Review: Bridesmaids

I expressed my concern last week over Bridesmaids, but I can safely (and happily) report that the film lived up to the hype, and dare I say, it wiped the floor with the naysayers out there. One thing that initially had me wary was the trailer and the way this film was marketed to the public. Nothing about the trailer or commercials had me in stitches, or made me want to see the film based on those clips alone. If it wasn’t for my interest in Kristen Wiig, or my love for Maya Rudolph, I may have let this one slip away, which would have been unfortunate. So I want to take this opportunity (as many other bloggers have) to stress that this film is so much more than what the trailer represents. Go see it!

Kristen Wiig plays Annie, a woman who is slightly down on her luck, dealing with the closing of her bakery, roommate troubles, and a douchey sex buddy that treats her like crap. So when Annie’s best friend since childhood Lillian (Maya Rudolph) tells her she is getting married and wants her to be her maid of honor, Annie says yes, determined to put aside her troubles to share in her friend’s excitement. But Annie isn’t the only one vying for maid of honor status. Helen, Lillian’s “new” best friend, provides some stiff competition. In the end, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a song I sang in girl scouts once upon a time: “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

Bridesmaids continues to capitalize on what The Hangover did for R rated comedies last year-elevate them to a level of hilarity few movies have dared to tread in the past. There are some pretty big gross out scenes in Bridesmaids that I’ve never seen done as well, or as funny. But aside from the comedy, Bridesmaids has a real human element to it, and often the comedic scenes are punctuated with scenes of honesty and heart between the main characters. Alex Albrecht of Totally Rad Show fame described it perfectly: Bridesmaids is a movie that is very much shot in the same vein as an action film. A narrative, interspersed by moments of intense comedy. Fans of recent comedies may have difficulty adjusting to this style, where the laughs aren’t necessarily constant, but when they arrive, they come full throttle.

I was also worried how much Bridesmaids being a “wedding” comedy would hurt the film, but it doesn’t at all. Instead of dwelling on the relationship between bride and groom (i.e. a romantic comedy), the story dwells on what happens when a woman’s best friend gets married, and all the politics involved between old and new friends when they try to throw the best wedding possible for the bride. It’s one of the best critiques on female competition I’ve seen in the movies.

The overall writing and production of the film is some of the best work to come out of Hollywood comedies in quite some time. Kristen Wiig’s script is funny, heartfelt and original; you can tell her unique style of humor from her co-writer Annie Mumolo. I’m intrigued to see more from this comedy writing team in the future, as I relate to this style of comedy more than most other comedy writers out there. But then again I enjoy anyone who agrees it’s quite alright for the ladies to get down and dirty sometimes.

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