All throughout the development of Paul Feig’s upcoming comedy Bridesmaids we’ve heard it be described as “the female Hangover”. Well, it hasn’t even hit theaters and already we’re being given news of another “female Hangover”. This one is going to be called Desperados, and it tells the story of three female friends who go to Mexico to try and deal with a scathing message one of them left a guy she likes (presumably before he can hear it?). Sounds like an episode of Three’s Company or something. The screenplay was written by Ellen Rapoport, who wrote a bunch of episodes of The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, and it is being directed by Betty Thomas, who last made Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, so obviously I have enormous faith in this project already. The good news is that the first actress signed to fill out the trio is Isla Fisher. She impressed me with her comedic chops in Wedding Crashers and recently did a phenomenal job voice acting in Rango, so I’m interested to see what other tricks she has up her sleeve. I just hope this movie doesn’t end up being a load that she has to carry.
What’s got me more concerned is this constant mentioning of The Hangover in every bit of comedy marketing I’ve seen over the last year. Stuff like this is indicative of the broken, lazy thinking in Hollywood. If a film manages to be successful, instead of figuring that it probably worked because it was good, these executives and salesmen start imagining that it contains some sort of magic formula that can be duplicated over and over again with no diminishing returns. “The funniest film since The Hangover” has become the battle cry, almost on par with that seven or so years we had to hear “this year’s There’s Something About Mary” in absolutely every commercial for a comedy produced. This new trend of labeling things as “the female Hangover” could be a sign of even worse things to come. We might be on the verge of a repeat of the “it’s like Die Hard, but in a *fill in the blank*” pitches that plagued action films for the entirety of the early 90s. What’s next, “The Hangover for kids” or “an urban Hangover’? People liked The Hangover because it was funny, not because of the formula of friends partying. People liked Die Hard because it was well made, not because it was all contained in one location. If you want your movie to be a success, make it good. Making it look like something else isn’t enough. Audiences see through your marketing mumbo-jumbo.
Source: 24 Frames