#CoronaBinge: Best Female-Led Comedies Ever
Femme Critic knows y’all are jonesing for some good comedies to watch during your #Coronapocalpyse quarantine, and we are here to provide some recommendations. These are all female-led favorites, in order of release date, and all streamable/rentable on various services. And all but the first pick are written by women.
What’s Up, Doc?
Writers: Buck Henry, Robert Benton, David Newman (WGA winning)
Director: Peter Bogdonavich
Barbra Streisand and Madeline Kahn lead a then-all-star cast in this uber-cool early ‘70s rom-com that’s a contemporary update of a classic farce -- complete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, pie-throwing and a really clever final twist. Streisand plays a free spirit who crosses paths with a nerdy music professor (Ryan O’Neal) and his uptight wife Eunice (Kahn), all three of whom get caught up in a madcap scheme involving four identical-looking plaid bags, one of which is filled with stolen jewels. And yes, Streisand gets to sing a tune or two. There are several screwball set-pieces, including one of the craziest San Francisco car chases ever created. What's Up, Doc? is in my Top 5 favorite movies ever, so yeah, highly recommend for a really good laugh.
Writer: Nancy Meyers (WGA winning)
Director: Howard Zieff
There are a bunch of really good comedies starring Goldie Hawn from the ‘70s-’90s, including Foul Play, Overboard, Death Becomes Her and First Wives Club -- all of which are worth seeing -- but Private Benjamin is Hawn's tour de force. The first big hit written by Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give), it’s the story of a sheltered Jewish girl who’s tricked by a fast-talking Army recruiter into joining the service, where she goes up against a superior officer played by Eileen Brennan in an Oscar-nominated turn. More importantly though, it’s also the story of how she transforms from a naive brat into a confident, independent woman. Hawn and Meyers were also nominated for Oscars.
Writer: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford and Caryn Lucas
Director: Donald Petrie
Bullock is another comedy star who’s starred in several excellent rom-coms (While You Were Sleeping, The Proposal, etc.) But Grace Hart is one of her greatest creations -- a tough FBI Agent who goes more-than-reluctantly undercover at a beauty pageant and has her assumptions challenged about her fellow contestants and vice versa, while taking down a mad bomber. There are some amazing comic turns here from Candice Bergen, William Shatner and Michael Caine, as well. Fun female empowerment.
Writer: Katie Dippold
Director: Paul Feig
Speaking of Sandra Bullock, she teamed up with another wonderful comic actress, Melissa McCarthy, in this funny and fierce female buddy-cop comedy. As law enforcement officers with wildly differing personal styles, Bullock and McCarthy play off each other perfectly. It’s directed by Paul Feig, who’s helmed some of the best female-driven comedies ever -- Bridesmaids, Spy, A Simple Favor -- but The Heat is a somewhat hidden gem that may’ve passed you by the first time. And Jane Curtin has a small, hilarious role, so bonus!
Writers: Emily Spivey, Liz Cackowski
Director: Amy Poehler
A group of old friends gather in Napa for a 50th birthday celebration, where old grudges and new annoyances are accompanied by lots and lots of wine drinking, clever chat and gorgeous scenery (a bonus for the quarantined!). Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Amy Poehler Maya Erskine and Tina Fey are hilariously perfect, and Poehler directs. The scenery is gorgeous, and there are a few LOL moments -- I mean, with that lineup of SNL vets you can’t possibly go wrong. Check out my full review.
Let us know what you would add to the list and Happy #CoronaQuarantine viewing!