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Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig are shown in a scene from Bridesmaids. (Suzanne Hanover/Suzanne Hanover)
Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig are shown in a scene from Bridesmaids. (Suzanne Hanover/Suzanne Hanover)

Will you do your feminist duty and watch Bridesmaids? Add to ...

For some women, attending a SlutWalk event is their feminist action of the week. For others, it’s seeing a chick flick. Not just any chick flick, though: Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids, which opens Friday.

In a piece called “Seeing Bridesmaids is a social responsibility,” Salon writer Rebecca Traister documents how a social media campaign has been building to boost the film’s bottom line – and, activists hope, the likelihood of truly female-driven films.

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E-mails and Facebook pages have been making the rounds with subject lines like “Hey A Lot Of Ladies,” that one sent by Kirsten Smith, screenwriter of the Reese Witherspoon film Legally Blonde. Ms Traister points out that “Ms. Smith has no professional connection with Bridesmaids but is nonetheless agitating on its behalf.”

“I know you get a lot of e-mails about donating money to worthy causes, but I'd like to draw your attention to one in particular: The Chick Flick,” it reads. “It is currently on the Motion Picture Association of America's list of Endangered Species and it faces extinction if we don't act now.”

The consequence of not acting: More vapid rom-coms or shopping flicks, they say.

And, yes, low-brow humour is okay here. Trailers for the movie depict a food poisoning scene that involves women “in bridal gowns excreting from both ends,” as Ms. Traister puts it. But the overriding plot is about the nature of female social relationships, which are “all the more complicated in an age when we do not all marry by 22 but create our adult lives alongside our girlfriends,” Ms. Traister writes.

So, will you be doing your part and checking out Bridesmaids soon? Could Hollywood be doing better on the funny lady front?

Follow on Twitter: @traleepearce

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