Melissa McCarthy is having more than a moment. She is having an era. Sure, maybe not necessarily in length, but definitely in importance. Breakout star status doesn’t usually happen to 40-something, plus-sized women. And when I say “usually,” I mean ever. But here she is with a brand new Emmy on her mantel and a blockbuster comedy hit on her resume and a highly rated sitcom on every week and more movie deals and TV deals coming her way and a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. It’s just, well, it’s just great. And I can honestly say it couldn’t happen to a more likeable and hilarious gal.
To just say Melissa was funny in “Bridesmaids” is like just saying the Grand Canyon is a big hole in the ground. Sure, it’s true, but it’s a massive undersell. She was pee, or in this case poop, your pants funny in that movie. Her Megan was a singular cinematic creature - a confident, pragmatic, butch, sexual and loveable oddball who you laughed with more than at. And out of all of that, I think the confidence of her character was the most amazing attribute. We’re used to funny women in comedies being neurotic messes. They fret and thither, over-think and under-appreciate themselves. But not Melissa’s Megan. Confidence made that character more than just the punchline, it made her a heroine.
And that all came from Melissa, who has made herself a new kind of comedy heroine for us all. Of course, some of us knew years ago when she was the sweetest little chef in all of Stars Hollow. Let’s hope her era never ends. Happy weekend, all.
EDIT: To the skeptics who doubt it when I say “breakout star status doesn’t usually happen to 40-something, plus-sized women,” it really doesn’t. Ages when they found breakout success: Roseanne Barr, 36; Oprah Winfrey, 32; Anna Nicole Smith, 26; Liza Minnelli, 26 (also not exactly plus sized at the time); Queen Latifah, 19; Nikki Blonsky, 19. Also, Rosie O’Donnell got her talk show at 34. So, no, sadly almost never.