BRIDESMAIDS Review

The quick description given to "Bridesmaids" has been the female version of "The Hangover". This is not exactly an apt description of the film, and "Bridesmaids" never really reaches the absurdly hilarious moments "The Hangover" did. It probably won't be as globally popular or record setting, but it has its moments and more importantly it gives us Kristen Wiig's first starring role in a film that she also co-wrote. This is Wiig's film and she owns it, this certainly will stand out as her breakthrough performance and it really is. It proves Wiig's not just a great SNL player but a movie star and has the ability to carry a film on her shoulders, and with ease. This isn't the bachelorette party film you might think it is going in, and it is by no means a chick flick, but it is a really enjoyable movie and a pretty damn funny one at that.


As Annie, Wiig is a woman suffering from the effects of the recession. Having invested all her money in a failed bakey, she now works at a jewelry shop. She lives with two weird British siblings, she is nothing but a booty call to a man she really wants to have a relationship with (a hilarious Jon Hamm), and her best friend, Lillian has just asked her to take on all of the responsibility of being her maid of honor. As Lillian, Maya Rudolph never gets her big comedic moment to shine, but Rudolph is such a subtle comedian and is able to translate the complicated emotions of being in the spotlight of the moment while dealing with the dynamics of her friends without allowing things to get too awkward. She is the reason for bringing these women together, but Rudolph never allows Lillian to be a bridezilla, instead she is the only part of this band of a bridal party trying to keep the peace. As the rest of the bridesmaids Rose Byrne is the new, rich best friend who wants more than anything to be the maid of honor and will spend any amount of money to show Lillian she should be. Melissa McCarthy gives a stand-out performance as Lillian's sister-in-law to be and Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper get the short end of the stick on the least sketched out characters. As Helen, Byrne creates the perfect enemy and character we love to hate as she constantly tries to upstage poor Annie. Their rival and how it challenges each of their relationships with the bride becomes more of a central plot conflict than any other subplot. It exudes what is best about "Bridesmaids", it shows real women in real situations and they aren't arguing over a guy. To say the least, the movie is refreshing.

Getting to McCarthy though, as Megan she nearly steals every scene she is in. Whether it be the laugh out loud scene where they try on dresses or when she slaps Annie out of her pity party, McCarthy is gold and deserves serious recognition for her bawdy balls out performance. And while I would liked to see the remainder of the Bridesmaids fleshed out further, especially Kemper as she seemed to essentially be playing a weird step sister to her character on "The Office". We do get a full world for these characters to exist in though, whether it be Annie's roomates or mom we really understand where she is coming from and why she acts like she does. The movie does venture into slight romantic comedy with the introduction of Chris O'Dowd's cop that Wiig takes a liking to and immediately rejects because he treats her right. We want to see it evolve though because O'Dowd, in keeping with the rhythm of the film, makes a genuine dude out of his character. A guy who likes a girl, just hoping to impress her.

The film has so many aspects to it, it is hard to ever settle on one definite story line, but they all converge to create this world going on around Annie. They give us the evidence for why she feels the way she does, why she feels it necessary to go off the deep end, and why she has such trouble feeling like a worthwhile part of this crew of diverse women when everything around her keeps reminding her of how much her life sucks. "Bridesmaids" is a funny movie, offering up at least four building moments of laughter that result in an eruption of laughter from the audience. As with any Apatow production it is about fifteen minutes too long, but it balances its raunchiness and sweetness with a skillful hand that makes it one of his best and well rounded films since "Knocked Up". It is nice to see a comedy with real women that doesn't talk down to us and play it out in a world where everyone where's white has plenty of money while working at a job that clearly wouldn't support such habits. Instead, "Bridesmaids" is anything but, its dirty, honest, rough all of which lend to making it the best comedy so far this year.