THE HEAT (2013) pairs Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent in New York on loan to the Boston FBI office and Melissa McCarthy as a Boston police officer. The film itself is quite funny.
Yet this portrayal of two professional women still treats women somewhat as a joke. For example, why must Sandra Bullock’s character have to be a klutz? (Must she knock her head against the car window for a cheap laugh?)
While I understand that comedic movies need sight gags, having Bullock’s character be a klutz is not necessary. The movie has enough funny moments that the two women can be portrayed as competent in their jobs without the put-downs.
This portrayal of women in fiction, as I have written before, is important for how it impacts the perception of women in real life. (Note the firing this past week of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson and the numerous press accounts of her as a woman at the high echelons of the Times.)
I would love to see more female buddy movies — but let them skip the put-downs and focus on the true comedy in the storyline.
Click here to check out the streaming video of THE HEAT on the movie and TV site M-GO (NOT an affiliate link).
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.