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“I spanked you, I finger-banged you,” he says, but then “you passed out in the shower.” The studio felt that “finger-banged” was too bald, so Faris suggested that they get “someone with a really funny voice, someone like Aziz”—the comedian Aziz Ansari—“to dub the message, and then we can put ‘finger-banged’ back in.” “Absolutely!” Mylod said, and Faris gave him a gentle smile, knowing that it probably wouldn’t happen. hundred thousand.” Watching me, she said, “Maybe it’s better as ‘Five’—a longer beat, a sudden realization—“ ‘.’ Better? After a moment, she added, “The truth is—and it’s kind of embarrassing, because I’m thirty-four, but I’ve been married twice, so I’ve been out of commission for a while—the real number The Bechdel Test, established in 1985 by the cartoonist Alison Bechdel and her friend Liz Wallace, is a way of examining movies for gender bias.“In my experience, girls’ revealing themselves as candid and raunchy doesn’t appeal to guys at all,” Stacey Snider, a partner in and the C. ” but, rather, “Did girl get so many boys she won’t get her man?” Ally Darling (Faris), a hard-partying thirty-something who’s just lost her job, reads in that if a woman sleeps with more than twenty men she’ll never get married.Faris’s trademark is the power-through: after her character has done something incredibly stupid or embarrassing, she doubles down, gamely swinging a fist to rally a doomed effort. ” Ally plays darts with a British lover who believes she’s British, too, and, as her accent slips, drink by drink, from plummy Oxbridge to wobbly Cockney—“Bloody ’ell, I’m rubbish at this!”—her voice cracks and her eyes go round, but, even as her delivery yaws toward Borat, she soldiers on. Abby Elliott’s impersonation of Faris on “Saturday Night Live” nails the way she purrs her vowels and drags the beat—“my ”—but it misses the actress’s warmth and self-amusement, her awareness that she’s toying with the vocabulary of helplessness.And the number needed to be high enough to be a sufficient source of concern for Ally.”“I voted for a lower number, like one,” Tom Rothman, the co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, which distributes New Regency’s films, said. But he went on to say that “there’s an innocent quality to Anna’s sexuality, and an inherent kindness to her, that makes it possible to make a movie about sex and have it feel like she’s still a sweetheart.” Faris’s bet that she can succeed without becoming America’s sweetheart is strongly hedged, in Rothman’s view, by the fact that she already is.

Studio executives believe that male moviegoers would rather prep for a colonoscopy than experience a woman’s point of view, particularly if that woman drinks or swears or has a great job or an orgasm. If, as expected, they haven’t, the transgressors are roundly punished. ” is not the usual romantic comedy teaser of “Will girl get boy?

Hutch Parker, the chairman of New Regency, the studio that’s backing the film, told me, “Anna’s betting that there’s another way to get on the list of leading comediennes than to be America’s sweetheart—and we’re betting that she’s right.”As it happens, bets on bawdy female-driven comedies are being placed across the board: “No Strings Attached” became a modest hit in January, “Bridesmaids” débuts in May, and “Bad Teacher” comes out in June.

The co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amy Pascal, who green-lit “Bad Teacher”—which stars Cameron Diaz as a pot-smoking, student-cursing educator—views it as a litmus test: “It’s a comedy about a woman who behaves badly, who’s slackerish and unapologetically cynical in the exact way that audiences loved seeing Bill Murray. ” What’s at stake is not merely a tenable marketplace for “hard” female comedies but a fresh vantage on romance and, perhaps, a fresh way of seeing men and women.

In the editing room, Faris and Mylod watched a scene where Ally leaves a wedding to run to her man, after finally telling off her starchy mother (Blythe Danner): “I’m a jobless whore who’s slept with twenty guys, and I want to be with somebody who appreciates that about me! Then she went on to suggest dubbing in curses for those moments in her run to love when she trips over her gown and topples from a boulder.

” Faris observed that her agent, Ken Kaplan, “thinks that line’s going to rub older women the wrong way.”“It gets laughs,” Mylod replied. When she recorded them, the following day—a muttered “Stpdfkng dress! ”—she sounded at once furious, determined, and hopeful.

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