In the Summer movie schedule, there are some release dates that are occupied by a particular studio or brand every year. The first weekend of May belongs to members of The Avengers, the second or third weekend of July sees a Warner Brothers blockbuster spectacle, and the last weekend of June is now the home of excellent Universal comedies. In 2011, Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids took the world by storming, becoming one of the highest-grossing R-rated films ever (and the highest-grossing film of the year in Ireland, ahead of Harry Potter and Transformers), and receiving two Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress nod for Melissa McCarthy. The film won universal praise for its cast and writers, and a reunion of Feig and McCarthy (who played a relatively small role in that film) was imminent. That comes in the shape of The Heat, a buddy-cop comedy starring McCarthy, who had since seen huge success with the mediocre Identity Thief, and box-office queen Sandra Bullock, who almost invented the female cop comedy with the Miss Congeniality films.
Honestly, I thought McCarthy’s Bridesmaids performance was overrated, as was the film, which although charming, was rarely laugh-out-loud funny. However, The Heat is the funniest film i’ve seen all year. McCarthy has gotten the role she was born to play- a tough but likable, constantly swearing Boston cop with a fridge full of guns and a week-old cheese sandwich on her table. Her aggressive attitude and Bullock’s firm but stable behaviour bond in this film to create the most hilarious pair you’ll see this decade, even more so than Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in this weekend’s other release, White House Down. Bullock hasn’t had a good role in quite a while, but completely redeems herself as she literally bears all for laughs here. And what laughs there are. I was in tears laughing for 90% of this film, and for the rest I was on the edge of my seat as our heroines faced off against the villainous drug dealers, the antagonists in the clichéd but well-structured crime plot. The heroines occupy the screen for the entire film, and are shown to be tough and independent women, but also feminine and romantic- but not at all in a demeaning way. The Heat is the most feminist comedy i’ve probably ever seen, even more so than Bridesmaids. Feig said the success of this film will pave the way for more similar films, and I pray people will embrace this as the classic-in-the-making.
Last year’s late-June-Universal-comedy, also set in Boston and featuring an amazing lead duo, Ted, is a real comedy classic, and this, shockingly, comes close to matching its brilliance in comedy and action. I can’t wait to see The Heat again, and I think a sequel might actually work!