Step aside, men… ‘Bridesmaids’ brings comediennes to the forefront

Bridesmaids (2011)

Directed by Paul Feig

6.5/10 R

A classic case of not quite living up to hype; Bridesmaids gets some laughs, but is a far shot from a classic comedy. You’ve heard about it. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, both of Saturday Night Live fame, star in the second-highest grossing comedy so far this year (damn Hangover Part II). The movie was directed by Paul Feig (Unaccompanied Minors), directing only his fourth full length movie of his career.

Annie (Wiig) is tagged to serve as maid of honor at her childhood friend’s (Rudolph) wedding. Going through relationship troubles of her own, Annie’s responsibility is split with fellow bridesmaids Rita, Becca, Megan, and Helen (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, and Rose Byrne, respectively). When one of them tries to hijack the wedding planning, hilarity ensues…or so you’ve been told. In reality, Bridesmaids tinges a bit of drama and melancholy into the picture, using the humor more as a mood-lightener instead of their main focus, especially in the second half of the film. I laughed. I laughed pretty hard a few times. Those girls can be really funny. Which is why I was a bit disappointed they didn’t just make it an all around happy-go-lucky movie and keep me laughing the whole time. I know they could have. Anyway, I digress.

Supporting actors did a splendid job of making this movie work. With a good spread of characters, Bridesmaids relied on the supporting cast. Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas play brother and sister, Wiig’s roommates. Their hilarious accents and wit made up a majority of my laughs. Chris O’Dowd (Simon on Pirate Radio, a movie I recommend seeing) plays Officer Rhodes, one of Annie’s love interests. Though he’s not credited in the movie, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) plays the other. I do give credit to screenwriters Wiig and Annie Mumolo (in her major-motion-picture-writing debut) for giving the audience characters to love and characters to hate. As far as getting viewers hooked into watching a whole film, that is always one of the most effective ways.

This next paragraph may be a light spoiler alert. I wouldn’t mind reading it, but some of you that want to go into the movie completely cold, stop here. I couldn’t end the review without telling you what scenes to watch for. If you have to go to the bathroom or grab a snack, wait until after these scenes are through. First, the engagement party. Wiig, then Byrne, then Wiig make this the most gut-busting scene of the entire movie. Then, watch the bridesmaids’ dress selection scene; if you don’t have out loud multiple times within those ten minutes, you must be part-Terminator. Finally, watch the scene during which one of the bridesmaids goes missing. Wiig is hysterical, which surprises no one.

All in all, if I had heard nothing about this movie before seeing it, I would have loved it. It was the hype that made its hilarious bar set way too high. It came up short, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching. Bridesmaids is on DVD and Blu-Ray now, go watch it if you don’t mind a few sad moments mixed with your laughter.

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8 thoughts on “Step aside, men… ‘Bridesmaids’ brings comediennes to the forefront

  1. The previews made this look like a female version of Hangover, which I never saw because of the type of humor I imagine it to rely on. But your review makes it sound promising. Maybe I’ll give it a shot one evening.

  2. I think the Hangover does work because of the actors that they selected. I’m normally not a fan of that sort of vulgarity, but Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis make it work. Bridesmaids is definitely different, it has a bit more plot and follows multiple storylines. You should check both of them out, sometimes you learn the most from movies you hate!

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