Hollywood Women On Working In A Schlong-Obsessed Industry

In what is quickly escalating into a bitter, Riggs vs. King-esque volley played out on the cement courts of the media—first Deadline Hollywood Daily claimed Warner Bros. president of production Jeff Robinov was scrawling "DEEP TURNAROUND" in pink hi-liter on any project with a female lead, then Robinov fights back by listing every chick-flick he's ever made, will make, or hopes to remake for Variety—now Salon enters the fray, assembling an impressive panel of industry women to weigh in on the state of the Hollywood sexes. While the discussion takes several interesting turns, we join them in the midst of a lively debate over the feminist merits of beauty-and-the-schlub megahit Knocked Up:

Kimberly Peirce: I just love when she's having that mood swing. That is hilarious.

Margaret Nagle: I totally believed her having sex with him to begin with.

Lynda Obst: Jesus, Margaret, that wasn't what I was looking for. [Laughter]

Nagle: I did! I did! He was furry and sweet.

Callie Khouri: I had a rough time with it.

Obst: Thank you, Callie.

Khouri: I mean, I've seen stranger things happen in this town. Fat, ugly guys get laid by beautiful women every day of the week. So based on that, I was able to go with it. But was it satisfying as a female moviegoer? It's not wish fulfillment, in a way. [...]

Donna Langley: [President of production for Universal, who produced the film]: The premise of the movie from Judd [Apatow]'s perspective, and I'm not being defensive, but for me the comedic premise was: What if this guy got this girl pregnant. And, to be honest, a lot of the attempt at heart and character —

Obst: Came from you. We knew it. [Laughter]

Langley: It wasn't there in the original inception. I'm not going to take anything from Judd; he deserves all the credit. But the original intention of the movie was not to make an observational gender comedy. It was, What if this goofball guy got this really hot piece of ass pregnant.

We're not completely surprised to learn that Apatow's winning formula of raunch-and-heart might have at first been a little heavy in the snips, snails, and puppy dog tails department. Luckily, with Langley on hand to inject a womanly touch, what was initially conceived as the hilarious story of an upwardly mobile TV anchor accidentally getting pregnant, then learning to enjoy her new life as a shared concubine among the father's group of ragtag, internet-sex-addicted friends, was eventually reshaped into a touching story of love, personal redemption, and crowning baby heads to which audiences of both sexes couldn't help but surrender.