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Feig mines optimism for laughs

Paul Feig is probably best described as a master of cringe comedy.

Paul Feig is probably best described as a master of cringe comedy. As the co-creator of the beloved high school humiliation comedy Freaks And Geeks as well as the director of TV shows like The Office and films like the upcoming Bridesmaids, Feig has displayed a knack for mining laughs out of awkward behaviour.

When asked why he has such an affinity for this style of comedy, Feig told Metro, “I’m an eternal optimist and when you’re an optimist you’re always opening yourself up for humiliation and failure because it’s very seldom that things turn out better than you expect. It’s inevitably worse and I always found that funny and relatable.”

Feig’s latest directorial outing Bridesmaids (opening next week) fits comfortably into this mould. The film stars Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig — who also co-wrote the movie — as a struggling woman with a failed business, a mountain of debt, and a stunted love life who finds herself going through a series of embarrassing misadventures while helping a lifelong friend prepare for her wedding. It’s a situation designed to provoke fits of laughter through nauseating discomfort and also fulfilled Feig’s longstanding desire to create strong comedic roles for women.

“I’ve always had this sick feeling in my stomach over women getting such crappy roles, especially in comedies where they always tend to become shrewish,” explained the director. “To this day, so many talented people I know in this business are women who are hilarious but can’t get that big break because the roles just aren’t there.

“I thought it would be nice to change the tide with this movie a little bit. But that also brought a lot of pressure on me because it’s like, ‘Oh God, if I screw this up or it doesn’t do well, it’s going to make it even harder for women to get their own projects.’”

Based on laugh count alone the director definitely succeeded and now we’ll see if audiences will be willing to open their hearts and wallets to see his cast of lovely ladies behaving badly.

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