Feel-Good Chemicals in The Female Brain

The Female Brain looked like a movie that was going to piss me off. Thankfully, my wife said, "no put that on, it looks cute" because otherwise, I might have skipped it.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

From the outside, it's a movie written, directed, and starring Whitney Cummings. That's enough for me to dislike it because: LOOK AT THAT WOMAN. Her cheekbones are perfect. Her hair is perfect. Her boobs are perfect.

I'm jealous of Whitney Cummings. But, I would absolutely hang out with and get drunk with Whitney Cummings. I will admit to being a little bummed out at first. To me, it's surprising to see the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus trope played out in 2018 but the key difference is Whitney Cummings involvement: Women have the respect to write women as more than just two-dimensional stereotypes. Yes, there are stereotypes in The Female Brain, however, they're handled from a different point of view and it's one with a much more respectful eye.

Let me just say this once and I'll shut up: I love Whitney Cummings writing style. I really liked the show Whitney, and I would watch 2 Broke Girls if I could stomach one of the actresses, among all of the other great projects she's been a part of. Also, her stand up? AMAZING.

TL;DR: I legit liked this movie and unfortunately I can't bash anything. The Female Brain is Cummings' first go-round at directing a feature film, but she's a seasoned writer and on this project, co-wrote with Neal Brennan.

In The Female Brain, Whitney Cummings plays Julia Brizendine, a neurologist who uses MRIs to study the different chemical reactions and lasting(?) effects they have on the male and female brain. This character is a fictionalized version of Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist who is both a researcher and a clinician and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

The "study" conducted by Julia tests subjects on how they respond to images; for example when someone is in an MRI and sees a picture of a tiny, adorable, baby kitten, their brain fires in different sections. Why did I put "study in quotes? Well... Julia is a closed-off character set out to prove that there is a way to "hack" the female brain in order to avoid heartbreak. During the study, Kevin (Toby Kebbell, with his actual face and not a CGI one) shows up at the lab one day to serve as her latest test subject. He tries to be flirty with her but, at one point, he refers to Julia as Dr. Strangely-Hates-Love.

There are three couples Julia focuses on as part of her study: Steven and Lisa, Lexi and Adam, and Zoe and Greg.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

Steven (Deon Cole) and Lisa (SofΓ­a Vergara) have been married for 12 years and they both feel that they've lost the spark. They both wear crocs with socks and decide to try Molly for the first time. It doesn't go so well and they eventually decide to separate, but they're still cool. Until they have a "congrats we're getting separated" party and everyone assumes Steven cheated on Lisa. She helps him remember his confidence when he goes to flirt with someone who he's had a crush on for years. It's sweet to see a couple part on good terms and support one another, but you almost want them to get back together.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

Lexi (Lucy Punch) and Adam (James Marsden) have been dating for 2 or 3 years, depending on who you ask. Lexi is a little bit (lotta bit) of a control freak and Adam is relaxed, chill, and loves his hair. There is one specific scene where Lexi and Adam are brushing their teeth and he mimics her British accent. It's cute and FFS I feel like that is something my wife and I do when we brush our teeth in the morning, and neither one of us has a natural British accent. They have to decide if being together is worth the work that would go behind actually sustaining a relationship.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

Zoe (Cecily Strong) and Greg (Blake Griffin) have been together for a year and married for a year.  Greg is a professional basketball player (a huge stretch for Griffin, formerly of the LA Clippers, currently playing for the Detroit Pistons) while Zoe is in marketing and is sick and tired of her douchetard, sexist, idiotic boss and dreams of working on marketing campaigns that "don't screw up our kids." Greg gets injured and decides, with his time off, to remodel the bathroom, as well as generally act like a caveman around any other man that comes into the house. They both have to learn to set aside their personal and professional boundaries and accept help when one another needs it.

 Credit: IFC Films

Credit: IFC Films

The point is, yes, women are crazy. Yes, men are stupid. And guess what? Women are stupid and men are crazy. That's the standpoint that more writers need to write from, enough of the tired "this is why this gender is better than this gender" bullshit. 

I loved this. I really did. I'm happy for Whitney Cummings for knocking this out of the park. I'm happy that Toby Kebbell got to work with a sane director (Yes, I realize that's "sane" is a relative term, but the kid was in the Fantastic Four reboot and that director was apparently bat-shit crazy). There is one scene between Julia and Kevin right after their movie date, that, being a woman with a large chestular area, I can completely relate to

Cecily Strong has so many hilarious scenes where she kind of smacks Blake Griffin around. I love Deon Cole's general demeanor all together and I think he and SofΓ­a Vergara do a great job, while Lucy Punch and James Mardsen pack a punch (sorry, couldn't resist).

Please check this movie out, even if you don't like anyone in the movie. Just watch it, pay attention, and put your damn phone down.

If you've checked out The Female Brain, let me know what you think in the comments section!

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