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