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Just Me

"you men (and women) in an industry long rampant with sexism and misogyny who have been refusing to believe that women can be funny - and make money being funny - with all due respect...? Go fuck yourselves."

I love this. And I love you for being so passionate about the truth that women are just as funny as men. Maybe not in the same way. Maybe not even with the same language. But it can be our sandbox too - as long as successes like this keep rolling out. :)

Kristen Wigg has been my hero since she debuted the 'Laurence Welk tiny hands" sketch on SNL.

E.C. Henry

ANY movie you've worked on, Billy, is a must see in my book. Can't wait to see "Bridesmaids" now. Thanks for sharing your involvement. Will be looking for your fingerprints in the movie.

11 drafts?! That's a lot. What's the story/reasoning behind that?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

jamy

Saw it today, before I read this. I laughed! I cried! It was a great little flick. I was pleased to see many guys in the audience, laughing as heartily as I. About damn time.

Christina

I saw the movie today and was totally taken with it. Women can do raunch comedy too. Hats off to Apatow for taking it on. I hope everyone involved is celebrating a lot this weekend. It's the kind of movie I've been waiting a long time to see. Maybe the last time I felt this satisfied that a movie caught the "average girl" experience was Sixteen Candles?

mernitman

Just Me: Right, and doing it right will require a similar sensitivity and heart, along with the raunchy wit, to make another of these work. Wiig's POV (and performance) has the right mix.

EC: Wiig & Mumolo were first-timers, and producer Apatow, who shepherded the project, encouraged them to try things out; the story ideas varied wildly for awhile there, until the script found some cohesion - it really was a capital-D development process.

Jamy: I'm happy you enjoyed it. And evidently the timing is right for it.

Christina: I'm so glad it struck a chord. I think it's in large part due to the two writers being true to who they are.

Rob in L.A.

Haven’t seen BM yet (uh ... you know what I mean), but I’d like to put in a good word for Melissa McCarthy. I thought that she was absolutely terrific in the role of Sooki on “Gilmore Girls,” on of the best-written shows — and a female-centered dramedy to boot — ever on TV. (Contrary to stereotype, not all of G2’s XY viewers were gay.) She did a good job on that show, and I’m sure she’ll do great in BM too (okay ... maybe referring to movies by their initials isn’t such a nifty idea after all).

mernitman

Rob: So what's a Sooki-centered episode or season to look up on DVD?

You've been rolled, BTW, under Friends & Fun Sites.

Rob in L.A.

First of all, thanks very much for rolling my blog — that rocks!

As for a Sooki-centered “Gilmore Girls” episode, I can’t think of any where the character really dominates, but two where she does more than usual are “Double Date” (s. 1, ep. 12) and — here’s a terrific title for you — “Norman Mailer, I’m Pregnant” (s. 5, ep. 6). Ideally, I’d recommend watching all 154 episodes of the show, but short of that, these two ought to do nicely.

Ericajk

Billy,

Psyched to find out you worked on this. Saw it last night at Lincoln Rd. theater, 10:15 show was packed. Lots of guys and you could hear them LOLing as much as the women.

Really loved this movie. Funny but had a lot of heart. To hear it rocked the opening weekend is just unbelievably awesome.

And if I don't see Melissa McCarthy starring in something very soon, I give up on everything. I may even have to start watching Mike & Molly until that happens.

mernitman

Rob: Thanks for the picks (life's too short for me to see the whole 154, though I've enjoyed the one or two episodes I checked out over the course of G2's run).

Erica: Glad you got it (and it figures you would). MM has that Paramount deal now, and in the meantime, I'm sure I'll be seeing a stream of spec scripts coming into Uni with a "Melissa McCarthy-like fat chick" in the cast...

Rob in L.A.

I’d just like to say to any other LTRC readers who’d be interested in checking out “Gilmore Girls”: Be sure to watch the episode “Rory’s Dance” (s.1, ep. 9), which is a kind of movie in itself. It’s also a pretty good introduction to the show, clueing you in to all you need to know about the major characters and saving you the need to watch the previous episodes. It’s a total fairy-princess wish-fulfillment narrative — up until the dramatic climax — but it works.

Favorite line: “They”re really, really happy monkeys, mom.”

gabe

Saw this a couple nights ago with my girl. Great movie, lots of heart and very honest laughter from women and men in the crowd.
I thought one of the best moments from the audience was when (basically the very end) all the women went "Awwwww" and all the men laughed. We didn't laugh maliciously, just laughed at the difference in how women and men reveal their sentimentality. Good moment for the crowd.

Billy, would it be possible to see the evolution over the course of the rewriting process of one or two scenes from the script?

mernitman

Gabe: I might be able to get into that in a future post, although the studio gets a little squirrelly about such stuff (i.e. there's a tendency to be over-protective about public divulging re: intellectual properties they own). But maybe I can speak to some more general shifts in the development process of 'Maids, overall.

Eric

How long did the development process take? ...and how much was changed? was it just a simple polish from their first draft or was it a pretty dramatic change? And did the writers work with Apatow or with the development execs? Couldn't really tell who was invovled from the blog...

mernitman

Eric: About 3-plus years of development from the studio's end (Wiig has said in interviews that she was on it for four and a half). The basic premise, broad strokes story and protagonist were there from the get, but the execution - i.e. the story line specifics, sequences and scenes within that basic structure (let alone dialogue and specific gags) did change radically throughout the process. Those 11 drafts I mentioned? Not a "simple polish" to the last - since after all, some dialogue and gags came out of improvs on the set.

It's hard to assess with certainty how much of what the studio had to say was heard or taken in by Apatow, who worked with the writers throughout, and is infamous for his avoidance of studio notes. But let's say that there's evidence on page and screen that our input wasn't entirely ignored.

annaliterally

I saw this in the theater just the other day. I haven't laughed that hard in public in a long, long time.

11 drafts? Oh so worth it.

Eric

Nice to hear that so much hard work went into it.... it's always intimidating when you hear writers say they cranked out a hit movie script in 3 days of inspiration. I thought the Rose Byrne character was the funniest, since a lot of her comedy was very subtle and the conflict to be under the surface, rather than obvious.

So, I guess in this case, even with the Bridesmaids script when it was bought, it still had a lot of work that needed to be done? Countless blogs have said that the script needs to be pretty close to be perfect to get bought....

mernitman

Anna: It's another case of "perseverance furthers."

Eric: The blogs are right (and this is one of them). This is a case where Apatow, loving Wiig's work in KNOCKED UP, specifically asked her to bring him a vehicle for her to star in, and then as the project's mentor/producer, helped nurture the script along.

If Will Smith wants to shoot a movie based on his wife's recipe for linguini, chances are, a studio will buy that "movie," with nothing beyond the ingredients on the page. That's a lot different from your average spec script, written by an unknown, with no talent attached, coming into the studio system - which is what we blog pontificators are usually talking about.

Judith Duncan

Hey Billy,
As a woman who spent 10years in improv theatre,then wrote and performed sketch comedy and then wrote and performed a show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I have always been furious at the comment that often comes out of Hollywood about women not being funny. The,"Go Fuck yourselves" Line is one I have thought out loud on many,many occassions. When I have pitched my sitcom or screenplay I have written,it sometimes seems getting through those kind of gatekeepers with that mindset is impossible.So glad to have you in our corner.
Cheers,
Judith

Rob in L.A.

Just saw the trailer for the rom-com “Green with Envy” on iTunes Movie Trailers. :^|

mernitman

Judith: It's a good corner to be in.

Rob: Thanks for the turn-on - that's a very canny (and funny) trailer.

Colin Mummery

UK Guardian article echoing your thoughts:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/31/hadley-freeman-hangover-funny-women

mernitman

Thank you for this, Colin - it's especially interesting to see the UK comment-ers.

E.C. Henry

Just saw "Bridesmaids" last night at the Bonney Lake Multiplex. Is it too early to make endorsements for this year's Asta awards? Hope not, 'cuz I nominate Kristen Wigg for best lead in a romantic comedy. Really liked what I saw from her in "Bridesmaids."

I laughed a lot in this movie -- though I HATED its ending. Having the girls sing and dance along with Wilson Phillips IS NOT THE WAY TO END A MOVIE!! Didn't "40 Year Old Virgin" pull a similar stunt?

As you eluded too in this post, Billy, Mellisa McCarthy's "Megan" steals the show several times. AND I thought she the most original and belivable character in this movie. I've know over-the-top personality heavy-set women who behave -- in shades -- like Mellisa MCCarthy's "Megan." YET, I can't remember seeing a type of that character on the silver screen before. Hence, my 2nd Asta nomination: Mellisa McCarthy's "Megan" for most original comic relief character in a rom-com. Is that legal?

I found "Bridesmaids" to be overly rauchy at times -- like it's sexual escape opening, but this moive also had some good emotional resonance to it too. Like the scene were Annie is picked up by her "fuckbuddy" and he wan't her to perform in his car. I heard a woman behind me groaning at this point in the movie. Now it was good groan. The kind of groan that comes when you're emotionally invested in a character and you see a choice come their way, and you're fearful of that character making the wrong choice. Emotional resonace. This moive has it. Kinda suprised me it did, as going in I was expecting more of an ensable piece, where you spend more time with the bridesmaids and less with Annie. But this is Annie's moive (Kristen Wigg) and I thought she did a good job pulling it off.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

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