This week we cast our eye over three recent female-led films, starting off with Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, then the bold new take on the much-loved musical Annie followed by the Melissa McCarthy action comedy Spy.
00:00 – Theme Music
00:46 – Introduction
01:10 – Pitch Perfect 2
19:05 – Annie
32:02 – Spy
44:12 – End Notes and Outro Music
Overlong but consistently funny, Paul Feig follows up the hugely successful Bridesmaids with another female-centric comedy, this time turning Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy into action heroines. The plot is cliched, rambling and largely inconsequential, but the film gets by on strong chemistry between the two leads and the fact that Sandra Bullock, who is now just shy of 50 years old, remains so gosh-darned adorable.
Melissa McCarthy continues her meteoric rise into the Hollywood comedy A-list, this time opposite perennial straight man Jason Bateman, as a habitual con artist who steals the identity of Sandy Patterson and goes on a spending spree. Due to some incredibly convoluted plot machinations, Sandy stands to lose his job, house and who knows what else if he doesn’t traverse the country, track down and apprehend “Diana” and escort her from Florida to Colorado. Cue a mismatched duo on a road trip laden with misadventures. While the film is often as risible and unfunny as its ridiculous premise might suggest, it is not without successful moments of broad, base humour. McCarthy and Bateman are skilled comedians, and late at night with a bellyful of red wine, it passes the time relatively painlessly, despite a parade of gags committed to stereotyping, degrading and generally ridiculing our fellow man. What I will commit to, is that having seen this and The Hangover Part III in the same week, Identity Thief is the film I would more readily revisit.