What do women want? If Freud were an industry analyst, he'd say they want to see movies about emotionally frustrated career gals who get remedial lessons in love from down-to-earth guys. That was the fate awaiting Sandra Bullock in The Proposal and Katherine Heigl in The Ugly Truth ($83 million domestic gross, so far). These inexpensive films outgrossed pricier comedies starring Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Sacha Baron Cohen. And though they weren't exactly classics, they had the tonic effect of proving there's still a market for femme comedies.
So did Julie & Julia, with Meryl Streep as the mistress of French cuisine, Julia Child. At 60, and after two international smashes The Devil Wears Prada ($327 million worldwide) and Mamma Mia! ($609 million worldwide) Streep is arguably the top female star in movies. If there were still stars. (See Lesson 1.) Having recently played a singing mom, a stinging nun and Anna Wintour, Streep should go even farther and take over gigantic franchises. Why not cast her as Optimus Prime? Or the queen prawn in the District 9 sequel? That woman can do anything.