5 All-Female Ensembles We'd Love to See in Comedies

Bridesmaids is finally opening this weekend, and oh-my-stars, I'm thrilled. In fact, I'm overexcited. I'm (unnecessarily) pinning the future of lady-led ensemble comedies on Paul Feig's testament to bridesmaidenhood, and I think we should plan ahead in case the world decides that women deserve to dominate more comic casts. Hint to the world: They do. Here are five female ensembles we'd like to see in five typically male-driven genres of film.

tinafey-250.jpgDiner Comedy

Suggested Cast: Julie Bowen, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Cynthia Nixon

How often is it that women who are amazing with dialogue get a chance to exercise that elan with other women who are amazing with dialogue? Julie Bowen, who is ferocious and vulnerable in Modern Family's most challenging and most thankless role, is a natural with punchlines, as are the brilliant Amy Adams (who managed to bring some comedy into The Fighter) and Cynthia Nixon (who is the only Sex and the City cast member to refrain from overplaying jokes). Viola Davis, whose Oscar nomination and Tony win commemorate her serious side, deserves a shot at exposing the comic sizzle behind that well-trained visage.


Coming-of-Age Comedy

Suggested Cast: Sarah Hyland, Brie Larson, Emma Watson, Kat Dennings

Apart from Mean Girls, female-led high school ensembles of the past decade have been cloying and boy-centric. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants represents nobody's idea of real teenage women. My female friends in high school were all smart, unsentimental, bawdy, adult, and sensitive -- and this cast, which ranges from the casual cool of Kat Dennings to the snappy cynicism of Brie Larson -- could bring back the intelligence and bone-dry humor we still miss from Heathers.


Drunken Debauchery Comedy

Suggested Cast: Jane Krakowski, Julianne Moore, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch

Now, of course Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch attempted hilarious intoxication in Spring Breakdown, and of course Jane Krakowski and Julianne Moore have exercised utmost insanity on 30 Rock, but I so admire the go-there gall of all four of these women. Whether Poehler is deadpan or delirious, she such a bankable lead, particularly for a cast of women. I imagine these four as a a sloppy, mudslinging quad that blows off some steam after, say, a grim funeral brings them together. The Big Chill's most interesting characters were the women, after all.


Road Comedy

Suggested Cast: Ari Graynor, Leighton Meester, Kristen Stewart, Emma Roberts

Apart from Graynor, this isn't a cast accustomed to making audiences laugh -- but it should be. Leighton Meester almost throttled my funny bone in The Roommate, and now it's time for her to intentionally summon some yuks in a proper road flick. Kristen Stewart's dourness needs a serious pick-me-up (and her "road movie" cred will need an unpretentious counterpart after she stars in On the Road), and Emma Roberts needs to play more characters I care about. Her climactic monologue in Scre4m was no heartstring-tugger.



Suggested Cast: Tina Fey, Catherine O'Hara, Jan Hooks, Ana Gasteyer, Nicole Kidman

The mockumentary feels in some ways like a tired format, but the majority of that overexposure is thanks to the genre's standard male domination. A mockumentary about competitive females, on the other hand, is nothing but novel: Ana Gasteyer, who was arguably the successor to Catherine O'Hara, is ideal in hilariously over-earnest roles, as are Jan Hooks and Tina Fey. Ever since Rabbit Hole knocked my socks off with its unself-serious version of despair, I've wanted Nicole Kidman to try an opposing route with a dark comedy. Are there any funny movies about PTA mothers preparing for a prom? These ladies could make one sing.

[Photos: Getty Images]


  • Bobo says:

    Nice list, but surely there's a place here for Laura Dern. Her performances in "Citizen Ruth" and "Year of the Dog" proved she's one of the funniest comic actresses alive.

  • busterbluth says:

    Let's make some room for Lizzy Caplan, shall we?. Since I can't get my fix from Party Down anymore, she needs to be in more great comedies.

  • Penn says:

    Interesting choices. Quite like them too. How about a senior comedy with Maggie Smith, Julie Andrews and Judi Dench.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Yes, yes! Adore her. Mean Girls representation is important during these uncertain times.

  • busterbluth says:

    Soooo important. Every time I see her, I'm glad I am watching "whatever". Loved her on True Blood, too!

  • Ellie says:

    Needs more Lauren Graham, and I can't believe you missed Emma Stone! She was brilliant in Easy A, which I reckon was a pretty worthy successor to Mean Girls.

  • busterbluth says:

    Agreed. Love her. Didn't know what we had with Superbad, but she owned Easy A.

  • TAL says:

    Jan Hooks!!!! Miss her so.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    I second that emotion. Laura Dern is amazing.

  • blizzard bound says:

    Please, no Nicole Kidman. I find her frozen face unbearable to look at. Comedy requires a mobile face, methinks.

  • crahndokh says:

    You know what all these different kinds of all-female ensembles have in common? That in each and every instance, I (and probably any man with half a lick of sense) would avoid any movie featuring only these women in them like the plague.
    Because (say it with me now, everyone): WOMEN-ARE-NOT-FUNNY.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    As Tina Fey says in Bossypants, it's impressively arrogant to say that because you don't like something, it is inherently bad. "I don't like Chinese food, but I don't go around claiming it doesn't exist."
    Grow up. Women are funny, and you are not.

  • Alla says:

    I know she doesn't have too many fans here (and by here, I mean the entire internet) but Blake Lively should try her hand at a comedic role. Her SNL episode was a (surprisingly) bright spot in a meh season, and it showed she might have some comedic chops and committment to comedy. Besides, her sister Robyn's spot on 30 Rock (Liz's HS reunion episode) was so much fun, I'm pretty sure it runs in the fam!

  • NP says:

    Reese Witherspoon, please. Rarely does she get to use her comedic talents as she did in _Election_, and it would be so great to see her be funny again.

  • ILDC says:

    I wonder why Bridesmaids is being directed by a man.

  • ILDC says:

    I'd cast Portia Doubleday. I think she deserves better than a fairly well-received but box office flop Michael Cera movie and Big Mommas. Surprised Jane Lynch, Jennifer Lawrence, and Rooney Mara didn't make the list.

  • crahndokh says:

    Yeah...you're only half-right. See, I know I'm not funny. And as someone who isn't funny, I know what also isn't funny. And that's women.

  • Jane Lynch needs a guernsey there somewhere