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Enough already: EW’s Mark Harris defends Wiig’s “Bridesmaids II” snub

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Entertainment Weekly’s frequent columnist Mark Harris is a smart guy – he’s one of my favorite entertainment writers and one of the major reasons I hold on to my EW subscription.

In the current issue of the magazine, Harris takes on the criticism that enveloped Kristen Wiig recently when she commented that she was not particularly keen on making a sequel to last year’s hit film Bridesmaids. Harris defends Wiig’s view.

Kristen Wiig


He makes the point that the original film was a self-contained vehicle with a complete dramatic arc, adding, “A sequel that puts [the characters] back in pink dresses replaying life crises would suggest everything that happened in the first movie was a lie—you thought you were watching a movie, but no, it was just a sitcom pilot.”

In effect raising Alan Jay Lerner’s musical question “Why is the sequel never the equal,” Harris points out that “nobody ever says, ‘You know what I really loved about Home Alone 2?’”

You can trace the modern sequel mania back to 1974’s The Godfather Part II, which was an artistic success and won a Best Picture Oscar. Some people even felt it was better than the original title.

But then, of course, came The Godfather Part III.

Sequel mania is a relatively new phenomenon, though film follow-ups have long been around (e.g., Father of the Bride/Father’s Little Dividend). Harris makes the shocking observation that the nine highest-grossing films in America in 2011 were all sequels, pointing out that as recently as 1998 there were no sequels among the top-ten moneymakers.

In a crippled economy, Harris writes, studios understandably depend on film franchises. But what if sequels’ reliability founders? Harris believes that if the film-franchise market crashes, it will be those filmmakers with sufficient “taste and foresight” to create viable new properties who will be the winners.

I say, why wait? Bring ‘em on now!

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