Day 3 of the new reorg project. I thought it might be a good day to take a look at a movie I actually liked. While the headline is a little sexist, I’m ok with how this one turned out althought the rating is a little low in hindsight.
Think of “Bridesmaids” as a estrogen injected “Wedding Crashers,” a hormonal “40 year-old virgin” sans the virginity plotline, or “I love you man” but it’s about women.
Just don’t think of those descriptions as good things.
“Bridesmaids,” the recent Paul Fieg directed, Judd Apatow produced film about a woman being named the maid of honor to her best friend’s wedding features Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose Bryne as its leads.
While the trio of women deliver a funny collaboration and it is nice (and telling) to see this type of story portrayed from a woman’s perspective, the movie transitions awkwardly between scenes and plays like the filmmakers put the highest testing bits in the film regardless if it detracted from the plot.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t funny however.
Wiig plays Annie, a woman in the midst of an emotional crisis. With a back story of losing her business to the economy (along with her boyfriend), the movie opens with Annie being railed (awkwardly) by the quintessential despicable male, Ted (played by Jon Hamm, who was interestingly not credited in the filming).
After a walk of shame, Wiig reconnects with her childhood friend Lillian (Rudolph) over an early morning cup of coffee. In what would typically be a mandatory plot point in modern comedies, the chemistry between Wiig and Rudolph begins to hold the film hostage which is the only thing that disables the movie from falling into genre traps.
Naturally Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, Annie obliges, miniscule exposition occurs, and then we meet the bridesmaids. A group of women with planetary differences, Annie is charged with collaborating with the sensually charged Rita (played by Wendi McLendon-Covey), the repressed newlywed Becca (played by Ellie Kemper), the boisterous Megan (played by Melissa McCarthy) and Annie’s antithesis Helen (played by Bryne).
After meeting the women, and an ensuing Mexican standoff between Annie and Helen during engagement party toasting (which is one of the funniest parts in the movie), Annie drives home but (insert Annie’s male love interest) in the process is pulled over by the lovable Irish cop Rhodes (played by Chris O’Dowd).
The direct opposite to Annie’s current extra-curricular partner, Rhodes predictably plays the nice guy card by letting her off with a warning even though he sternly reprimands her for not having her taillights operational.
After the last of the major characters is introduced, the movie falls into the typical comedy pitfalls: boob shots (from tennis balls) during a tennis match, food poisoning from a shady restaurant, misunderstandings which highlight the groups differences and going to the nice guy to have someone to listen all occur before the plot even thinks about taking some sort of narrative turn.
Arguably the funniest scene in the movie is when the women board the plane toLas Vegas. A “medicated” Annie is the only one sitting in coach and tries desperately to get into first class. In what could only be described as classical comedy, Annie’s efforts create hysteria aboard the flight which leads to an early landing.
As Annie becomes madder at the fact Lillian is connecting with Helen, her personality unravels and we watch her implode during Lillian’s second bachelorette party.
While the movie lacks constant flow and seems to linger a little too long in the highs and lows of the story, any interest in viewing this film hovers around the appeal of the actresses.
Wiig effortlessly plays a woman who never fully recovered after her life blew up, and Bryne and Ruldolph deliver real performances of women who put up surprisingly strong emotional fronts while they are dissatisfied with different aspects of their lives.
Moreover, the movie positions itself as a female casted “The Hangover” but really accurately exists as a movie highlighting strong capable women who are hampered by a world that wastes its time awkwardly flopping around on top of them.
“Bridesmaids” wants to be simultaneously funny and poignant but acquiesces to humor so often that doesn’t warrant it anything more than 3.8-out-of-5 stars.