Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bawdy "Bridesmaids" and the power of momentum

Though I didn't read the article because it's behind a Variety pay wall and, well, I'm cheap, this headline is what caught my eye this morning: ' "Bridesmaids" beats "Thor" at midweek box office.'

Having seen the movie and pretty much loved it, I'm not terribly surprised, but it's great news all the same. Fueling the fire is word of mouth among women and - by natural progression - the dudes they're convincing that it's nothing to be scared of.

It indeed isn't, but the movie is kind of a bait and switch, though one that still manages to entertain throughout and won't leave anyone feeling cheated. If you go in having watched the commercials and clips and are expecting a raunch fest fitting of the house of Apatow, you won't be disappointed. About halfway in, however, it switches gears seamlessly into more of an observational comedy about growing up and still keeping the friends you had when you were younger and care-free.

There's no way, of course, that it will beat "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" this week, but it should come close to matching the $25 million or so it made in week one, and that would be a real accomplishment. Heck, given the rather scathing "Pirates" reviews and the fact that No.3 was just so bloody awful, I think I just might go see "Bridesmaids" again this week if I go to the movies at all.

And though Kristen Wiig is the big star at the center of it all, Melissa McCarthy steals every scene she's allowed to be in, and word has come this week that she's teamed up with "Bridesmaids" co-writer (with Wiig) Annie Mumolo to pitch a new comedy to paramount for McCarthy to star in, and here's the premise:

“When your husband is ill and his doctors are out of ideas, piling in the minivan with your pals to steal the Stanley Cup is one way to go.”

Sounds funny already to me, and I've loved watching McCarthy ever since "Gilmore Girls" (though I still can't bring myself to watch her CBS sitcom about fat people), so definitely bring it on.

Mumolo herself, it's just been announced, has signed a blind series development deal with ABC Studios. No idea yet on what she might come up with, but it will be produced by Tagline, the company behind USA's "Psych," and if she hatches anything nearly as funny as that mindlessly but often gloriously entertaining show, it should be great.

And with all this momentum surrounding "Bridesmaids," what of the inevitable sequel? Director Paul Feig says it's already been discussed. Here's what he had to say about it to Vulture:

"I mean, it depends how we do in the next couple weeks, but I know there's definitely ... it's already been brought up. You just want to make sure that you do it as well as you did the first one and try to make it better, even."

Something to look forward to, but in the meantime, if you're having any doubts, don't: "Bridesmaids" is a first-rate comedy for anyone who likes to laugh. 'Nuff said.

And after spending more time on that than I had planned, I'm running short of it, but there is one other bit of news that caught my eye this morning, and it's great for "Treme" fans (like me, for sure).

If you've been watching the rather somber-so-far season two, one of the definite highlights has been Antoine Batiste's (Wendell Pierce) drive to form his own band. As he proved with a suitably soulful rendition of Al Green "Love and Happiness" on Sunday's show, the man has the musical chops, and he's just signed on for a movie that will let him show them off even more.

"The Wire" vet has just signed on to play B.B. King in the biopic "B.B. King and I." Michael Zanetis co-wrote the screenplay based on his experience as a drummer who met King at a 1980 concert and struck up a lifelong friendship. Making this even better, Patrick Fugit of "Almost Famous" fame will play a fictionalized character based on Zanetis. Michael Schroder is on board to direct this, with shooting set to begin in September (most likely around the third season of "Treme" that's just been announced, bully!). Definitely keep an eye on this one, because Pierce is just a natural fit, and deserves to be a much bigger star.

And though I should probably offer a musical clip of Pierce in action to segue into the clips, I couldn't really find one, so here instead is my favorite version of the far-too-oft-covered "Hallelujah" (yes, I think it's better than Jeff Buckley's). I had the honor and pleasure of seeing John Boutte perform this in the same club, D.B.A. on New Orleans' Frenchmen Street, and it was amazing. Best of all in this clip is how he hushes the raucous Saturday night crowd almost instantly. Enjoy, and then stick around for a preview of the upcoming season of "True Blood."

Though I've enjoyed "True Blood" so far, as a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels, it can be frustrating to see the rather extreme liberties they've taken with the source material. I'm all for original thinking, but the books are very funny and fairly great as is, and "Game of Thrones" has proven so far that you can certainly go by the book and still come up something thrilling. Anyways, this clip seems to imply that with the new season that begins at 9 p.m. June 26 on HBO, they'll at least partly be telling the story of how Eric lost his mind to a powerful coven of witches and became Sookie's house guest, my favorite story line from the novels. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.


Jess said...

If you like Melissa McCarthy, you'll love Mike & Molly. Skip the first 3 episodes, and dive right in. They obviously had to appease the network to get on the air and it is about "wow fat people fall in love", but then it's just hysterical.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the tip, Jess ... I'll check it out on DVD before season two, and if I like it like you, I'll tune in for season two