For as long as there have been jokes, there have been people saying that women can’t tell them. For over a century figures in popular culture have publicly peddled this claim of misconception. In 1884 Richard Grant White, one of the most powerful cultural critics of the 19th century, wrote, “a sense of humor is the rarest qualities in a women”, to Jerry Lewis in 1998 stating he “cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator”, and more recently in 2012 Adam Carolla, arguing, “The Reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks” (Moss). If there is anything that can put these men in their place it is the cinematic success of Paul Feig’s 2011 film Bridesmaids. Since its release, the film has been nominated for 24 different awards, won 6, and has generated over $288 million in sales worldwide, making it the highest-grossing-R-rated female comedy of all time (Buckley 5). Bridesmaids, thus, represents how the symbol of women in the space of cinema is being challenged and changed.
This essay argues that the film Bridesmaids transcends traditional representations of feminine desire that exhibits women as spectacles of erotic pleasure, through the symbolic reversal of gender identity in cinematic spaces. By discussing feminist perspectives on cinema, along with psychoanalytic theory and ideological narratives of female image, this essay will prove Bridesmaids embodies a new form of feminine desire coded in the space of the comedic film industry.
The film is lead by Kristen Wiig, who plays Annie, a broke and lovelorn, soon-to-be maid of honor, who attempts to mend her low self-esteem through sex with a hot, rich conce...
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...o the men at the beginning of this essay who would say Bridesmaids doesn’t deliver this, Tina Fey has some words for them, “We don’t fucking care if you like it” (Moss).
Buckley, Blair. "Bridesmaids: A Modern Response to Patriarchy." MA thesis. California
Polytechnic State University , 2013. Web.
Kaplan, Ann. "Is the Gaze Male?" Women in Film: Both Sides of the Camera. London and
New York: Methuen, 1983. 23-35.
Moss, Gabrielle. "A Brief History of "Women Aren't Funny"." Feminist Response to Pop
Culture (2013): n.pag. bitchmedia. Web. 2 Apr 2014.
Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” Feminist film theory (ed.) Susan
Thornham. New York: New York University Press, 1995. 58-69.
Smalls. "Bridesmaids: A Ladybrain Review ." Ladybrain Feminist Reviews. blogspot, 31 05
2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
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