You know when all you want to do is rave about something? This is me now.
I really need to talk about the film Spy.
It is actually the bomb (and is also about a bomb). It’s Bridesmaids-style hilarious (and incidentally directed by the same bloke). I cried actual tears in the cinema, then was momentarily concerned that I was really sad, but then realised I had just used up all my laughs.
After seeing a preview, this movie did not interest me at all. But with movie vouchers to use, a free Friday night and a 100% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it is now at 94%), I hesitantly gave the action-comedy a shot.
Now, I am a full-blown, raving convert.
Check out this preview. It does not at all do the movie justice.
Plot-wise, it’s about overlooked and talented desk-bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper (played by Melissa McCarthy), who goes into the field after all the top agents’ identities are compromised. She goes undercover to try to stop the villain (played by Rose Byrne) from selling a nuclear bomb to a terrorist organisation. She ignores her strict instructions to not make contact with the baddies and goes rogue. Hilarity ensues.
These are the reasons the film is excellent and you need to see it RIGHT NOW:
1. All the women.
The hero CIA analyst, her trusty sidekick, the CIA boss lady and the villain are all chicks. ‘Nuff said.
2. The film’s male director is a feminist. And it shows.
Self-described feminist Paul Feig – director of Bridesmaids (which also stars both McCarthy and Byrne, as well as Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and a bunch of other talented female comedians), The Heat (featuring McCarthy and Sandra Bullock) and now Spy – has proved yet again that women can carry big Hollywood films alone and should not be relegated to the supporting cast. Not only does he keep making movies with women in the main roles, but he continually casts McCarthy, someone who doesn’t fit Hollywood’s traditional standards of beauty, as a lead character.
He also illustrates the prejudice shown to McCarthy’s character because of her appearance in the movie. She is stuck in the friend zone with her crush, the undercover identities she is given are all unflattering and unexciting – like “divorced housewife from Iowa” and “cat lady” – and when she receives all her cool spy gadgets, they are hidden in embarrassing lotions and potions, like laxatives and nail fungus treatments.