This week we see the release of “Snatched,” a film starring comedy icon Goldie Hawn and modern day superstar Amy Schumer. Hawn’s taken much of the 2000s off, making “Snatched” a moment to provide a retrospective view of her career. With eyes on female-driven comedy films, what are your favorite female-driven comedies? We’ve got a few of our picks, but we want to hear yours! Keep the discussion going on the Awards Circuit Message Boards, and in the comments below!
“9 to 5” (1980)
Perhaps the ultimate female-driven comedy, “9 to 5” features a trio of stellar performances from women in their prime. Lily Tomlin steals the show as Violet Newstead, but she’s got plenty of competition from other areas of the film. The big awards candidate coming from the movie was Dolly Parton, who proved she could hold her own against some of the best comedy actresses. When peak Jane Fonda is the third-best part of your film, you know you’ve hit a home run. “9 to 5” remains one of the most underrated comedies of all time, and laid the groundwork for many ensemble comedies in the future.
Dark comedy is tough to pull off, and “Heathers” might be the darkest of all. The film follows Veronica (Winona Ryder) after she meets a violent new student J.D. (Christian Slater). The two strike up a quick friendship, and when pushed by the Heathers (who run the school), the duo begin to kill them one at a time. The performance was huge for Ryder and continued her push towards stardom. Slater had a similar jump, and within a few years, he would be in blockbuster films. The film features some very strong performances from the other Heathers, including Shannen Doherty and Kim Walker. The subject matter is extremely dark at times, but few teen comedies so thoroughly embrace their protagonist as “Heathers.”
Speaking of breakthrough performances, “Easy A” launched Emma Stone on her projection to Oscar-winning success. While “Superbad” and “Zombieland” are the movies most people remember as Stone’s breakouts, “Easy A” turned her into a star. She carries the film from start to finish, and it’s doubtful the film could have worked with any other star. There’s a level of charisma and snark that Stone uses to dominate the screen, and the genre turn earned her a Golden Globe nomination. However, Stone’s not the only woman giving an excellent performance here, with Patricia Clarkson and Amanda Bynes blowing up the screen in their scenes as well. It’s a very solid film, and will be seen as a turning point for Stone for years to come.
There are so many more female-driven comedies to highlight. Teen comedies, including “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Election,” are just a few notable mentions. Raunchy comedies, including “Trainwreck” and “Bridesmaids,” have also broken through the mainstream.