Movie-going this summer was an exercise in 3-Dementia: Iron men, avenging aliens, zombies, animated monsters, upwardly mobile snails and Johnny Depp hamming and glamming the life out of iconic Tonto. Not my cup of tea; although I do admit to having a fondness for the cast and characters featured in Monsters University.
So imagine my surprise when I scanned the recently released summer box office stats and found that the No. 1 comedy of the summer was none other than The Heat, a crime caper starring two women, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. According to The New York Times (Monday, Sept. 2), the Fox release took in $210 million worldwide. Wow!!
Granted, The Heat is no work of art. Its storyline is ripped from the pages of classic buddy cop films, the editing could use some tightening and the language is pretty raunchy; but its director, Paul Feig, has some quality TV comedy work under his belt and another comedy blockbuster (Bridesmaids) to his credit, so it’s not surprising that the laughs are nonstop. Most of the credit for this film’s success, however, goes to the casting genius who paired the fearless comedienne, Melissa McCarthy, with America’s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock.
This duo has real chemistry and hopefully a future together in a sequel to this or another comedy worthy of their talents. The plot here is pure summer escapist fare that has enough legs to keep you laughing well into the fall and winter. Sparks fly when Bullock’s tightly wound, by-the-book career FBI agent jockeys to command a drug investigation in McCarthy’s Boston turf. The latter, a rowdy cop who breaks every rule in the book, may turn crime-fighting into a perpetual brawl; but it sure is fun to watch her kvetch and clobber every obstacle in her wake. Bullock and McCarthy are the Irene Dunne and Betty Hutton of 21st century comedy, kicked up a notch or two.
While the R-rated language is inappropriate for kids, The Heat is an entertaining, refreshingly female-centric adult comedy starring two of the most talented comediennes at work today with nary a 3-D robo cop, zombie or snail in sight. What more could a girl ask for?—Judith Trojan
Note: The Heat is currently slated for release on DVD on October 15 and Netflix on November 12.