Monday, February 13, 2012

Bridesmaids (2011)

Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd

Bridesmaids starts out with a bang (literally) and throws us into the life of Annie (Wiig) a failed bakery owner living in Milwaukee who is hard up for money and fulfillment in her life. This desire is never more apparent when her life-long best friend Lillian (Rudolph) announces that she is getting married and moving to Chicago. Not only does Annie realize that her life is going to change, but that Lillian has begun to change and evolve without her. After Lillian asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, Annie’s life takes a turn for the crazy as she fights to keep things the way they’ve been, yet still be there for her friend.

Bridesmaids is a really crude film, but there’s something really refreshing about it. There has been a glut of successful and stupid “guy’s comedies” in the recent past and this film, co-written by Wiig lets the girls scratch their own metaphorical balls and get down and dirty like the guys do, but not without being hilarious at the same time. There were a number of sight gags that were practically stroke-inducing, I laughed so hard (“is that your fella?”) and there were a number of instantly quotable lines. Wiig, an obviously gifted comedic actress really shines in the film, though her affectations are derivative of a lot of female comedians now, including Chelsea Handler and Samantha Bee. Melissa McCarthy was a riot in the film, completely playing against type as a crude, mannish member of the wedding party who says what everyone is thinking, and then some.

Though Bridesmaids succeeds as a romantic comedy, it does have quite a few flaws: the dialogue is incredibly clever and snappy, and Annie is written as someone who is too much of a caricature to exist, or if she did, she would be an exhausting person to know. There were also a bunch of loose ends, and while the romance between Annie and Officer Rhodes (O’Dowd) was sweet, it wasn’t really fleshed out a lot, which was necessary only because it became such an important part of the film.

Despite its faults, Bridesmaids is a really fun film and I enjoyed watching it. I think that a lot of what is wrong with it can be forgiven, or at least pushed to the side because it doesn’t pretend to be an important film; it just opened some doors that we were never able to fully walk through. It’s certainly not a film that everyone would enjoy, but if you can get past the plot holes and embrace the gross out humor it’s actually really clever and entertaining.

3 out of 5 stars

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