"Bridesmaids" Movie Review
Independent Films, Talk Shows, Movie Reviews
"Bridesmaids" is unfairly categorized as the female version of "The Hangover." But the only common denominator between both comedies is the wedding theme inherent in their respective plots. And I hate to break it to you "Hangover" fans, but I find "Bridesmaids" funnier and more emotionally satisfying.
If "The Hangover" is a mystery built as a comedy, "Bridesmaids" is about one woman's quest to find redemption. In the center of it all is co-writer and star Kristen Wiig who is about to steal Tina Fey's cerebral comedienne crown.
Wiig, co-writing with Annie Mumolo, singlehandedly revamps the wedding comedy genre. Both writers make even the stock characters seem fresh and original.
In the center of it all is Annie (Wiig), a loser by any standard. She has a failed cake business, she is a worthless jewelry store clerk, her lovelife is virtually non-existent except for a few trysts with the cocky Ted (Jon Hamm in an uncredited cameo), and she has a crappy car with a broken taillight which is a metaphor for her broken life.
But Annie has not hit rock bottom yet. Her life is about to unravel as she becomes a maid of honor for her best friend Lillian (a demure Maya Rudolph). Annie's mess of a life will lead the bride and her group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.
From engagement parties to bridal showers, all the detailed rituals surrounding weddings are highlighted. Each ritual is a standalone comedy bit that showcases the funny antics of the various bridesmaids.
There's Helen (Byrne), a popular but ultimately empty housewife who's vying to be Lillian's best friend much to Annie's chagrin. "Reno 911's" McLendon-Covey is Rita, an unhappy mother of three boys who welcomes the adventure of going to Las Vegas for their planned bachelorette party.
There's also Kemper's Becca, perhaps the happiest of the bridesmaids because she already found the man of her dreams. And then there's the scene-stealing McCarthy as the sex starved Megan. She is the breakout star of "Bridesmaids," just like how Zach Galifianakis stole "The Hangover."
The narrative of "Bridesmaids" is told from a woman's point-of-view so it's no surprise that the men in their lives are played by lesser-known actors. Of all the male characters in the film, Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd) is the more realized. He's the traffic cop who gives Annie a ticket for her broken taillight and is about to turn her life upside down.
Even the legendary Jill Clayburgh shows up as Annie's mom. A wannabe painter who sponsors Alcoholic Anonymous participants, not because she's a drunk, but she finds their stories humorous.
"Bridesmaids" is director Paul Feig's first major full feature gig and he deserves more projects. His resume includes directing episodes of hits such as "The Office," "30 Rock," and "Arrested Development." Clearly, Feig knows how to find the funny in pathos.
From the Judd Apatow comedy machine, the producer has not created a film as funny and heartfelt like "Bridesmaids" in a very long time. But the real heroine of the movie is Wiig, she holds the film together from start to finish.
There's a scene during the bridal shower where Annie finally breaks down. As I was watching Wiig embody her character's failure, I couldn't help but think to myself that "Bridesmaids" is what great comedy is all about. Perfect mixture of well-written characters, and excellent comedic timing and pace.
Save the date for "Bridesmaids," it's an instant classic!
RATING: "BRIDESMAIDS" 3 1/2 KISSES
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.
Running Time: 2 hr. 5 min.
Release Date: May 13th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for some strong sexuality, and language throughout.
Cast and Credits
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper
Directed by: Paul Feig
Produced by: Paul Feig, Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel
Year of Production: 2011
Country: United States