Debauched ladette comedy lacks any moral compass, Guardian critic says

Ladette films have become vehicles for debauchery, featuring drunkenness, toilet humour and “absolutely no discernible moral compass”, a Guardian critic has said in a blistering review.

Ellen E Jones highlighted another critic’s assessment that “partying hard is meant as a stand-in for equality” in one of the latest Hollywood releases.

Jones wrote that movie-makers have swung from “dainty romcoms” with weak female characters to attempts to show that women can be just as “gross” and “outrageous” as male on-screen yobs.

‘Blow-out weekend’

Writing about Girls Trip and Rough Night, Jones said the films feature the main characters seeking to get “pregnant tonight” and covering up the death of a male stripper.

Jones, who also writes for the London Evening Standard, said the 2011 film Bridesmaids “changed the Hollywood notion of suitable content for mainstream female-fronted comedy”.

Now such films are often “hedonistic” and likely to focus on “that big blow-out weekend or night on the town”, she said.

Too much?

Some, Jones reported, are critical of such content. Jenny Slate, an actress who has featured in Hollywood films, said she despairs at female comedies featuring so-called ‘cool women’ speaking just like “gross men”.

But others have attempted to defend the content, with Rough Night director Lucia Aniello saying the movie simply depicted “honest” situations.

Karen McCullah, who co-wrote Girls Trip which grossed over $100,000,000 in the USA, has said: “If something is funny is it ever really too much?”

Positive messages

But cinema-goers have also backed films promoting contrastingly positive messages.

A low-budget Christian film about prayer shot to success in the US – attracting $11 million in revenues in its first weekend, and a total of $67.8m in America.

Hacksaw Ridge revealed how a conscientious objector saved 75 men in one of the bloodiest conflicts in World War II without ever firing a gun, and grossed $67.1m in the USA.

And the Case for Christ, which told the story of an award-winning atheist journalist who looked into the life of Jesus, brought in $14.7m at the box office.