Monday, September 9, 2013


Directed by Leslye Headland.
2012. Rated R, 98 minutes.
Lizzy Caplan
Paul Corning
Adam Scott
Andrew Rannells
Sue Jean Kim
Kyle Bornheimer
Hayes MacArthur

Becky (Wilson) is getting married tomorrow to the man of her dreams. Naturally, her three bestest high school buddies - Regan (Dunst), Gena (Caplan) and Katie (Fisher) – are in her wedding. Regan is the tightly wound maid-of-honor while the other two are notorious party animals. The bride turns in early to rest up for the big day and disappears from the movie until near the end. If you've been paying attention you've noticed I haven’t even named the man who wins her hand. As in most weddings, mine included, the groom is little more than a prop, so there. Anyhoo, with the other girls left to their own devices they manage to destroy the wedding dress. In the midst of confronting old loves, meeting potential new loves, and overdosing, a mad dash to fix the gown ensues.

Like many movies, Bachelorette isn't winning any awards for originality, either of premise nor execution. Every note is struck precisely on time with nary a surprise to be found anywhere. Yes, this bridesmaid will hook up with that guy. Yes, this will happen and that will too, right when you expect it. Unfortunately, its predictability is pretty much the bright spot. That’s not entirely true. The performance of Lizzy Caplan as Gena is pretty good, better than the material she’s working with. Kirsten Dunst has the flashiest role and gets to rage against the world. She’s no Meryl Streep, but it works.

On the other hand, the movie utterly wastes Rebel Wilson. When you have, arguably, the funniest woman in Hollywood in your cast, you don’t make her play the straight role. You certainly don’t compound the error by sending her to her room while the others go out and play. Even with material as lame and telegraphed as this, her sheer energy would be good for a few more laughs than we actually got. For proof, one needs to look no further than the awful What to Expect When You’re Expecting. She also has a bit part in that catastrophe, but lights up the screen during the brief instances in which she appears. And, since you’re probably thinking it, she absolutely is far and away the best thing about Pitch Perfect. Here, she’s an All-Star riding the bench while the scrubs run up and down the court. Her absence from most of the proceedings reveals a simple truth about Bachelorette. That truth is that the only reason her character is the titular one is because there is already a movie called Bridesmaids.

Ms. Wilson’s role is also at the heart of an even bigger issue with this picture: it’s lack of heart. It thinks it’s funny by using a lot of dirty words and some explicit sex talk. In, and of itself, this is not the issue as there is the occasional laugh to be had from this. The problem is that this is the vehicle through which Bachelorette is incessantly and aggressively mean spirited. The fact that the bride is the butt of many of the jokes is bad, but not totally cringe-worthy by itself. What takes it over the edge is that the movie tries to pass these people off as her friends. They are anything but. We very clearly get the message they let her hang around all these years because she’s not as physically attractive as they are (as per societal norms), is willing to take the fall for their crap, and tolerates it when they call her names. She’s simply someone to blame and make fun of. Therefore, it looks like they only try to get her dress fixed is because they are inexplicably wrong and wish to maintain their access to a good-natured scapegoat, not out of some deep sense of friendship.

Believe it, or not, so much suckiness is thankfully crammed into an hour and a half. However, since I started checking my watch about fifteen minutes in, it feels much much longer. I didn't think the hands of time could move so slowly. It obviously wants to be the aforementioned Bridesmaids, but can’t carry the movie’s sports bra. Truthfully, I think Bridesmaids is overrated, but at least it makes me laugh. I can’t say the same for Bachelorette.

MY SCORE: 2/10

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