Monday, May 16, 2011

"Bridesmaids" hits it out of the park, best comedy I've seen in recent years: A

Contrary to popular opinion, "Bridesmaids" is not The-Hangover-for-chicks. It's not Old-School-for-chicks, and it's not Wedding-Crashers-for-chicks. In actuality, Paul Feig's "Bridesmaids" is not a 'for-chicks' movie at all. It's been a long while since I've seen a comedy with balls of steel and a heart of gold. I think the last one I can easily recall is "There's Something About Mary." With comedy, it's diffcult to mix dick jokes and irreverent references to wolfpacks with a touching story and a life lesson to be learned without coming off as pretentious (e.g. Sandler's "Click"). "Bridesmaids" pulls of this near-impossible hybrid with flying colors, thanks to the comedic genius of Kristen Wiig and an equally hilarious supporting cast.

Annie's (Kristen Wiig) life is falling apart - her cake shop has gone out of business, she drives a crappy car, her roommates want her out of the apartment, her f*ck buddy Ted (Jon Hamm) is a complete douchebag who treats her like dirt, and her job as a salesperson at a jewelery store is in serious jeopardy. Meanwhile, her childhood friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is engaged and on the way to living a fairy tale life. When Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, Annie faces the challenge of taking on more responsibility than she's used to. Not only does Annie have to come up with ideas for the bachelorette party and the wedding shower, but she also has to deal with Lillian's quirky ensemble of bridesmaids: the rich and prissy Helen (Rose Byrne), desperate housewife Rita ("Reno 9111" actress Wendi McLendon-Covey), the immature and Disney-obssessed Becca (Ellie Kemper), and the stout sister-of-the-groom Megan (Melissa McCarthy). Together, the group endures Annie's awful plans - such as hitting up a ghetto Brazilian restaurant prior to a dress fitting. Annie's biggest challenge is to maintain her best friend status with Lillian, as the snobby Helen attempts to outshine Annie in almost every way imaginable. There's a particularly hilarious scene in which Annie and Helen compete in a best-congratulations-speech at the engagement party. Like a classic Kristen Wiig SNL skit, the joke goes on for too long - until it just becomes wickedly funny all over again.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the wedding, Annie meets state patrol officer Nathan Rhodes (played by "The IT Crowd" actor Chris O'Dowd) as she gets pulled over for her broken taillights. When officer Rhodes learns that Annie was in fact the owner of Cake Baby, he lets her off the hook. There's strong chemistry between Annie and Rhodes, and their whole side-story gives the movie a sweeter tone that manages to remain humorous. In particular, Chris O'Dowd is the perfect match for Kristen Wiig - in a comedic sense. His Irish-laden awkwardness goes perfectly with Wiig's offbeat behavior, and as an on-screen couple, Annie and Nathan are perhaps one of the sweetest I've seen.

"Cha-ching, boo boo!"

Kristen Wiig is definitely the stand-out performer in the movie. I've been a fan of hers ever since I saw her Judy Grimes skit on SNL. I don't know what she smokes, but Kristen Wiig is unbelievably funny. Did anyone else see "Macgruber?" Oh my god, she killed me! And she was actually pretty funny in "Paul" too. It seems so rare these days for a funny woman to headline a comedy film - I think the last one I can remember is "Baby Mama," which I enjoyed thanks to Amy Poehler (not-so-much-thanks to Tina Fey). I know that Wiig has been around for a long time, but I really hope that she'll be getting more lead roles.

On a smaller note, I know that many people will be talking about Melissa McCarthy after seeing this movie. Her character, Megan, reminded me of Allen (Zach Galifianakis) in "The Hangover." She was unnecesarily aggressive, both physically and sexually, and I don't know how McCarthy managed to get through some of her outlandish lines with such a straight face. She'll probably land more roles, as did Galifianakis, but hopefully her brand of humor won't burn out as quickly.

I was afraid that "Bridesmaids" was going to be another case of all-the-funny-stuff-was-in-the-trailer (*ahem* "Your Highness," I'm referring to your lame ass). But instead, "Bridesmaids" was an unexpectedly hilarious lesson in getting your life back together. I laughed all the way through, and I even got a bit misty-eyed during some scenes, too. When you watch movies like "The Hangover" and "Old School," you're expecting to laugh your ass off, which they succeed in doing, making them memorable comedies. But "Bridesmaids" goes beyond the standard comedy, and delivers a sweet message that will engage your emotions - without letting you forget how f*cking funny the movie is. It's a heavenly combination that few comedies ever get completely right.

P.S. - I can't wait to see the gag reel on the dvd when it hits!!!


  1. Here here! I can't believe how much this movie surprised me with its beautifully sad core. I'm hoping that it finds a bit more of a stronger footing over the next few weeks as the word-of-mouth builds and those of us who bit on opening weekend wave the "all-clear" to those that didn't.

    Great review dude!

  2. Wow, I am surprised you rated it so high, because originally this did not even interest me. But maybe I should give it a go. Great review!

  3. This will be the comedy to beat for me. Maybe Paul Feig will get more work.

  4. Solid write, agree with you for the most part!

  5. I might see this the same weekend as Hangover II and make it a mega lulz party.

  6. Glad you enjoyed this Rachel :) It's funny, raunchy and crude but it still manages to have a big heart and some depth. I didn't think it was perfect but certainly, the comedy to beat so far this year.

  7. Damn, I've been trying not to see this one, because I hate these kinds of movies, actually looks good, and your stellar review might make me download it, at very least. Not like that or anything. But I will say this: I walked out of The Priest thoroughly disappointed and seriously considered just walking into Bridesmaids to see if I'd at least get some bang out of my movie experience. I just should've gone for it. Great review! Another one to add to my list.

  8. I agree with you 100%- best comedy I've seen in ages. Also, I just found your blog and I've got to say, you've got some real skill and good taste!


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