Directed by: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy
Running Time: 2 hrs 5 mins
Release Date: May 13, 2011
PLOT: Annie (Wiig) is down on her luck, in business and with men. When her best friend (Rudolph) picks her to be the maid of honor, even more troubles happen for Annie with an odd group of bridesmaids.
WHO’S IT FOR? It’s raunchy. Quick, name R-rated comedies with women in the first three major roles. I’ll wait. In other words, if you’ve been holding out for an option, this will fill that void.
EXPECTATIONS: I missed seeing this at SXSW. The buzz was that everyone enjoyed themselves. I’m of the mindset that Judd Apatow hasn’t produced a bad comedy yet, so I was expecting something good. I like Wiig, but I have felt her best sketches are behind her on “Saturday Night Live.”
Kristen Wiig as Annie: You must be charmed by Wiig. I don’t think you understand what I’m saying. I’m requiring you to be charmed. Be charmed! Annie lost her bakery business when the economy tanked. That doesn’t make her a failure, but it makes her feel like one. Plus, she’s a pushover with men. So we definitely feel ourselves rooting for her to find happiness. She carries over just a hint of “Saturday Night Live” voices and dancing, which is the perfect amount. After a string of supporting roles, I’ve been curious what Wiig would be like in a starring role. Now I know. More please.
Maya Rudolph as Lillian: Hmm, I keep going back and forth with Rudolph. I never found her funny in Idiocracy, but I loved her in Away We Go. Plus, I feel like she’s always been hit and miss on SNL. Here, I feel like it’s a package deal. Like Wiig can only find her inner-Annie if she gets to play with Rudolph. So I accept, even though I didn’t ever connect with Lillian. With that being said, it’s hard not to laugh when Lillian is sitting in the middle of the road while wearing a wedding dress.
Rose Byrne as Helen: Yup, you want to rip her hair out. Helen is that woman who is desperate for friendship, but only you (and Annie) can see it. Lillian can’t. So even though Annie takes it to the extreme with Helen, you’re willing to go along with it.
Melissa McCarthy as Megan: If you compare Megan to Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in The Hangover, then you’re just being lazy. They are both fat and funny, but the characters are totally different. Megan is confident, intelligent and flaunts what she considers her sexuality. At first, I didn’t find her funny, but she easily won me over as a friend and most importantly as a comedian.
Rest of cast: The side characters are great. Chris O’Dowd as Officer Rhodes/Annie’s potential love interest is the perfect addition as the lead male. The flirting is actually cute. Becca (Ellie Kemper) and Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) round out the wedding party and I wish they had more time on screen together. Jon Hamm gets to show off his (funny) douche-bag side. The brother and sister roommate duo are insane. Annie’s mom, who goes to AA meetings for the fun of it, is so amusing. It made me wish they were all given more screen time.
TALKING: There are tons of moments that will have you chuckling, like the engagement toasts that won’t end. The perfect example of good dialogue is when Annie is under the influence on the plane, and the flight attendant tells her he’s going to count to three. Her response? She mutters, “You can’t do anything by the count of three, you’re setting me up for failure.”
SIGHTS: Hello Wisconsin! Milwaukee makes a great back drop for this comedy. It looks like only exteriors were shot there but there’s still that Midwest vibe with the cast. The physical comedy is fantastic with the big scenes being sketchy food at a restaurant and Annie raging on a big cake.
SOUNDS: The Wilson Phillips moments are funny. I guess they’re good sports. The soundtrack is all over the place with Britney Spears, Ryan Adams and Blondie. The sounds effects for the women losing their lunch is … accurate and does its job well.
BEST SCENE: Most will probably say the food poisoning, but I am going with the tennis moment. The competitive nature of the women truly comes out and there’s some SNL alums to boot.
ENDING: We learn some lessons and luckily aren’t stuck in misery. Annie finds her happiness. The film actually ends with a home video moment from Megan, so stay until then.
QUESTIONS: Shouldn’t the movie be called Bridesmaid instead of Bridesmaids? This is definitely the story of Annie and everyone else is a side character.
REWATCHABILITY: Yes, no problem. The wife and I have already decided it’s the perfect brew and view movie at a second-run theater with friends.
It’s weird to think of Wiig and the entire team behind Bridesmaids as pioneers. After all, … attempts to combine F-bombs, dirty jokes and boobs in movies has been done for years. And yes, there’s boobs and vaginas but what Bridesmaids has done is to keep them covered up. That’s right, the boobs and vaginas are fully clothed, and most importantly, funny.
Some will say it’s the “Girl Hangover.” That’s probably because there is talk of Las Vegas, it’s rated-R, people want to compare McCarthy and Galifianakis and mainly because people are lazy. That movie is about an adventure, this movie is about friendship and finding yourself. That’s a huge difference. Plus, The Hangover is an ensemble first. No matter what Bridesmaids wants you to believe, this is Wiig in the lead, and everyone else after her. So, I could see someone not liking Wiig and therefore, not giving the movie a chance. But those people are just stupid, right?
There is a stereotype about women loving each other when together, and talking trash behind their back. Bridesmaids finds that balance to make sure its funny and feels just real enough.
It’s the funniest R-rated female driven comedy of all time. That means it beats out the Sex in the City movies, The Sweetest Thing and Outrageous Fortune. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but hopefully it means there will be more to come.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10