The Heat, written by Katie Dippold, is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a LONG time. Honestly, I’m just going to say it, I think it may be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t think there was a five-minute span of time that I wasn’t laughing. Yes, the plot was just okay, and yes Melissa McCarthy was once again playing the frumpy tomboy, but the script was so funny, these negatives didn’t bother me as much as they normally would. I have been excited for The Heat since I first heard about it last year and I am happy to report that it is just as good as I hoped it would be.
It seems that at least two buddy-cop films are released each year, but they always involve two men, or even a dog and a man… never women. The Heat, however, takes this tired concept, and makes it incredibly entertaining and funny. The “buddy-cop” plot is secondary to a hilarious script. Not to mention, the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is magnetic. I now want to see at least one comedy each year starring the two actresses. Hollywood, is that too much to ask?
As much as I hate that this even needs to be mentioned in my review, director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) once again proves that women can carry comedies just as well as men. After Bridesmaids, many critics and “industry insiders” said there would be a surge in female-led comedies. However, The Heat is the first movie I have seen that really lives up to that hype. The women in this film are not the typical rom-com single ladies. You know, the depressed women that constantly talk to their girlfriends about wanting a husband, children, and a white picket fence. In fact, the women of The Heat barely mention anything about men; they care more about dropping f-bombs (I’ve heard the count is about 190 times) and doing well at their job than being the traditional Hollywood “heroines”.
The film is so funny, it was hard for me to pay attention to/care what the plot was about, but here is the general idea. Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is a by-the-book FBI agent who is good at her job but alienates many of her coworkers due to her know-it-all (bordering on arrogant) attitude. Her only real friend is her neighbor’s orange cat. When an opportunity for a promotion arises, Ashburn’s boss informs her that she must travel to Boston and solve an important drug trafficking case before she can be considered for the position. Cue Melissa McCarthy!
In Boston, Ashburn is quickly paired with Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), an incredibly rough, street-smart detective from the Boston Police Department who also seems to be lacking in the friend department. Like Ashburn, Mullins is good at her job, though she solves crimes in more unconventional ways. Rules/laws do not seem to matter to her. Mullins is interested in the case because her brother has a history with the drug traffickers. To ensure his safety, Mullins needs to put the leaders of the organization in jail before they can ruin her brother’s life.
In order to solve the case and arrest the bad guys, Mullins needs Ashburn’s FBI intelligence on the drug operation, while Ashburn needs Mullins experience working in the Boston area. Predictably, the women hate each other at first; they can’t even open doors without there being issues! As I’m sure you can imagine, however, their hatred quickly turns into mutual respect after they realize their different styles of law enforcement are beneficial to the case. Now the only question is: will this respect turn into friendship?
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are fantastic in this film, proving once and for all that they are easily two of the best comedic actresses working today. Both women give so much physically, emotionally, and mentally to “the joke” and seem to be perfectly fine with looking silly in order to get the laugh.
Since I was little (and watched Practical Magic basically every day) I have LOVED Sandra Bullock. From Two Weeks Notice and Miss Congeniality to The Heat, Bullock has proven her comedic staying power. Not only is she extremely funny in this film, but she also has to have some emotional moments as well in regards to her character’s back story. Not many actresses can pull off humor and drama the way Bullock does. She is a freakin’ Oscar winner after all!
Do I really need to talk about the brilliance of Melissa McCarthy? When I first saw her on Gilmore Girls, I knew this woman was talented. I am amazed that she continues to impress me in each movie I see (even in Identity Thief, which I hated, I was impressed by her emotional turn at the end of the film). It’s hard to play roles that are really over-the-top and still appeal to the audiences without being obnoxious. This is where McCarthy (like Will Ferrell) excels.
While The Heat did run a TINY bit too long, it is certainly the funniest film of the year, and one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. I think everyone will be entertained by the hilarious script and performances. Bullock and McCarthy really give themselves to their roles and that is what makes the film really shine. Definitely do not miss out on seeing this movie in theaters. The audience in my screening was laughing just as hard as I was, and being in that type of environment always makes for the best cinematic experience. Word on the street is 20th Century Fox is already in talks for a sequel and I know I’ll be first in line!
My Review: A