Did Paul Feig peak too early in his Directorial Career?

January 14, 2020
Paul Feig made a name for himself with funny and unique offerings, most notably Bridesmaids and Spy, but the esteem he earned from these films was mitigated by the failure of Ghostbusters in 2016.

Feig recently directed Last Christmas, an uninspiring love story which was slated by critics. The picture was lacking the trademark humour of his earlier offerings, and it has left some wondering where the director will go from here. There is a worry that the former Freaks & Geeks auteur may have peaked too early in his cinematic directorial career.

Feig is best known for Bridesmaids, an unprecedented success which put the director on the map. The 2011 offering is the top-grossing Judd Apatow production with a worldwide box office take of $288 million, and it also made a star of the hilarious Melissa McCarthy. In addition to that, it sparked a franchise which spilled over into other sectors of pop culture, such as the iGaming industry. Surprising though it may seem, the Bridesmaids slot from Microgaming is one of the most popular slots on the market. Platforms like Captain Cooks, recommended as a top online casino NZ site, advertise Bridesmaids as a way to pull in players.

None of Feig’s other works have managed to live as long in the memory as Bridesmaids, and a couple of them are almost certainly better off forgotten. His Ghostbusters reboot was a novel idea, in that women were cast in the lead roles instead of men, but it failed to please fans of the original 1984 flick and didn’t elicit the feelings of nostalgia required for a reboot to enjoy success. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Times said that it was one of the worst films in the year of its release and a “horrifying mess”.

Not only was the critical response to Ghostbusters nothing short of abysmal from some news outlets, but it was also a resounding failure at the box office. The total costs of producing and marketing the film amounted to more than $350 million, but it only brought in $229 million worldwide. The picture was so destructive to the legacy of the original work that a new reboot, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, is scheduled for release in 2020 in an effort to repair some of the damage.

Feig’s latest offering, Last Christmas, was also met with a good number of scathing reviews from critics. David Fear of Rolling Stone said that nothing about the movie worked, and it was “incredibly, shockingly, monumentally bad”. Despite being a poor movie, the festive offering didn’t actually do too badly at the box office and brought in $118.6 million for Universal Pictures against its meagre budget.

Feig has made only one box office flop since Bridesmaids, but since that film he has failed to create anything which has lived long in the memory and spilled out into other media. With his latest offering lacking in originality and the style that made Feig popular in the past, there is a feeling that he is on the decline as a director. He may need to hook up with Apatow on another project if he wants to get back on track.

Leave a Comment