A new comedy flew in under the radar this past weekend and despite boasting a fairly recognizable cast and mixed reviews (okay, fine, crap reviews), A Good Old Fashioned Orgy opened in limited release to minimal, infinitesimal, barely audible fanfare. I don’t know why the film is being buried, (TK’s quite warm review will be up later today), but I can tell you that it’s already rubbing me the wrong way. Let’s have a look at the cast of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy. First, the ladies:
Lake Bell, Leslie Bibb, Michelle Borth, Lindsay Sloane
Lovely, right? And now the menfolk:
Jason Sudeikis, Nick Kroll, Tyler Labine, Martin Starr
See anything amiss? Now, please, read carefully and don’t misunderstand me. I love those guys. Well, I love Sudeikis, Kroll and Starr. I’ve no strong feelings for Mr. Labine. Sudeikis is a favorite “SNL” cast member and has acquitted himself well in recent films (Going The Distance, Horrible Bosses). Kroll routinely makes me snort Diet Coke out of my nose when watching “The League” and I’ve loved Martin Starr longtime, from “Freaks and Geeks” to “Party Down” and everything in between. These are funny, endearing, talented dudes. But they are, with the possible exception of Sudeikis, not, umm, well, they’re not lookers, are they? These are the kind of men you fall in love with because of their personality. Because they make you laugh. And Starr’s vulpine features and Kroll’s weaselly demeanor soften, become more lovable, become downright sexy. But those ladies? Those ladies are eeeeeee-easy on the eyes. And this ain’t news in the comedy world. This, oh yes, Double Standard is why when female comedians pose for “Vanity Fair,” they look like this:
And when men pose they look like this:
Both shots are meant as spoofs, the ladies sending up celebutante culture and the men, the famous Tom Ford cover. Regardless, you’ve got ladies (the beautiful Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig) actually looking sexy and the men looking, well, repugnant. Endearingly and intentionally repugnant, but repugnant nonetheless. And, okay, it’s a joke. And I certainly agree that anyone, male or female, should be judged on more than their appearance. I don’t think it’s laughable to conceive of any of the female members A Good Old Fashioned Orgy cast falling for one of the less attractive male characters. In fact, one of my favorite comedic love stories of the entire year was between a knock out woman (the unabashedly leggy Kristen Wiig) and a schlubby male (the irresistible Chris O’Dowd).
Adorable, aren’t they? So what’s rubbing me the wrong way? It’s that the impossibly high stiletto is never on the other foot. We’re never given the opportunity to fall in love with a female based on her personality. Not in a mainstream film anyway. Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, you say? Well bully. One example. Congratulations. Have we covered this topic before? You bet we have. Is it worth mentioning again? It sure as heckfire is. And why? Because nothing is changing. It’s the same as it ever was. Don’t believe me? Check out the most preposterous pairings of 2011.
The Green Hornet: Cameron Diaz and Seth Rogen
30 Minutes Or Less: Jesse Eisenberg and Dilshad Vadsaria
Hall Pass: Jason Sudeikis, Owen Wilson and their Gorgon wives Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate
Horrible Bosses: Jennifer Aniston is absolutely sexually obsessed with Charlie Day.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II: Ron and Hermione. Love Rupert Grint but, well, come on.
Zookeeper: Kevin James has to choose between Leslie Bibb and Rosario Dawson. As far as I know, the gorilla in the mix.
Just Go With It: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and SWIMSUIT MODEL Brooklyn Decker.
The Dilemma: Kevin James and Winona Ryder or Jennifer Connolly and The Man Who Ate Vince Vaughn.
And, the grand prize goes to one of my favorite films of the year and a product of the sometimes creepy mind of Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris:
Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams
Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard
Owen Wilson and Léa Seydoux
Am I saying that an unconventional looking man cannot be attractive? Certainly not. And taken on a case by case basis, these pairings could make sense. But stacked together? Pretty preposterous, no?