The Female Brain

[3 stars]

Spicing up the standard sort of romcom by layering it with a non-fiction book on neurophysiology was actually a bit inspired. It doesn’t make the standard part of the story any less silly at times, but it does make it more entertaining and engaging. And credit to  Whitney Cummings who wrote, directed and starred in the result. Cummings took her wry abilities from 2 Broke Girls and tempered the humor so it was more grounded and palatable.

The story revolves around 4 couples. None of whom actually feel very well suited for one another, but all of whom have fun with the script. Each couple, Sofía Veraga (Modern Family) and Deon Cole (Black-ish), James Marsden (Shock and Awe) and Lucy Punch (Vexed), Cecily Strong (Ghostbusters) and Blake Griffin, represents a different phase and challenge in relationships. It is more comedy than reality, but there are some good moments that everyone will recognize. And, of course, there is Toby Kebbell (The Hurricane Heist) for Cummings along with her sidekick Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird) to round out the story and pull a thread through it all.

Interestingly, while it is entertaining (and even educational at times) it doesn’t feel very affirming for women. This despite the intention and focus of the original book and being created by a clearly powerful and talented woman. But for a distraction, it’s a fun evening and allows a number of its cast to try out new types of characters.

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