The number of comedies directed by women is astonishingly, embarrassingly low. A commonly heard statistic is that women make up only 7% of the members of the Directors Guild of America. Believe it or not, that statistic is even more distressing for comedies. Looking at the top grossing 20 comedies each year (according to Box Office Mojo) over the past 10 years, women have directed only NINE of them. NINE OUT OF TWO HUNDRED. That’s 4.5%.
And here are those films:
2012 – The Guilt Trip – Anne Fletcher
2009 – The Proposal – Anne Fletcher
2009 – It’s Complicated – Nancy Myers
2009 – Julie & Julia – Nora Ephron
2008 – 27 Dresses – Anne Fletcher
2006 – The Holiday – Nancy Myers
2005 – Bewitched – Nora Ephron
2004 – Bridget Jones Diary 2 – Beeban Kidron
2003 – Something’s Gotta Give – Nora Ephron
First, if Beeban Kidron hadn’t slipped in under the wire, it would be 10 years of only Nora Ephron, Nancy Myers, and Anne Fletcher directing comedies (and even then it’s just 4 people).
And second, if we took romantic comedies out of the mix – a subgenre still dominated by male directors – the list of 9 would be reduced dramatically. It’s almost as if the major studios seem to think women can only direct movies about women searching for love.
For those keeping track, here are just a few of the remaining 191 top grossing comedies over the past 10 years directed by men:
Ted, 21 Jump Street, The Campaign, This Is 40, American Reunion, The Dictator, This Means War, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, That’s My Boy, The Watch, Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher, Jack and Jill, No Strings Attached, Hall Pass, Big Mommas, Paul, Grown Ups, Due Date, Date Night, The Other Guys, The Bounty Hunter, Get Him to the Greek, Easy A, Hot Tub Time Machine, Cop Out, Vampires Suck, She’s Out of My League, The Switch, MacGruber, The Hangover, Couples Retreat, He’s Just Not That Into You, Zombie Land, Bruno, I Love You Man, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Funny People, Year One, Observe and Report, Fired Up, Adventureland, The Invention of Lying, Hancock, Get Smart, Four Christmases, Tropic Thunder, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Pineapple Express, Role Models, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Burn After Reading, The House Bunny, Harold and Kumar, Meet the Spartans, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, The Simpsons Movie, Knocked Up, Juno, Rush Hour 3, Superbad, Blades of Glory, License to Wed, Epic Movie, The Heartbreak Kid, Balls of Fury, Mr. Woodcock, Hot Fuzz, Talladega Nights, Borat, Click, The Devil Wears Prada, The Break Up, Scary Movie 4, Feailure to Launch, Jackass 2, RV, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Man, Wedding Crashers, Mr & Mrs Smith, Hitch, The Longest Yard, 40 Year Old Virgin, Monster In Law, Guess Who, Fun With Dick and Jane, Wallace And Gromit, Be Cool, Kicking and Screaming, Meet the Fockers, 50 First Dates, Dodgeball, Starsky and Hutch, Along Came Polly, Mean Girls, Anchorman, White Chicks, Barbershop 2, Without a Paddle, 13 Going on 30, Napoleon Dynamite, Bruce Almighty, Elf, Anger Management, Freaky Friday, How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days, American Wedding, Legally Blonde 2, Old School, Shanghai Knights, Bad Santa, Love Actually.
Diana Wright is a writer/comedian living and working in Los
Angeles. She wrote the animated sitcom Magic Monkey Billionaire, which is currently
in development at Amazon Studios. Diana was named a semi-finalist for the 2012/2013 Nickelodeon
Writing Fellowship. She also has a blog
called Tall Girl’s Guide to a Short
Girl’s World where she writes about the very small problems of being a
6’0″ tall girl and has a podcast called Cocktails for Two that reaches over 4,000 people worldwide. Diana is the director for the indie film Donnie Brock PI in Knock, Knock Who’s Dead? It’s a film noir spoof that she co-wrote and
will co-produce with her sketch group Ironic T-Shirt.
Republished with permission.