Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Directed by Paul Feig.
2011. Rated R, 125 minutes.
Kristen Wiig
Maya Rudolph
Rose Byrne
Melissa McCarthy
Wendi McLendon-Covey
Elle Kemper
Chris O’Dowd
Jon Hamm
Jill Clayburgh
Terry Crews

Rebel Wilson

Annie’s (Wiig) life is in shambles. The bakery she owned recently fell victim to the recession. She loses her job, gets kicked out of her apartment and the man she really likes only uses her for sex. She does get to be a part of something good, though. Her best friend Lillian (Rudolph) is getting married and has asked Annie to be the maid of honor. Things are all hunky dory until she meets rich girl Helen (Byrne), who also happens to be vying for the title of Lillian’s best friend. Competition inspired hijinks and shenanigans ensue.

Bridesmaids is essentially a female version of a raunchy bromance. Think Wedding Crashers for women. Not surprisingly, it suffers from some of the same maladies that afflicted that movie. There are pockets that are outrageously funny and/or gross, but there are also sections that just drag along through the quagmire of rom-com clichés. Of course, Annie meets the sweet guy who is way better for her than the jerk she’s been pining for. Of course the comedy of errors she commits in trying to outdo Helen for Lillian’s friendship causes a big blowup. And of course you already know how this is going to play out.

Like I said, when the jokes come they work. Most of the credit for this should go to the “other” bridesmaids. Chief among them is Megan played by Melissa McCarthy, most recently of Mike and Molly sitcom fame. Her butch-but-hetero portrayal gets the most laughs. When given the room to breathe she, along with Rita (McLendon-Covey) and Becca (Kemper) tend to crack us up. However, they’re marginalized almost to the point of irrelevance. Instead, we get much more of Annie, Lillian and Helen interacting with one another. The problem is they’re all pretty straight-laced. To create hilarity these characters need the zany ones to react to and be affected by. This makes Bridesmaids and uneven watch. We trudge along to the beat of Annie’s pathetic drum until the rest of the gang pops in to make funnies for a few minutes then pops out again leaving us to be with Annie and her problems again.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad watch. It’s just not as funny as it should be. The pieces are all there for a truly great comedy. They just seem disadvantageously arranged like those of a chess player exposing her queen way too soon. Even after making this mistake, a skillful player can still do some damage and Bridesmaids does. Within this decent but largely forgettable film lies a couple unforgettable scenes. Most notable being the food poisoning. The whole movie definitely does not need to be that, essentially a vomit and poop fest, but it could certainly stand to ease up on the ‘woe is me’ vibe we get much of the time.

MY SCORE: 6/10

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