In the weeks leading up to the release of Bridesmaids, I was hearing a lot of people saying that it was going to be the female version of The Hangover. This did not help my anticipation for the film in the least because I was incredibly underwhelmed by The Hangover. I can say, after seeing the movie last night, that I am relieved and overjoyed with how fantastic it is. Unlike The Hangover, Bridesmaids is timed perfectly, the happy-sappy moments are held to a minimum, and the language requires earmuffs for anyone younger than 50. It’s nice when a movie is hyped up and then actually lives up to those standards.
Paul Feig and Judd Apatow who have been working together since the dawn of time have produced another hit with Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig might be my favorite female comedian of all time. She has an awkward way about her that could rival Michael Cera. Like Cera, this only poses a problem when she is trying to be serious.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Bridesmaids line-up is: Wendi McLendon-Covey as Rita, Ellie Kemper as Becca, Melissa McCarthy as Megan, Rose Byrne as Helen, your maid of honor Annie played by Kristen Wiig, and your bride-to-be is Maya Rudolph as Lillian. The casting of this film could not have gone better. All of the bridesmaids and their personalities make the disastrous results of their adventures together that much more hilarious. So much so that you might find your sides quite literally splitting. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, both Saturday Night Live alums, play best friends or BFFs, if you will. McLendon-Covey comes from the hilariously absurd Reno 911 and plays Lillian’s married cousin Rita. She’s been married a long time and warns the bridal party of the horrors that come with marital bliss and having all sons.
Ellie Kemper took time off from The Office to play Becca. Becca is a newlywed. She is adorably naive and believes that love really is all you need. Until – that is – she gets drunk on a plane. Melissa McCarthy who played Suki on Gilmore Girls surprised the hell out of me with her make-up free face and ambiguous wardrobe. I felt that out of the bridesmaids, Megan truly stood out. She is uninhibited, foul, and put her pride aside to defecate in a bathroom sink just for this role.
Annie (Wiig) is down on her luck. She lives with two incredibly odd roommates after her business goes under. Though she is lovably awkward and laughs a nervous laugh almost constantly, she appears to find bad luck where ever she goes. It is kind of a funny thing that the maid of honor must perform so many tasks. One would think that a woman might never have enough hours in a day to complete of the tasks necessary. Annie does her very best to give Lillian everything and more, but Helen is always one step ahead of her trying to steal the spotlight. Helen (Byrne) is incredibly wealthy living in Chicago. She hasn’t known Lillian that long – as Annie points out many time – but does everything in her power to outdo everyone to make Lillian happy. The invitations she sends out for the bridal shower and the party favors at the bridal shower are particularly extravagant and laughable.
Annie must now balance the unhealthy sexual relationship she shares with Ted (Jon Hamm), the rage she feels toward Helen, feeling like a failure most of the time, working a job she’s not very good at, her odd roomies, and trying to make her best friend feel the way any bride should before a wedding. Movies like this one tend to pile so much on top of the protagonist that the audience often wonders how their hero or heroine will recover from the next bit of bad luck. Annie, however, does such a great job of keeping us laughing the whole time that we are too busy to notice how truly awful things are for her.
One person can only take so much. After being upstaged over and over again by Helen, Annie finally loses it. I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when this happens, I can’t even imagine how good it felt for her. Meanwhile, Annie has one distraction. He is Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), a police officer with a cute accent and an even cuter face. But in typical Annie fashion, she walks away from him even though he is the only one in her life who is truly looking out for her.
Again, it is painful to watch a character make so many mistakes, but Wiig brings a comedy to the screen that just keeps getting funnier and funnier. I know there are skeptics out there who will say that this is just a chick flick. I can tell you that it is certainly not. A nearly unwatchable scene involving food poisoning and many other vulgar jokes that you’ll have to see for yourself take this film to the next level over and over again.
I imagined that I would be in the theater with a hundred girls and a few bored boyfriends, but the most boisterous laughter I heard around me came from the men sitting near me. Kristen Wiig has a gift, people. The woman is so funny that we are powerless against her. I dare you to see this movie and not laugh. You can’t do it! I found no issues with the dialogue, plot, and acting. This movie is an excellent way to kick off Summer. Take your girls and your guys! Just please, please don’t take your children. The movie has heart and brings the laughs with a mouth that your mother wouldn’t hesitate to wash out with soap.