Title: The Heat
Cast: Sandra Bullock (Sarah Ashburn), Melissa McCarthy (Shannon Mullins), Marlon Wayans (Levy), Demian Bichir (Hale), Michael Rapaport (Jason Mullins), Taran Killam (Adam)
Director: Paul Feig
The Basics: The Heat is a classic buddy-cop comedy about an uptight, conceited FBI agent who’s forced to work with a gruff and unorthodox detective from Boston in order to bring down a drug kingpin and murderer. The unique thing about this film is that both the FBI agent and Boston detective are women. Although it’s probably not the greatest cop film anyone will ever see, this film should be remembered for its dedication to focusing solely on the relationship between these two female characters—and what great characters they are. Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock both bring such different but equally fantastic comedic energies to this film, proving once again that a film driven by women can be just as funny as (if not funnier than) a male-centric comedy.
M.V.P. (Most Valuable Performer): There’s no way to separate McCarthy and Bullock when talking about this film, especially not when trying to judge who was better. They were a true team, bringing different comedic styles to the table and bouncing those styles off each other to create something genuinely entertaining. Both actors played variations on roles we’re familiar with (McCarthy’s Mullins was in many ways similar to her role in Bridesmaids, and Bullock’s Ashburn had notes of her performances in both Miss Congeniality and The Proposal.), but the combination of the two of them together was lightning in a bottle. They’re each skilled in so many different ways to be funny—from physical comedy to deadpan delivery to the perfect time to drop an f-bomb (or 10). When I first heard that McCarthy and Bullock were making a buddy-cop comedy together, I knew they would be a dream team, but they exceeded even my high expectations. They seemed to bring out the best and funniest in each other, creating a kind of comedic chemistry that can’t be forced. Actors either have it or they wish they did, and these two have it in spades.
Scene Stealer: The movie really belonged to Bullock and McCarthy—to the point where it was hard to pick someone who diverted any attention away from them. The closest this movie came to having any scene stealers was Mullins’s family. From Joey McIntyre as one of her loudmouthed brothers to Jane Curtin as her constantly disapproving mother, the casting of this family was excellent. The scene where Mullins and Ashburn cram the whole family into a van to get them out of their neighborhood was absolutely hilarious.
Bring the Tissues? Only if you have a tendency to cry when you laugh really hard.
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Stay in your seat during the credits for an extra scene featuring Ashburn, Mullins, and the cat Ashburn likes to borrow from her neighbor. It’s worth sticking around for a little bit to get one last laugh in before you leave.
Most Memorable Scene: There were a lot of memorable, hilarious scenes in The Heat, but the funniest scene—the one that combines all of Bullock and McCarthy’s comedic strengths—is the scene where Mullins and Ashburn follow a suspect into a club and attempt to get close to him to bug his phone. Yes, one of the biggest laughs was spoiled in the trailers and commercials for the film (Mullins asking “What’s gonna come popping out?” when she learns what Spanx are for). However, that scene is so much more than just one punch line. When Mullins tells Ashburn to ventilate the area usually covered by her Spanx, I couldn’t breathe because I was laughing so hard. It’s a kind of humor that appeals to women because we can relate and I’d think appeals to men as well because McCarthy and Bullock’s delivery is just so good. And once the women leave the bathroom and go back into the club, it’s physical comedy gold. Watching Bullock try to seduce the suspect while McCarthy yells out encouragement (“Use your boobs!”) was hilarious, and I loved watching them try to get rid of one woman who kept trying to get herself in the middle of their seduction attempt.