Women of Comedy at the Box Office

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The fact that women can be as funny as – if not funnier – than men seems to be just recently coming to the attention of Hollywood execs

Contributed By - Elizabeth Eckhart

Now, we’re seeing a stream of female-centric comedies, and new leading ladies are finally receiving the attention they deserve. Of course, it has be a long road to get to today, where female driven comedies can bring box office numbers as big as their male counterparts. So, let’s take a look at some of the revolutionary ladies who changed the game (and made us laugh until we cried):

Wanda Sykes - Primarily known as the too-sassy-for-her-own-good sidekick in a variety of films, Sykes’ brand of humor is brutally honest and refreshing. In addition to a successful career doing stand up and television, she’s appeared in numerous films, such as Evan Almighty, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and License to Wed – all of which have numerous scenes stolen by the tiny dynamo. Sykes is also a trailblazer for both black women and members of the LGBT community. When she was hired as the featured entertainer at the 2009 White House Correspondents Dinner, she was the first black woman and the first openly gay person to ever be asked to do so.

Jane Lynch - a walking display of what hard work, determination, and drive can do. After nearly 20 years as a struggling comedian and actress, she finally began to break into the big time in the early and mid 00’s, thanks to films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Best In Show, Role Models, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Of course, her biggest break came when she nabbed the part of the evil Coach Sue Sylvester in Glee. Her star has steadily been on the rise: today, she currently hosts NBC’s Hollywood Game Night. Her career trajectory is going nowhere but up, and at the age of 54, she is a prime example of how it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

Whoopi Goldberg - Although Whoopi originally started as a Broadway actress in The Color Purple, she soon caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who then cast her in the film adaptation of the play in 1985. It was her first film role and she landed an Oscar nomination – not too shabby! From there, she bounced between comedic and dramatic roles including Ghost, The Long Walk Home, Sister Act (1 & 2), How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Girl, Interrupted. In 1990 she became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress since Hattie McDaniel won for Gone with the Wind in 1939. A few years later, in 1994, she became the first black woman to host the Academy Awards, an honor she was given an additional three times in later years.


Tina Fey - Currently one of the most popular and beloved female comedians of today, Tina Fey is another fantastic alum of Saturday Night Live. After joining the cast in 1998, she gradually became one of the show’s biggest stars and head writer. However, the world only noticed her incredible potential after 2004’s Mean Girls, which she both wrote and co-starred in. After leaving SNL in 2006, NBC was quick to give her a show of her own, 30 Rock, which she helped created, write, executive produce and even starred in. While running her own show, she also found time to crack us up in films like Baby Mama, Date Night, The Invention of Lying, Admission, and Muppets Most Wanted. If you’re in the mood to laugh until you cry, she’s your best bet, and thankfully you can watch many of her old SNL episodes online or on demand.

Amy Poehler - You can’t mention Tina Fey without mentioning her partner in crime, both of these hilarious women got their start on SNL, and have been propelled from the series to their own shows on the network. Amy stars in and produces Parks & Recreation, a highly recommended show, and has had numerous roles in film, including Mean Girls, Baby Mama and Blades of Glory. The dynamic duo of Fey and Poehler cemented their status as comedy’s golden girls after they killed it hosting the 2014 Golden Globes. They did such a fantastic job that the 2014 broadcast hit a 10 year high in the 18-49 demographic, and landed them an invitation to come back and do it again in 2015.

 As you can see, the ladies are certainly showing the men they have some comedic competition. Even the new girls on the block, like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, are furthering this progress with their own brand of outrageous humor and undeniable charisma.


Truly, it is only a matter of time before major studios backing female driven comedies becomes the norm instead of the exception, and we have these ladies to thank for that!

Elizabeth Eckhart is an entertainment and film writer born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She loves comedies, as well as period dramas and epics! Twitter:@elizeckhart

While You're Here


Check out Elizabeth's past contribution to Tinsel & Tine - Review of Obvious Child

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Guest Reviewer: SEA SALT Cape May NJ (BYOB)

Friday, August 22, 2014

I met a really lovely couple at a summer soiree my lifestyle expert friend Kathy Kaufman threw recently. Russell and Kay Davis really understand the joys of dining out, on top of which they are true wine connoisseurs, with a habit of bringing several wines when dining out at BYOB's, so as to match the grapes to the menu choices.  This is who I want to be when I grow up!  So I asked Russell and Kay if they would agree to guest blog.  I really hope they agree to do it again! - Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Shore Flavor : Sea Salt at the Ocean Harbor Hotel

By: Russell and Kay Davis 

Our visit to Sea Salt in Cape May (1035 Beach Ave Cape May NJ) was a surprise – this was not the same owners of the Sea Salt in Stone Harbor of a few years ago. As Sea Salt is not exactly a unique name, we should have realized it was an entirely different set of owners with a different style but we walked in with a set of expectations that were immediately challenged.

Situated at ground level front of the Ocean Harbor Hotel, this iteration of Sea Salt is sleek, glossy, chic and focuses on seafood with ‘fresh indigenous ingredients’. Although they stock a nice selection of New Jersey wines, our group usually seeks out BYOB restaurants and had brought a few choice bottles from home- a bottle each of J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Sparkling Wine (Sonoma), Chalk Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2011 (Sonoma) and Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot Napa/Sonoma 2010.

Sea Salt permits wine brought in for a corkage fee of $20 per bottle ($30 for Champagne/Sparkling Wine).

LOBSTER RAVIOLI WITH BROWN BUTTER, GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND GRAPE TOMATOES

 With so many intriguing items on the menu we quickly agreed to order different items each and to permit liberal sharing. Appetizer highlights were the raw oysters- briny and fresh and just perfect with the dry J Vineyards sparkling wine, as well as the Lobster Ravioli with brown butter, grilled asparagus and grape tomatoes- a bit too rich for the well balanced Pinot Noir from Chalk Hill but paired nicely with the more tannic and full bodied Merlot from Pride Mountain.

The Smoked Trout with pickled beets and salmon roe was delicious as well and nice with the pinot noir, but was excellent paired with the sparkling wine.

CORIANDER CRUSTED TUNA W/ SHAVED ASPARAGUS&SWEET CHILI SAUCE
The Coriander crusted Tuna with shaved asparagus and sweet chili sauce went better with the sparkling wine as well – the Pinot proved to be tasty but was difficult to pair with for this menu. The Short Ribs were rich and fall-off-the-bone tender and were perfect paired with the Merlot it had a full body and just the right amount of tannins to cut through the fat you are bound to taste with slow cooked ribs.

RED SNAPPER CEVICHE WITH SALMON ROE
Everyone at our table agreed that the Red Snapper Ceviche with salmon roe and chili-dusted chips while handsomely presented in a martini glass was disappointing. There was much more liquid than we would have liked in that glass, and it was much spicier than any of us expected – the flavor of the fish itself was overwhelmed.

BEER BRAISED LAMB WITH CREAMY POTATO, CHARRED CARROTS  & PICKLED SHALLOTS

The Beer Braised Lamb was okay but not great- except----those carrots. Everyone at the table enjoyed a piece of what looked to be WAY over-charred carrots, and all agreed that while we were not crazy about carrots in general- you know, they’re CARROTS- these were Holy Cow delicious. Really. And best of all- the carrots were even more awesome with a little of that Pride Mountain Merlot to wash them down with.

We would recommend Sea Salt- but these are big flavors, not a lot of subtlety on this menu, so we recommend BIG flavors in your wine choices - dry (Brut) champagnes or sparkling wines, big bold tannic reds for the ribs, steak and veal dishes on the menu (Cabernet , Merlot or a cool weather Syrah) and bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc (French or New Zealand) for the seafood dishes. (We should have left the Pinot at home this time!) - Russell Davis

While You're Here 


The Davis' love of fine things and good taste doesn't end there - Kay is a fashion designer with her own line - K. Riley Designs . Creating hand painted and hand crafted clothing and accessories.

Kay's work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Art Craft Show, The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and The American Craft Council Show, not to mention, being featured in Ornament Magazine. Here's just two examples of her exquisite talent from her Botanical Collection:




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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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