‘The Female Brain’ Uses Stereotypes to Reinforce Stereotypes

GameStop, Inc.

The Female Brain

You’d be hard pressed to find a cliché that just won’t die to the zombie saying “Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.” It’s as original as a Xerox copy. The difference in the sexes can be mined for insights into human nature and how beliefs about the genders are reinforced by societal traditions that people are unwilling to break free of. In the new comedy from comedian-turned-director Whitney Cummings, The Female Brain, Cummings and co-writer Neal Brennan (best known as the co-creator of Chappelle’s Show) try to use science to comically examine gender roles in the modern world. At first it seems that The Female Brain is going to use science and stereotypes to subvert the way we collectively perceive gender but then the film stops trying to subvert anything and winds up using stereotypes as a means to reinforce stereotypes while not really providing much humor along the way.

Dr. Julia Brizendine (Cummings) is a neurologist fascinated by the chemical differences in the brains of males and females. The Female Brain is framed as a number of side stories that revolve around Julia’s research, with her providing plenty of narration in the form of an academic presentation of her findings. When not focusing on Julia’s story, The Female Brain follows three couples as they struggle with their relationships thanks to the chemical differences in their brains. Zoe (Cecily Strong) is a woman working in advertising and living a fairly nice upper class life with her husband of one year Greg (Blake Griffin), a professional athlete. Steven (Deon Cole) and Lisa (Sofía Vergara) have lost the fire in their relationship after 12 years together. Finally there’s Adam (James Marsden) and Lexi (Lucy Punch), the two having been together for over three years but clash over Lexi’s desire to nitpick and control Adam’s freewheeling style.

The basic thrust of these three relationships is that everybody is fighting and dissatisfied in one way or another. So many of the details about these relationships don’t come across from actions that we’re witnessing but by the minutiae explained in cold, calculated scientific detail as part of Dr. Julia’s presentation. With only 90 minutes to tell the stories and science of three couples (and we haven’t even gotten into Dr. Julia’s story), The Female Brain struggles to tell complete stories about most of its characters, often relying on predictable outcomes and lengthy strings of flat jokes.

Consumed by her scientific endeavors, Julia has put her personal life entirely on the backburner, if not entirely abandoning the concept of compatibility. Once again, Cummings and Brennan’s screenplay takes the most obvious route. Would you be surprised to find out that Julia might have an interest in relationships once the hunky everyman Kevin (Toby Kebbell) volunteers for her study? I wasn’t. Suddenly, the cold academic who has shunned sexual relationships is now having her entire worldview confronted. The second Julia tells her assistant Abby (Beanie Feldstein) about her lack of interest in dating that her character arc becomes a forgone conclusion, and the film does nothing to surprise its audience.

It’d be easy to think that Cummings and Brennan are setting up their movie to rely on stereotypes to later use them to twist the audience into new and uncomfortable places. Then the movie continues and at a certain point you realize that the film isn’t actually out to subvert anything. Cummings is using gender-based stereotypes as the point of her movie, as her character states in the film’s cold conclusion. The thesis of The Female Brain is that biology has wired our brains differently and we should embrace that, and it’s not an entirely off base statement but the way it goes about it and the scarce laughs overly dependent on stereotypes leaves the conclusion wholly underwhelming. At a hair over 90 minutes, The Female Brain seems long and drawn out because it’s so predictable in so many regards and bitterly disappointing at the end because it really wastes a lot of time to not say very much.

The Female Brain really attempts in earnest to take on more than it can handle. Between the multiple character dynamics and the need to explain in detail the inner workings of the brain, Whitney Cummings struggles to find a rhythm between all its disparate parts. Because there’s just so much swirling around the film fails take full advantage of its robust and talented cast. It’s just not funny enough to make it possible to overlook the film’s shortcomings with its cardboard characters and predictable scenarios. If only everyone involved put a little more thought into The Female Brain.

The Female Brain
  • Overall Score
2.5

Summary

A comedy that oddly uses stereotypes to reinforce stereotypes, Whitney Cummings’ The Female Brain attempts to use biology to explain the inner-workings of its abundance of characters, employing predictable scenarios and very few laughs.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Dune: Part Two’ is Nearly a Perfect Movie – Review

‘Dune: Part Two‘ is a nearly perfect movie, creating a cinematic...

‘Wolf Pack’ is the Thrill Ride we need and Well Go USA Gives it to Us

‘Wolf Pack‘ is the action film we need right now as...

Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...