Women in Comedies: NOT Box Office Poison

8 Aug

By Open Book

Have you noticed women are kicking butt at the box office in comedies this Summer? I know it’s a little early to celebrate but from Bridesmaids, to Horrible Bosses so far so good!  Today we are seeing women take traditional to non-traditional roles and putting their own spin on them to combat the “second banana” or “box office poison” phrase attributed to leading ladies in film.  So in celebration of Lucille Ball’s birthday we thought we celebrate a couple funny leading ladies who are making a difference.  So let’s get started!

Do women need to write their own material for a film to be successful? Maybe! Kristen Wiig of the highly successful film Bridesmaids co-wrote as well as starred in the film. Yet, not every person has that ability. But to change how women are being perceived in Hollywood then this may be a good solution.  For me seeing Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses in a role typically given to men was great.  Most would have walked away from this role. Here’s what Aniston had to say about taking on such a challenging character.

So what do you think? Can women change Hollywood with comedy?

Please join our discussion Tuesday 8/9/11@7pE/12UTC

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44 Responses to “Women in Comedies: NOT Box Office Poison”

  1. Littlebells August 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM #

    Lucille Ball will always be top banana! I cried the day she died. Also Carol Burnette. To this day I still watch both comedienne’s shows. 🙂

  2. comic relief August 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM #

    OB,

    Really like this article; but I wouldn’t count out future and suprise comediennes Emma Stone and Juianne Moore (respectfully) from “Crazy, Stupid, Love”.

    • comic relief August 8, 2011 at 1:02 PM #

      Here’s more info to help honor Lucille Ball.

      http://social.entertainment.msn.com/movies/blogs/the-hitlist-blogpost.aspx?post=f759071e-523e-49f1-80be-1141dead8897

      • Littlebells August 8, 2011 at 4:09 PM #

        Thank you CR! “The Long, Long Trailer” was one of my favorite movies with her. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched it, let alone her Lucy episodes. And I had NO IDEA she green-lighted those shows!!! What a woman….

        • comic relief August 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

          I’ve seen so much of her old stuff, I still can’t believe she’s gone. Where I grew up you could see alot of old movies on TV all the time.

          • Littlebells August 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM #

            She was my grandmother’s generation so I will always hold a special place for her in my heart.

            • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

              I didn’t know she had green lighted that many shows too.

              • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

                I know. What female comedic actress do u think has that kind of power today?

                • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

                  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler seem to have some power. Not being American it’s hard to say but Tina Fey is definately well known here.

                  • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

                    Yes! ITA Ozzie- What makes Tina Fey so well liked in the UK?

                    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

                      I think it was the sketches of Sarah Palin that did it. We’re very big fans of political satire here. Plus I think 30 Rock is quite successful too.

                    • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:12 PM #

                      LOL!! Sarah Palin was fantastic. Political Satire is my favorite too.

                    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

                      *High five* 🙂

      • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

        CR! Great, Great article!!

  3. Open Book August 8, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

    CR & LB-

    Who are your favorite female comedians in films today and why?

    • Littlebells August 8, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

      Well there are a lot of funny ones out there. Off the bat I am going to say Kristen Wiig because she has so many different characters and is very physical. I also love Amy Poehler….There are more, but I have to get time to think about it and right now I have a stack of laundry that needs folding. 😦

      • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

        Ugh! Laundry….I feel for u.

        Both ladies u mentioned are AWESOME. It’s funny when researching this topic I immediately thought of u. Do u like women comedic actresses in physical comedies more as oppose to lowbrow?

        • Littlebells August 10, 2011 at 1:41 AM #

          Great question. I think I enjoy both as long as it seems genuine. It’s late and my brain is mush, so let me chew on this a bit and get back to you!

  4. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 2:52 PM #

    The reason I was interested in writing about this topic because I read an article recently that claimed today Hollywood do not have any good comedic film actresses like Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Goldie Hawn etc….. However, it seems female comedic actors are limited to television and male comedic actors dominate film.

    Please read this article:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/04/funnygirls200804

  5. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 3:01 PM #

    Heres a list of some funny women in Hollywood today.

    http://www.actressarchives.com/photos/the-sexiest-funny-women-in-hollywood

  6. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM #

    Check out this roundtable by comedic actresses.

  7. Parisienne August 9, 2011 at 6:55 PM #

    Hello Everyone!

    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

      Hi Paris!

      I’m half way though the videos and links! 🙂

  8. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m here…..

    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

      Hi OB!

      • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

        Hi Ozzie-

        How are u? Did u catch up on the videos on this topic? If so what do u think? Are female comedic actors more prevalent in the UK?

        • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

          i’m not feeling too well. How are you?

          I would say there aren’t that many successful female film comedic actors in the UK (or at least not many are coming to mind at the moment). Catherine Tate, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are all very good.

          • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

            Sorry u are not feeling well. I just got over a nasty cold myself.

            Of the women you mentioned do any of them write and produce their own material?

            • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

              The first three definately do because they have tv shows to prove it. Joanna Lumley is quite a big activist so it seems off screen she concentrates on that area. It wouldn’t surprise me if she had wrote material though.

              • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

                Is it more common than not to have comedic actors in the UK write and produce their own stuff?

                • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

                  The stars of the shows seem to have a big hand in writing. I’m not sure about producing. I’m sure they do have they’re own production companies but I don’t think it’s 100% their own company that does it. All the names above have worked with the BBC. They’ll commission work or keep an eye open for any talent that may come their way. They’ll then pick it up and produce it. Other channels seem to have written into the credits that it was produce by such and such company for that channel. I think that’s how it works.

                  • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

                    Oh! Interesting…. Very good stuff.

  9. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight. If u have any questions or answers please join in.

  10. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

    In researching this topic I was shocked by how many male comedic actors dominate film rather than women. Yes there are some exceptions like Saundra Bullock but for the most part women have had a tough time competing with men in this arena. Do u think it’s because women need to write their own material?

  11. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

    I was shocked by who is the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mfl45gdgh/angelina-jolie-30-million#content

    Tell me what u think?

    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

      That’s very interesting. Apart from Angelina Jolie, the top 5 are actresses well known for their comedy roles as well as their more serious roles.

      • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

        What do u think of this list? After reading about Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig etc…Do u think some on this list are a little overpriced?

        • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM #

          One of them definately is, lol! 🙂

          The others? No. Infact if you look at their male counterparts they’re dramatically under paid compared to them.

          • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

            Hmm! Who could it be? LOL!

            Well I will not go there but ITA with u!

            • Littlebells August 10, 2011 at 1:48 AM #

              *pukevomitbarf* That’s a one time deal if you ask me. Once this franchise is over, ba-bye!

  12. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

    Well Ozzie do u have any Q for me before I go?

  13. Open Book August 9, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

    Well if anyone has Q or comments I will check back tomorrow and answer them as well.

    Sorry I missed Paris, CR, LB and Francesa tonight. Hope all is well.

    Ozzie it is always a pleasure chatting with u. Great, great pleasure. Hope u feel better.

    Goodnight!!

    • ozzie20 August 9, 2011 at 9:11 PM #

      Sorry my brain power wasn’t up to much tonight. I’m nearly asleep here! But I have enjoyed tonights discussion and your article to OB! Great Job!

      Take care! 🙂

      • Open Book August 9, 2011 at 9:15 PM #

        Your brain power was AWESOME!! Sweet Dreams….

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