This has been an excellent year for funny adult women. First there was Trainwreck, where Amy Schumer brought her down-and-dirty sensibility to the big screen. Now there’s Sisters, where Amy Poehler and Tina Fey star as a pair of adult siblings, at least one of whom is an unapologetic woman-child. These films are smart, funny, and often dirty, fully earning their R ratings. And let us not forget 2011’s Bridesmaids, the flick that launched a thousand thinkpieces about whether R-rated comedies featuring women could survive at the box office.
At the premiere of Sisters last night, the Cut ran into Paula Pell, who, in addition to writing Sisters, was a longtime writer at SNL, creating some of its most iconic sketches for some of its funniest comedians. We asked her if she thought the latest run of woman-created films was just a trend, or whether it signaled a real shift in how Hollywood thinks about women.
“I think women are taking charge of the origins of a production, which is the most important part. Because you can’t be a victim of whatever people ask you to do,” said Pell. “All the women I’ve grown up with at SNL and other areas, and even the women that work with Judd Apatow, all those women are powerful, assertive women that have great material and they just produce themselves. These years, it’s getting made, which is thanks to Bridesmaids and a few other things, and Amy Schumer and all these people. And to Tina and Amy who really on the TV side sort of started that trend. It’s not a trend that will go away.” Long live the filthy female comedy!