Bad girls make good: Do 'Bad Teacher' and 'Bridesmaids' signal a new comedy era?
Last weekend, Bad Teacher landed in a surprise second at the box office, raking in $31.6 million dollars — a solid 50 percent over projections for Cameron Diaz ne’er-do-teach comedy. Another unexpected hit came earlier this season in the form of Bridesmaids, which is well on track to surpass Knocked Up and become producer Judd Apatow’s highest grossing film yet. With these lady-led raunchfests blowing expectations out of the water, have we turned the corner on guys’ domination of the bad-behavior market? Audiences seems to think so. But one thing is for sure: Hollywood hasn’t gotten the memo. With only a few “girls gone wild” movies (for want of a better term) scheduled for release by year’s end, who (and what) will feed this growing appetite?
Hoping to run on some of the steam of Bridesmaids, Rachel Bilson and kooky sidekick du jour Krysten Ritter’s indie comedy L!fe Happens just hit theaters. Bilson plays the friend to Ritter’s preggo protagonist in a riff on the “We’re so wild, we got pregnant!” stylings of Knocked Up.
Also out in limited release since May 6 is a vehicle for soon-to-be small-screen star Kat Dennings (who will star in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls). After keeping it decidedly mild in movies like Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and The House Bunny, the emo princess is shaking up the school yard in Daydream Nation. The film — about a love triangle between Dennings, her teacher (Josh Lucas), and a stoner classmate — is gunning for wider distribution after playing at the Toronto International Film Festival last September.
One film that’s already garnering buzz on the festival circuit is Tabloid, from Oscar winning documentarian Errol Morris. Morris’s latest venture delves into the seeding dealings of Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming, who — despite a 168 IQ — fell down a rabbit hole of sexual addiction that led her to do jail time for abducting a Mormon missionary. Did I mention she also cloned her dog? It’s a mad, bad, mad, bad world.
Come August, Atonement‘s Juno Temple will be the resident Dirty Girl as she plays Danielle, a cradle rocker who runs away from Norman, Okla., to California with her token gay in 1987. Milla Jovovich also stars in the movie, which may not make it completely bad-girl, but definitely adds to its bad-ass quotient.
Before that, even the cutesy set has something to tide them over as Selena Gomez solicits help from Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy (the queens schemers of Gossip Girl and Melrose Place, respectively) in July’s Monte Carlo. Piling on Gomez’s recent hospitalization and costar Cory Monteith’s admittedly drug-addled past, perhaps this one will have some legs after all. If only for the inevitably meta-prospects stylings of the whole enterprise.
For all those who are still left wanting more — which, we’re assuming, will be most of you — 2012 will see America’s Sweetheart herself Reese Witherspoon taking a walk on the wild side in Who Invited Her, plus Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are getting in on the Bridesmaids-zilla action as they produce Bachelorette with Kirsten Dunst and Party Down‘s Lizzy Caplan. There may be hope for the bad girls yet.
(Additional reporting by Sean O’Heir)