One of my favorite movies is Just Wright and there’s a part of me that knows the reason I love the movie — besides the fact that I think Common is one of the most beautiful men on this earth — is the rare story line of an attractive, wealthy man falling for the “big girl.” Queen Latifah is the actress who played the so-called unconventional love interest in that 2010 film, and even she wasn’t the first plus-size woman to play the lead in a romantic comedy. That’s why Twitter is having such a hard time with Rebel Wilson proclaiming herself to be.
During an appearance on Ellen yesterday, the Australian actress declared she “had such a ball” filming her upcoming flick, Isn’t It Romantic, due in theaters Valentine’s Day 2019. But when she added, “I’m proud to be the first-ever plus-sized girl to be the star of a romantic comedy,” that’s pretty much where the praise break ended. When Huffington Post shared Rebel’s quote on it’s Twitter channels, readers were quick to point out the handful of women who came before Rebel, including Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, and Ricki Lake.
Shit, Mo’Nique too pic.twitter.com/pqHYUIo7Zu
— Auntie Derek (@DerekIsNormal) October 31, 2018
100%. So do Ricki Lake, Melissa McCarthy, and characters played by Toni Collette, Lynn Redgrave, and others. I do wish Wilson well on her film, though.
— Dumped, Drunk, and Dalish (@DrunkDalish) November 1, 2018
As is typically the case, the Internet was undefeated in its accuracy on this matter. In fact, it was on Valentine’s Day, too, that actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake’s Baby Cakes RomCom was released– all the way back in 1989. And Mo’Nique’s Phat Girlz debuted in 2006. In addition to Just Wright, the Queen also starred in 2006’s Last Holiday opposite LL Cool J. I’m even tempted to throw Loretta Devine’s name in the mix too for the way she caught Gregory Hines’ eye in Waiting to Exhale. That flick came out in 1995 so, yeah, Rebel, you’re about 24 years late in terms of being the “first-ever.”
Also Last Holiday! Queen Latifah was amazing in that one. ?
— Lady with a Quill (@meghanlloyd) November 1, 2018
No one can pretend there’s a long list of plus-size women of any hue who have had the opportunity to star as the lead in a romantic comedy — or a genre of film, for that matter. But while Rebel may be one of only a few, sis needs to acknowledge the true firsts who came before her.