Last week I watched a German movie on Netflix entitled Wetlands directed by David Wnendt. The second the end credits started rolling, I immediately started the entire thing over again. I was obsessed. I felt like I had been waiting for this movie my whole life. I won’t lie to you, this movie is disgusting. It’s disgusting, badass, hilarious, tragic, thought-provoking, the list goes on and on. So naturally I’m wondering why there aren’t more comedies like this.
Here’s the thing: There are very few movies where girls get to be gross.
All but 1 of WatchMojo’s list of the Top 10 Comedy Movies of the 2000s is male led as well as all but 2 from the 2010s list. Already, we don’t have nearly as many female comedies. Not to mention the female characters in male led comedies tend to fall under the archetype of “The Buzzkill,” (such as Kathrine Heigl in Knocked Up) or “The Sex Object” (Brooklyn Decker in Just Go With It or Eva Mendes in The Other Guys).
Now let’s look at the last few female led comedies of the last 10 years:
Bridesmaids was a HUGE success. The movie was released in May 2011. By September of that year, Bridesmaids had grossed over 169 million dollars. Now if someone were to ask you what the most memorable scene from this movie is, you’d have a plethora of choices, but I know the moment that sticks out for me is the food poisoning scene.
Why do I love this scene so god damn much? Well probably because there are women shitting and puking everywhere. We almost never get to see this kind of thing from women in comedies unless they’re being portrayed as “Ugly.” These are average women with lives and feelings who just so happen to be shitting and puking everywhere. This scene is comedy gold, so why is it so rare to find similar ones in other movies?
You’ve probably forgotten about this comedic gem. Baby Mama is about single woman Kate Holbrook who wants to have a child but is told that due to her “T-Shaped Uterus,” she can’t, so Kate hires Angie, the epitome of white trash, as a surrogate. Hijinks ensue. One of the main sources of laughs in this movie, is the fact that Angie is pretty nasty.
The movie thrives on the tension between Type A Kate who feels the need to obsessively control every aspect of Angie’s pregnancy and Angie who sticks gum under Kate’s coffee table and would honestly rather be at Arby’s. The result is a hilariously strange relationship between a woman and her surrogate. Another win for nasty ladies.
I remember about a year ago I was talking to a guy in my screenwriting class. Somehow we got onto the subject of shitting and he immediately started shaking his head and said,
In my mind, girl’s don’t pee, shit, or fart.
The dude just couldn’t handle the thought of a woman having a bodily function. See, I love talking about poop because EVERYONE DOES IT, which makes it just about the most relatable subject on the planet. If your significant other can’t stand the thought of you defecating, get out now. When I think about the friends I value most, they are disproportionately people that can hold a highly entertaining conversation about crap.
The whole poop thing is a preference of mine, some people don’t like that kind of humor, and that’s fine, but what I’ve realized from watching movies like Bridesmaids, Baby Mama, and especially Wetlands, is that in that genuine, natural nastiness, there’s a huge sense of validation and truth. These movies send the message that women are PEOPLE, people that don’t smell like fucking flowers all the time.
I highly recommend that all girls watch Wetlands on Netflix as soon as possible. It’s adds a whole new dimension to the phrase “Body Positivity.”