MOVIE: The Heat (2013)

theheatBefore seeing this movie, I wasn’t much of a Melissa McCarthy fan, I confess.  Unlike the rest of the entire female half of the human race (feels like!), I didn’t find Bridesmaids at all funny, and since that was the only thing I’d seen her in until The Heat, I wasn’t super gung-ho about the lady.

There are a number of bones I could pick with Bridesmaids, but chief among them is the fact the only character who wasn’t rail-thin (McCarthy) was — surprise, surprise! — the gross, weird character (Megan).  The joke was that while she was comfortable in her own body, everybody else knew her body was totally disgusting.  For example, “I never bloat,” her character says while cramming food into her mouth at a luncheon — that line’s hilarious, see, because she’s FAT.  Every bit of humor related to Megan rests solely on her hideous appearance and her sexuality, which:  blarrrrrrgh.  This is so often how heavy people are portrayed in movies and on TV, and it really, really bothers me.

So, when I heard The Heat was directed by the same director, Paul Feig, and partly written by Judd Apatow (not famous for his inspiring female characters), I was braced for the same kind of part for McCarthy, and not at all sure I’d be able to stand it.  The trailer made me laugh, though, so I gave in and sat down.

About ten minutes in and everything was forgiven.  Because while you could certainly still make the argument that McCarthy’s playing a sorta-gross (how old was that sandwich?), definitely-weird character in this movie too, this time, she’s comfortable in her own body. . .  and everybody else thinks she’s KICK-ASS.  (Not to mention smart as a whip.)

This movie is an entertaining spin on the stereotypical cop-buddy flick, with McCarthy playing a brash Boston detective (Mullins) and Sandra Bullock playing a stuck-up, stuffy Feebie (Ashburn) who gets partnered up with Mullins, much to their fairly equal initial dismay.

While the plot is pretty forgettable — I’ve seen it three times now and I can’t currently drum up a single detail from the “crime-solving” story —  it doesn’t matter because the plot isn’t the point.  The point is watching two hilarious, bright, talented women act hilarious, bright, and talented together.  It’s not a perfect movie, but, for me, it was an absolute blast from start to finish (three times over, in fact).  If I’d gotten around to doing a Best-Of list for 2013, The Heat would’ve been in my top 5 for favorite movies of the year.  So there.

Incidentally, after adoring the Melissa-McCarthy outta this film, I checked out season one of her sit-com, Mike & Molly, and was utterly charmed by both her and it.  Want to see some heavier actors playing regular ol’ normal, kind, sweet, funny, people in love for a change?  Tune in.

And as for The Heat — you should go rent this immediately.  IMMEDIATELY!  As Mullins would say, “Don’t make me put this cat down and punch you!”  Recommended!

[Netflix it | Amazon Buy/Rent]

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Taran Killam, Kaitlin Olson, Thomas F. Wilson


7 Responses to “MOVIE: The Heat (2013)”

  1. Richard Harland Smith Says:

    Boy, we really part company on this one. I thought it was just atrocious and a feeble attempt to recycle the best parts of MIDNIGHT RUN and other hit comedies (the “yutes” scene from MY COUSIN VINNY becomes the “Ah you a nahk” scene here) that actually worked. I’d cite further examples but then we’ll just wind up in another one of our WORLD WAR Z fights and I hate those!

  2. megwood Says:

    Oh, I won’t fight you on that at all. I’m not arguing it’s a good movie — it’s actually a pretty terrible movie (see above re: what the hell was the plot again?). But I loved McCarthy and Bullock in this; I loved watching them play together. They made me laugh. As for recycled content, it’s hard to find any mainstream movie nowadays that isn’t pretty much just a bunch of other movies all cobbled together. The trick is picking the movie that cobbles-together the things you still find entertaining. Which is why this worked for me (still not tired of either MIDNIGHT RUN or MY COUSIN VINNY), and THE CONJURING and WORLD WAR Z didn’t (yawn, yawn, yawnsville).

    Plus, that “Ah you a nahk” scene was so relateable for me, having spent a lot of time around the Bostonian-region accent with my West Coast accent. The Wood family still tells many jokes that involve making fun of that accent (PSDS: what you wear earrings on).

  3. RogerBW Says:

    I keep waiting for Rebel Wilson to get a role that isn’t “the fat chick”. She can actually act; she just doesn’t get the chance very often.

    The Flick Filosopher thought this one was pretty terrible, and I often end up agreeing with her. But hey, maybe I’ll give it a look…

    • megwood Says:

      It IS pretty terrible. But since when does that keep me from enjoying myself?

      • megwood Says:

        Just read FlickFil’s piece on The Heat, and, man, I disagree utterly and completely with many of her points about the movie being misogynistic, especially the one where she says Bullock’s character is “treated like a pariah” by her male peers because she’s really good at her job. Ashburn is disliked by her colleagues because she has no respect for them whatsoever. She doesn’t have a boyfriend not because she’s too smart for men, but because she’s AWFUL to EVERYONE. It’s not her fault — she’s clearly got issues — but it’s also not “misogynistic” to dislike a smart, strong woman if that woman is also frequently a jerk.

        Glad to see FlickFil thought Bridesmaids was pretty bad too, though!

  4. Vicki Says:

    I took your advice and it was very diverting. Maybe because I don’t watch cop-buddy movies. It was refreshing to focus on two women.

  5. Jade Says:

    I loved Melissa McCarthy in Gilmore Girls its good to see she’s getting some recognition now as a talented comedic actress and also being offered parts with more substance.

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