However, the odder thing is this: all of the funny women I’ve mentioned, and countless others I could add to the list, are American women.
Isn’t Rose Byrne Australian?
What do you think?
Maybe you totally disagree. Maybe I just happen to have seen a lot of great comedy with women in lately, so believe there’s a cultural trend beyond my own viewing habits. Maybe I’m just more open and engaged with female voices in comedy now? Or maybe we really have entered a time when it’s women who are getting bigger roles, and coming up with the best material, and forces that would usually restrict them have loosened up? The good news is, whatever’s going on, men and women are reaping the rewards on screen.
How many times do we want to see the same movie over and over? That’s all Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell have done for a long time. Even if you liked The Hangover, did you really want to see it done two more times? Judging by the diminishing box office receipts between the second and third installments, probably not.
Women have always been funny and talented. This is not new. What is new is that people in the 21st century seem to be awake to the idea that you can go see a movie starring women, that presents you with new and different material, and enjoy it more than seeing the exact same Will Ferrell ad nauseum.
This is attributable not only to moviegoing audiences tiring of the same hackneyed material, but also to pioneers from previous generations (no love for Legally Blonde in this article!?) paving the way, and the work of feminism and feminists in busting down doors and changing the conversation. Because of that, large numbers of men and women enjoy watching the exploits and antics of comedic female protagonists, and, in turn, studios are now aware that they can make a tidy sum off of movies centered on women, so it seems logical to expect more of that. In some cases, this awareness comes from more women being in charge of making decisions on what gets produced, what gets written, and who stars in what.
Obviously, there are more factors to consider, but I think the answer to why this is happening is feminism.