BACHELORETTE Review

It is hard to really have an opinion on Bachelorette more than that of a simple meh. It is funny sure, a little surprising with how dark the humor sometimes goes, but in the end does it come off as anything more than a subpar version of last years mega-successful Bridesmaids? Not really, it is, in its lowest form attempting to capitalize on the indention left by Kristin Wiig's film. Just because the film follows a similar setup does not allow us to dismiss it as pure junk though. In fact, there is no reason not to like Bachelorette unless you are easily offended by some pretty nasty people. This is what provokes much of the humor here though. The idea that not one of our three lead characters is even remotely likable ups the ante for first time director Leslye Headland, who also concocted these characters, to make her audience want to watch these people. Lucky for us, despite their sometimes vile actions towards who they are supposedly "friends" with this ultimately comes to be a film about redemption and how three very different women on three different paths are brought face to face with their issues when the one from their high school click who likely had the least aspirations yet has come out ahead of them all. You can chock it up to a writer/director who wanted to express a more genuine look at women and how they might act in their most desperate forms who simply had the misadventure of taking it through this vein because it is a guaranteed success in how hijink comedies go these days. Lucky for us, the film features some sharp writing and a great cast who turns this into a fun enough time.

Joe (Kyle Bornheimer), Trevor (James Marsden), Dale
(Hayes MacArthur), and Clyde (Adam Scott)
get ready for a night out.
I will admit though that a good amount of the time I spent watching Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan parading around on screen while giving it their all to deliver the funny that they were almost trying to hard because they desperately wanted to be a part of that community of funny women that made up last years similarly-themed ensemble. It is even more fitting that they seemed to be chasing the goals set by Wiig and co. figuratively while literally chasing after what Rebel Wilson's character already had. Wilson played the female half of the weird sibling pair who were roommates with Wiig in Bridesmaids and so she is seemingly getting the best of both worlds here. Wilson is a talented Australian comic (check out some of her you tube videos) who is slighted here as the bride to be that isn't your typical high maintenance, pretty face that is getting what she likely deserves in a husband instead of settling. I did like however that Headland gave the groom no ulterior motives and instead made him a general, stand-up kinda guy. While I would have liked to see more of Wilson I will likely get that chance soon enough as she seems to be stealing the show in the upcoming Pitch Perfect, but I can't say that I was let down by the drug abusing, terror causing trio that is Dunst, Fisher, and Caplan. The chemistry is there, especially between Fisher and Caplan who sound off one liners like nobody's business. Caplan as the bitter and narcissistic Gena who lives in LA with no job, no ambition and a thing for her high school boyfriend that won't go away. Fisher is the ditz with a drug problem who is so stupid its cute. Fisher plays the role to perfection and drops some of the best lines but when it comes to the somewhat poignant ending these two stories wrap up with a bit too much sap for their own good.

Katie (Isla Fisher), Regan (Kirsten Dunst), and Gena
(Lizzie Caplan)  overcome some serious obstacles the
night before their friends wedding.
The lead role of Regan, the college graduate who is dating a guy in medical school and eats right as she so often likes to point out is where our focus lies though. In this lead role Kirsten Dunst defines her status as the VOD queen (All Good Things, Melancholia) as she turns in the most commanding and demanding performance in the piece. Regan is the sole member left of their high school squad that still lives close to Becky (Wilson) and is tasked with the maid of honor duties that have her planning the wedding she believes she so rightly deserves over her friend because of who or at least how she is. While the major disconnect for me is that while these girls naturally seem to get along there has clearly always been a rift between Becky and her three, beautifully standard friends. Why are they still around? Why is it even a big deal if they come to the wedding if it would just be easier to not have the reserved and overweight Becky as a part of their clique. Regardless, once Becky has retired from the tame bachelorette party Regan, Gena, and Katie are allowed to let loose a little and regain that same dynamic that likely existed through high school while continuing to show how little they've actually matured. Regan has always been the ringleader, the overachiever while Gena and Katie were likely the bimbo cheerleader and pretty goth who both remained so wrapped up in their personal lives they decided nothing else in life was important including where they were heading. Gena now sleeps in every day and likely with a different guy while Katie works in retail while retaining little of what schooling she ever received. They are a mess of a group and thus this makes them pretty entertaining to watch it just doesn't always remain consistently interesting.

Gena and Clyde have a past that is hard to overcome
when they meet again at Becky's wedding.
As stated at the beginning of the review no matter how hard the movie tries it simply can't rise above a mere feeling of carelessness. I enjoyed it well enough as I imagine anyone who might like a raunchy little comedy on a Tuesday night would, but there is nothing about the film that stands out. The performances are fine, there is nothing to complain about there except for the fact that the excellent male cast is also under-utilized. Also, am I noticing a new pattern of featured comics that like working together here? While James Marsden and Adam Scott are certainly bigger names that you would think warrant more screen time but the skimmed over roles of Joe (Kyle Borrnheimer) and Dale (Hayes MacArthur) are what really intrigued me. These guys have starred in She's Out of My League and the failed sitcom Perfect Couples as well as several smaller roles in different films over the past few years along with David Walton and T.J. Miller. This really has nothing to do with the film other than it adds to the fact I'm interested to see where these guys are able to go in the next few years. While all these guys, along with Marsden and Scott are used for nothing more here than to see that each of our girls end up with a nice guy I was kind of surprised it went that way at all. Bachelorette has that women-hate-men attitudes going for it, that mantality of they don't need men in their lives other than for trophy purposes, maybe. And maybe that's the point. Forcing home the idea that men need women just as much as they need us; which turns out, according to Headland is not all that much, we simply like to entertain the idea of the fairytale. There is something about the film that draws you in, and it could be several things, but I'll settle for the fact that it's just downright funny sometimes and I didn't mind wasting eighty-seven minutes on it at all.