Published: May 18, 2011
Directed by Paul Feig
Bridesmaids is not a rom com (thank fucking God) and although it’s been compared to The Hangover, this fem-centric comedy written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, directed by Paul Feig, and produced by Judd Apatow is less about what happens during the crazy events leading up to a wedding and more about the crazy fucking place you suddenly end up in life before you even realized you were on that road to hell.
Wigg plays Annie, a not so young woman who got schooled during this most recent recession that opening a cupcake shop meant closing a cupcake shop, and she’s been adrift ever since. Her horrible roommate’s sister isn’t paying rent, her job at a jewelry store that her mom (played by the late, great Jill Clayburgh) got her sucks, her slimeball friend with benefits Ted (played with scary accuracy by nice guy John Hamm) isn’t a friend, and her super BFF Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married. Lillian spills her happy news in a scene that captures what the whole movie is really about: Annie laughs a laugh as close to tears as you can get and hysterically whispers, “What is happening?” It’s not really about Annie epically failing as a reliable or even good maid of honor because she brings much shame to the endeavor—picking a Brazilian churrascaria steakhouse with turned meat for the lunch on the way to try on bridesmaids dresses, getting fucked up on the plane to Vegas for the bachelorette party and shutting the flight down, and waging a full-fledged cat fight with bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne), the perfectly rich hostess with the mostess. But when you start comparing your unhappy life to your happy friend’s, you are not going to feel good.
It’s a totally believable story and goddamn refreshing. And it’s not that comedy from women is so different from men’s but this comedy sparks with so many moments that just had to come from lady heads—Annie gets kicked out of her apartment by her roommate and his sister, who reaches over and touches Annie’s unshaved leg and says “prickly”; Annie looks down at her outfit at the engagement party after Helen asks her if she came from work; Annie starts dancing during her sobriety check not from drink but from frustration; the face Annie uses when she mocks Helen, etc—moments that are sad and funny and true.
Respect: Fellow bridesmaids get it done. Wendi McLendon-Covey is overmommed mom Rita, who says inappropriate things for a mom; girly Ellie Kemper is bright and slightly mean as Becca; Byrne gets the best wardrobe as the manipulatively charming Helen; and Melissa McCarthy is a revelation as Lillian’s sister-in-law Megan, a butchish sexual hedonist straight-talker. Rudolph and Wiig feed each other in scenes, and Wiig’s portrayal as the tragically comic Annie reveals a depth and understanding that, yes, a baby hand and side-glanced “thorry” are funny but dial it down and you have the fucking hilarious.
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