The Heat (2013)
By Jeffrey Kieviet
Let’s All Be Really Sexist for a Minute
I love funny women. A good sense of humor is the #1 thing I look for in a gal (well, at least in the top 5). In middle school I would have married Janeane Garofalo based solely on her stand up (Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion didn’t hurt either). Lucille Ball broke the mold on I Love Lucy, even if she was a raging Witch-with-a-capital-C behind the scenes. TV shows like Strangers with Candy and even Seinfeld would not have had success without excellent comedic timing from Amy Sedaris & Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I’m not an avid Saturday Night Live fan, but throughout the years they’ve had greats like Jane Curtain, Julie Sweeny & Molly Shannon. Tina Fey went on to create the wildly popular 30 Rock and Parks & Recreations with Amy Poehler is becoming one of my favorite shows (although their joint effort in Baby Mama left something [a lot] to be desired).
Everyone loved Bridesmaids. If you’re one of the people that didn’t, I get, you’re too cool for school. Go back to twisting your mustache and whining to your fellow baristas that you’d work harder if you had less to do. Admittedly, it was NOT the best movie ever made, I get that. It was crass and dirty, but it was more than poop jokes. When it first came out, I didn’t want to see it because I knew it couldn’t be as amazing as everyone said it was. And I was right, it didn’t change my life. But it was funny, and that is very important. It was not a case of women behaving like men, a sort of female-Hangover; it was just funny, talented people being funny. There is heart & friendship, love & bitterness, vaudeville & crapping a wedding dress in the middle of the street. One of my favorite parts was the 2 main women sitting in the coffee shop laughing about the brownie stuck in their teeth. I’ve done this with friends, both men and women, and it is funny to watch people have fun with one another. Not every comedy has to have the pretentious idiot-blowhard who is only funny because he’s a pretentious idiot-blowhard and doesn’t understand that he’s being funny. I’m talking about Will Ferrell’s characters by the way. All of them. And they are funny (sometimes even crap-your-pants funny), but it’s a one-note joke.
Mellissa Mcarthy was the breakout star of Bridesmaids, and she deserved it. She worked hard on the film, she has a physical presence and style reminiscent of Chris Farley, not to say she can take over the Bulushi torch, but aimed in the right direction she could be a force of comedic nature.
On the other side of The Heat, I would consider Sandra Bullock one of my favorite actresses, not just because she was in action movies like Demolition Man & Speed, but her RomComs like Love Potion No. 9 & While You Were Sleeping always make me laugh and feel good (in that “feel-good movie of the summer” kind of way). Miss Congeniality was a great flick and, while a little schticky, cemented Bullock as one of America’s sweethearts (she’s much better than Julia Roberts but that’s neither here nor there).
The point of all this is that women can be funny; I’ve seen it and I love it. The problem is, in The Heat, they are not. And I’ve been trying to wrap my head around why. Most people I talk to are shocked I was expecting this movie to be good. I know it looked like Miss Congeniality 3: Swearing in Boston, but like I said, Miss Congeniality was an enjoyable popcorn & coke movie. The 2nd one too (at least I think I saw it. I remember seeing her and her mismatched sidekick stalk around Vegas in feather boas but that might just be the trailer. Clearly the sequel had a big impact on me). So I would have been fine with another buddy-cop chick-flick. What really got my hopes up was the idea of a new Lethal Weapon movie. I mean, that’s the standard, right? 48 Hours, Running Scared, & Bad Boys are all great films, but they lack the female presence and these two ladies have managed to make some classic comedy in their time.
This film was ultimately just boring. Yes, Melissa Mcarthy was loud and obnoxious, Sandra Bullock transformed from an ironed & pressed button-down police officer into a beer swilling, F-bomb dropping cop, but there was no heart. Worse than that, there were no jokes. Ok, there were a couple cute awkward moments with Martin Waynes (I know, right? What has he been up to? G.I. Joe was the last thing I remember. Agh, I miss the Scary Movie movies. At least the first 2, the good ones. What’s happened to parody film? Wait, where am I?) and Mcarthy made a few racial slurs (is Albino a race?). But when the funniest part of a movie is having to stab someone in the leg, I feel like it can’t be labeled as a comedy.
And the action that would normally accompany a buddy-cop flick was secluded to a final shootout. And the final shoot out had like 2 shots and one explosion. And a minor explosion at that. There was a car bomb earlier in the movie, but more for dramatic plot progression, and the car chase Mcarthy pulls (with Buster Bluthe in the back seat [who didn’t make a single joke]) is after a guy on foot. Not that this needs to be filled with robots fighting dinosaur aliens, but c’mon now, somebody throw a pie!
This film came from the same director as Bridesmaids, so maybe that was misleading. I saw this movie a while ago and haven’t been able to forgive the cinema since. I haven’t seen the new Kick Ass, the new Wolverine, the new Superman, or even the new Iron Man movies. I feel like I’m being let down by filmmakers so I wait for Netflix and try to find little indy gems among the schlock. But then again, this movie made bank and quite a few people liked it, so what do I know, it’s not like I’m the movie buff I once was. Maybe I need to quit my job and start as a ticket taker at my local cinema, free movies all day, every day, catch up on anything that comes out. Or maybe I should become a pirate and download the entire Criterion Collection, I hear those movies have to meet a certain standard. Like the classic 1958 film, The Blob! Which reminds me, stop making fun of Melissa Mcarthy for being a busty broad, that’s just mean. Make fun of her for making crappy movies. Anyone seen Identity Thief?