that gorgeous ruined gown!

3)Your reduction of Melissa McCarthy's wonderful and emotionally complex performance to one of playing off of her Girth! There was more nuance and grace to her portrayal than you give her credit for, and your review smacks of your inability to see beyond her weight.

Part II:

I'm sorry, but I must make one more comment or suggestion about what makes this review problematic - as 'Analytical Ph.D. Student' I cannot fail to give "suggested reading" if I take issue with an argument.

It seems that at best, this Review would be better described as an ill-intentioned and oddly toned Referendum on what women are or are not permitted to find humorous, or what experiences women are or are not entitled to have/claim as part of their functioning as human beings in an American cultural setting!

I suggest you watch the South Park episode on queefing. (Though unladylike I suppose, there is no other more appropriate and simple word to choose.) I thought they did a great job at highlighting that women have a sense of humor as well that can intersect with bodily (mal)functions.

Women have bodies too, and in some ways are more of our bodies than men are by virtue of our frequent object status. (See fast food places giving girls dolls and boys trucks in kid's meals.)

There is a prim propriety thrust upon women which I am happy to see these hysterical, bright women shake off the yoke of in this film! Please stop trying to tie them back down with antiquated, prescriptive genre titles.