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Women Aren't Funny (2014)
I'll Tell You What Isn't Funny: Some of These Reviews
If you are reading these reviews, I'd advise skipping some of the hate-filled one- and two-star reviews on this page. These "critics" seem more interested in venting their feelings of rage toward women in general, and MacFarlane in particular, than in any type of fair evaluation of the film. I watched the movie last night. My thoughts:
1. I liked it. Bonnie and Rich are an engaging couple in a rather unique relationship, and it was interesting to follow their behind-the-scenes lifestyle.
2. Some of the haters on this page complain that the movie failed to reach its "potential," that it could have examined the history of women in comedy, perhaps from vaudeville to the present. This is an absurd criticism. The movie never claimed to be an educational, exhaustive study of American humor. Instead, it's an amusing peek behind the scenes of a typical comic's life which manages, along the way, to raise some provocative questions about women in comedy and society's reaction to them.
3. I do not know Bonnie or Rich, and I was not paid to write this review.
4. I'm not hailing this documentary as great cinema. But it is an amusing way to spend an hour and a half.
5. There are quite a few funny interviews/cameos from the country's top comics. Kathy Griffin is missing? The horror! The horror!
6. It's hard to diss a movie that (at seven minutes and 20 seconds) gives us a great, if brief, shot of Bonnie's bare butt. I am thinking of posting a screen capture of said butt on my site, grouchyeditor.com.
7. Finally, are women funny? Some are, some aren't. Society encourages men to be funny, so more of them are, and discourages women who are funny, so less of them are.
Sleeping Beauty (2011)
Fantasy Time for Dirty Old Men
I like my movies odd, and I like my movies sexy. In general, when I review an odd, sexy movie, I want to be kind because I don't want filmmakers to stop making them. But there is a limit – and freshman director Julia Leigh's "Sleeping Beauty" is long on odd and short on sexy.
"Sleeping Beauty" is about a young woman named Lucy (Emily Browning) who is psychologically damaged. In fact, everyone Lucy encounters – an old boyfriend, co-workers at a temp job, the landlords with whom she lives – is damaged in one way or another: hostile, bitter, emotionally impenetrable. So Lucy, who is nothing if not experimental, takes a new job as a living blow-up doll for rich old men to play with (but never to "penetrate," as we are constantly reminded by the madam of the high-end brothel for which Lucy works).
Leigh's movie is basically a 100-minute peep show in which we observe Lucy and her peculiar acquaintances. It's an Australian production with French art-film pretensions; when someone pours a glass of tea or wipes down a tabletop, Leigh's camera lingers portentously. There is much unspoken angst in the film – but not to worry, because all of this somber silence will soon be broken by some kinky sex.
If I didn't know better (actually, I guess I don't), I'd wager that "Sleeping Beauty" was produced by a committee of dirty old men, several of whom get to appear in scenes with the fetching, young Browning. How else to explain numerous scenes in which these geezers, their twigs-and-berries on full display, spoon with the naked and unconscious girl, or mount her sleeping (drugged) body, or toss her recklessly onto the floor?
"Sleeping Beauty" is promoted as an "erotic drama," but while watching it I found myself empathizing with one of Lucy's customers, who complains: "The only way I can get a hard-on these days is if I swallow a truckload of Viagra."