Gender Review

I recently read a review for this year’s best picture Oscar winner No Country for Old Men, in which the reviewer lamented the dearth of female film critics. She thought the film appealed to a male audience and wouldn’t have done as well critically if there were more female reviewers out there. Now, I actually liked No Country for Old Men. I didn’t love it, and it was on the gruesome side, but it was also well made and suspenseful. My biggest quibble was that I had a hard time understanding the thick southern accents. However, I do agree with her that we could use a few more female reviewers out there, and I notice this most when I read reviews for raunchy male-oriented comedies, like the onslaught of Judd Apatow comedies we’ve seen in the last few years.

I liked The 40-Year Old Virgin, which I thought was mildly funny and mostly sweet and, of course, it starred Steve Carell who can really do no wrong in my eyes. So I was really excited about when I heard about Knocked Up and Superbad, also films with some sort of involvement from Apatow. I was very disappointed. While I tolerated Knocked Up because there was a bit of an interesting story there, I didn’t find it funny at all. And I truly hated Superbad, which was maybe one of the unfunniest films I have ever seen. It seems to me that humor should appeal to 4th through 8th grade boys and that’s about it. Certainly not adult-sized critics. But oh how they loved it. They told me there was a way to do raunchy bad and a way to do raunchy funny, and this was raunchy funny. I beg to differ.

So I’m going to skip new release Forgetting Sarah Marshall altogether. I’m hearing how funny it is from all the critics, and it’s getting a solid 85% on RottenTomatoes. But if the funniest thing they can come up with on the previews is the visual blow job joke, followed by the actor grinning sheepishly like “Oh what a cute little boy I am” then I know it’s not going to be funny.

It all leads me to wonder how the soon to be released Tina Fey-Amy Poehler movie Baby Mama will fare critically. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie and the trailer has me in tears. Even – maybe even especially – the part where Poehler can’t get the baby-proofing off the toilet seat and is caught squatting in the sink. Raunchy for sure, but raunchy funny. I’m a big Tina Fey fan, and I like 30 Rock though I think it’s hit or miss. And Amy Poehler is always funny on Saturday Night Live. (They were my favorite Weekend Update co-anchors.) But will this type of comedy, which I heard Fey describe as very female-oriented, will be a hit with the male-dominated critic pool? It remains to be seen. It also remains for me to see the picture, which I’ll be doing no matter what any critics say.



About suitejen

Writer. Video Editor. Mama.
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2 Responses to Gender Review

  1. Gerry says:

    We only saw knocked up… what a waste. I agree with your thoughts completely.

    The best movie I’ve seen in a long time, is Mike Judges, “Idiocracy”. Freakin brilliant! I loved it! Of course, coming for the guy who wrote ‘Office space’, what would you expect, then again, he also wrote “king of the hill”, which just sucks… so you never know what you’ll get with him.

    It was almost as good as “Snakes on a Plane”… which has got to be one of the best movies in the last 5 years… sadly, though, I imagine that most people totally miss the satire.

    Oh and as far as movies being geared towards 4th-8th grade boys? You’ve just described the mindset of about 90% of americans, so what’s your point?

  2. suitejen says:

    I liked “Snakes on a Plane” too. And I’ll definitely check out “Idiocracy” because “Office Space” is one of my favorites. I agree, “King of the Hill” is stupid, but back in the day, I found “Beavis & Butthead” good for an occasional chuckle.

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