Egos in Hollywood might be large enough now where teaming as a comedic or dramatic duo might not happen as often as it once did. The chances of Kristen Wiig working closely alongside a fellow female comedienne might work, even if we’re used to seeing her as the stand-alone star performer. That isn’t to say that she won’t be soon forging a new cinematic match-up with Will Ferrell as should have been done a long time ago.
But female comedic duos on the big screen have been scant to none. Why female comedy pairs have only worked effectively on the television screen for decades has long been a mystery. The only exception would be “Thelma & Louise” if you consider the ending to be any sense of black comedy.
How many, though, would have thought Sandra Bullock could change all that? She’ll soon be paired with Melissa McCarthy in a summer comedy called “The Heat” about two opposite personality cops who become reluctant friends. Based on an impressively hilarious clip from MTV, it could alter how studios apparently felt about two female stars trying to outwit one another in comedic chemistry.
For Bullock, it couldn’t be a better reinvention for her after having not done comedy for a while after focusing on sobering dramas the last few years. No one has a short memory to her comedic performances in the short “Miss Congeniality” franchise, especially because she was acting within the realms of satire. It’s a path she should have taken more based on her ability to be witty, even in her dramas.
This sudden left turn with Melissa McCarthy is even more interesting when one considers how much of a one-woman show she is when you get her in front of a camera. What happens if the team of Bullock and McCarthy becomes so successful, people want much more? The career of McCarthy would possibly take an unexpected shift, and the comedic female duo may be the hottest new Hollywood property.
The question is whether enough other female comediennes would be willing to do pairings with unexpected choices to test the waters. Perhaps the teaming of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler didn’t set it off on the right foot when their cameos in “Man of the Year” and their starring vehicle “Baby Mama” didn’t receive critical raves. They seem to be the emblems mentioned earlier of some brilliant teams working better in the environs of television.
And as we’ve learned with male comedic duos on the big screen, dialogue is everything. Based on “The Heat” trailer, Bullock and McCarthy have some terrific lines, if perhaps made up on the spot. Considering the writing of fresh dialogue is a sparse exercise nowadays, Bullock was perhaps allowed to find her own zone with McCarthy by improvising many of their memorable scenes together.
In that regard, Bullock may have moved into improvisational comedienne territory as a place we’d never thought she’d go. An eventual next step, of course, will have to be “Saturday Night Live” where she and McCarthy should host together as the hottest comedy team since Lucy and Ethel.