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Movie Review: "The Heat" Is On Fire

The Heat Movie Promo PicWith the summer days blazing away at lightning speed, there is still time to treat yourself to a cool couple of hours at the theater. Not only will you enjoy the AC, you'll enjoy many a funny moments in the hot, hot, hot, buddy comedy, The Heat. The unlikely, but perfectly matched, female leads of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, sizzle on the screen in their scenes together. Director Paul Feig does a brilliant job of keeping the two very different characters separate while allowing them to morph into fuller, more well-rounded versions of themselves by benefiting from the transformative friendship. 

The film features Bullock as a smart, single, nerdy brunette with a Type-A personality that is all but lost on the men who can make or break her career. The feedback she receives, when reminding her boss that she has closed more cases as a Special Agent in the FBI than any other in her division, is that he has only gotten complaints of "arrogance, competitiveness, and showmanship" from her peers. This sets her off on the quest to reach the next level in her career sending her bumping directly into McCarthy's brazen, foul-mouthed, but decent cop persona. She, too, is misunderstood and under-appreciated by her male peers and disfunctional family. 

Bullock's approach to police work is all by the book, setting up a fun, and sometimes, over the top contrast with McCarthy's take no prisoners style. The dichotomy is well presented, a bit predictable, but very satisfying to the audience. It's a bumpy road for both characters as they try to uncover the identity of a drug lord. Feig allows for physical humor, women's intuition, and sharp, well-delivered, dialogue to carry the plot. He does not use car chases, large explosions, superheroes, gratuitous sex, or CGI, to tell the story; instead, it is old-fashioned movie making at its finest, fully invoking the star power that is Bullock and McCarthy. 

While the leads are women, this is a film for everyone. I was surprised at how much the men in the audience laughed throughout the film. As for the female audience, we see some of ourselves in each character, but will identify more strongly with one or the other (for me it was Bullock - especially in the Spanx scene - and those of you who know Spanx, know what I'm talking about!). Ultimately, there is a lot of change for Bullock's character, less so for McCarthy, but they are smoking hot together on screen... And where there is smoke, there is fire, and I smell a big sequel!

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