Bridesmaids Directed by: Paul Feig Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey Running Time: 2 hrs 5 mins Rating: R Release Date: May 13, 2011
This is a "Seen It" review. You've seen it. I've seen it. That means all plot points and spoilers are fair game and will be discussed. The only reason to read this review is if you have already watched the film, or never plan on seeing it, but for some reason, you'd like to know what TSR thought about it. We walk you through the key moments in the film, adding in our thoughts along the way. You've been warned.
PLOT: When her best friend Lily (Rudolph) gets engaged, it's up to down-on-her luck Annie (Wiig) to organize all of the events leading up to the wedding. Competing with Annie is Lily's new best friend of eighth months named Helen (Byrne).
Movie: After a very cold opening of watching Kristen Wiig's character Annie have a hilariously awkward sex session with a cocky Jon Hamm, we are given a little slice of Annie's life - hanging out with her friend Lillian, her failed cake shop and new crappy job at a jewelery store, and her extremely weird roommates. Thoughts by TSR: There was something so funny to me about Jon Hamm's character throughout this movie, and his efforts in this scene at sexual machismo despite Annie's attempt at keeping things control got some big laughs out of me. Then we learn about her friendship, which is equally funny and raunchy. In fact, I couldn't even hear the entire "diner scene" between Annie and Lily because people were laughing so loud. But I got the gist of it, so to speak. Overall, the comedy of Bridesmaids was proving to be fairly surprising, regardless of how gross it had to be (Annie's roommate's tattoo, just another example).
Movie: After Lily announces to Annie that she's getting married, Annie goes to the engagement party, where she meets all of the other bridesmaids, and her ultimate nemesis, Helen. Annie and Helen spar-off in an extensive "speech-off" that introduces the friendship competition the two will have in the movie over Thoughts by TSR: If you haven't already taken to liking Kristen Wiig's character for her relatable qualities, this scene should ultimately sell you. Every interaction with her fellow bridesmaids is funny and puts Wiig at the foreground of some laugh-out-loud awkward humor. On top of this, each bridesmaid proves themselves to be a compelling comedic asset to the movie in this scene, with Megan's (McCarthy) gross bluntness, along with Becca's (Kemper) somewhat disturbing squeakiness, etc. Helen's introduction is fairly great, and it occurs in two parts - a very false interaction between her and Annie, and then the aforementioned speech-off that keeps on going for several minutes, wearing the overall joke out quite a bit. Some might think it's hilarious, but I just found it a bit claustrophobic and awkward. But wait, is that Tim Heidecker?! I also laughed extremely hard when the father wasn't kidding about "Getting married now so I can save a lot of money."
Movie: Before trying out bridal gowns, Annie takes all of the bridesmaids to a Brazilian restaurant. While trying on bridal dresses the women find out they've been food poisoned and proceed to unleash bodily fluids in embarrassing ways. Lily defecates in the street, while still wearing an expensive dress she was only just testing. Thoughts by TSR: The bridesmaids in this story might be the funniest when they are just talking. Becca's idea of having a "Pixar Party?" Hilarious. Same even with Megan's "Female Fight Club," which I thought would be ruined by the trailers. That being said, I don't normally go for puke humor, but I did kind of love it here. Something about seeing the extremely white interiors of a bridal shop threatened by unexpected bodily fluids felt very right to me. This scene is also a great indication as to how the movie will proceed to play with all of a wedding's formalities, and then sh*t all over them. I laughed so loud when Becca puked on McLendon-Covey's character. At the same time, I think Bridesmaids has exhausted my limit of gross-out humor for at least a month.
Movie: In hopes of smoothing things over, Annie and Helen decide to play a little game of tennis, which takes the rivalry between the two women to physical levels. Thoughts by TSR: Before getting into the actual tennis match, it's worth mentioning the dialogue between Annie and Helen that precedes the game. This interaction is striking for how fake it is, yet there's still some desire to keep niceties. When the women disagree on whether people change, it's through a smile and a lot of "Yeah, but," etc. And all of this has a lingering "class warfare" tone to it, with the financial background of each woman quite prominent throughout. But does this moment not hit close to home for a lot of people, especially when interacting with a friendly enemy? And speaking of "hitting close to home," the tennis match is full of physical humor that might be funnier for ladies than men. This sequence also marks the beginning of the film's inclination to have long scenes and really drag out its humor. Sadly, this is the only time we hear AC/DC in the entire movie.
Movie: Amongst all the craziness, Annie starts to develop a relationship with a cop who pulls her over. Thoughts by TSR: Okay, I was wrong. If Wiig didn't charm you already, THIS is the moment that would win you over. Her dancing to prove her lack of drunkenness is very funny, and performed with an infectious smile. This is also the part of the film in which we meet Chris O'Dowd's Officer Rhodes character, and become accepting of his startling accent and humble charisma. The chemistry between the two is sweet, with their own quirks not shoved in the audience's face.
Movie: The bridesmaids decide to go to Las Vegas for Lily's bachelor party, but they never make it there. Thoughts by TSR: This scene is certainly funny in its shocking way, but it feels dragged out. Like the tennis scene before it, the airplane ride is loaded with as many jokes as possible, fired at the audience hoping they'll hit targeted funnybones. Wiig's drunk/drugged moments are funny, but get a little old. And why is no one seriously mad at Helen for basically setting Annie up for disaster (unless I'm forgetting something?) Megan's air marshal fetish was OK, but felt a little forced. It was very funny that Rita and Becca locked lips, but there was no mention of it afterward. Either way, this is yet again another instance where Annie screws everything up for everybody else.
Movie: After a couple chance encounters, the relationship between Annie and Officer Rhodes takes a turn for the bedroom, something that triggers the "eject" button in Annie's mind. Thoughts by TSR: This scene is a heartbreaking for Rhodes, and even a bit for the audience. It's not a typical scene where something is clearly wrong, but it feels like something is wrong with Annie. She's been toyed around by Hamm's character that she freaks out - or maybe she's so used to everything going wrong that she can't accept a person would care for her and mean it. Either way, this is the moment that I feel Bridesmaids has the most heart. While it's not positive, it still feels honest to human reaction in a way we don't get with such honesty.
Movie: Things don't get better. Helen steals Annie's idea for a Paris-themed party, and then ups Annie's thoughtful gift of memories by giving Lily a trip to Paris. Annie freaks out, ruins another shindig, and the final straw between Lily and Annie is broken. Then, Annie gets kicked out by her freaky roommates, loses her job, and has to move in with her mother and watches movies like Cast Away. Thoughts by TSR: Talk about rock bottom. Bridesmaids takes the obligatory emotional dive to a level that's lower than expected. I mean everything goes wrong here, and it definitely takes its toll on the audience. The movie starts to feel even more dragged out, and the comedy sparse. You want it to get back to the funny, while at the same time you can't believe everything has gone so wrong.
Movie: Megan gives Annie a talk, which inspires Annie in one form or the other. Soon after, Helen approaches Annie and apologizes somewhat for her attitude, and then tells Annie that Lily is missing, on the day of her wedding. Annie knows who can help them find Lily - Officer Rhodes. Thoughts by TSR: The "heart-to-heart" conversations that Annie has with Megan and Helen don't strike me as particularly memorable. They're only noteworthy because they helped rescue Bridesmaids from the dumps, and gave the story a little more positive credibility about friendship, etc. The sequence in which Annie tries to get the attention of Officer Rhodes by doing various illegal activity driving by his stakeout spot, is funny certainly, but like other sequences in the film becomes worn down. And after all of that, he still doesn't come to his senses about her!
Movie: Annie finds Lily, they have a big talk, and their friendship is saved. The ceremony does go on, and Wilson Phillips perform (as Helen's last rich-girl gift, she swears). Annie and Lily dance to the song and mouth the words as the movie comes to a close. Annie rides off with Officer Rhodes in the back of his car. Thoughts by TSR: A nice ending, with an amusing nostalgic surprise. Everything returns to normal, somewhat, and it's arguably even better (even Megan has finally got her Air Marshal man). This is the only glimpse we get of a wedding, or the bridesmaids in much bridesmaid-like action. I'm not sure we could have asked for a more together ending.
FINAL SCORE: 7/10