Probably the best “chick flick” I’ve seen since Mean Girls.
Bridesmaids is about a gal who’s down on her luck, can’t find a good guy so she settles for a stud who’s just in it for the nookie, and is making just enough money at a dead end job to keep her creepy British roommates from giving her the boot. Then her best friend gets engaged, so she takes the reigns as Maid of Honor and tries to plan the perfect wedding while butting heads with one of the bridesmaids who manages to steal the spotlight at every turn. Before long, both her life and the wedding turn into a complete train wreck and she finds herself struggling to salvage her friendships, her love life, her career and her dignity.
Geez, probably could have phrased that a little better so that this doesn’t sound like the biggest Debbie Downer of 2011, but then again, this girl does hit rock bottom like whoa after a certain point. Anywho, I guess I was kinda skeptical going into this ’cause it’s been a long freakin’ time since a comedy like this has come along. No, the whole “girl has to plan her best friend’s wedding” thing isn’t exactly news, but by and large, Mean Girls really is the last time I can remember that the women of comedy showed the boys what’s up. Not even gonna touch on Tina Fey and her continued reign as the funniest human being on TV, but when it comes to movies, Mean Girls was a high point.
Seriously, the first things that came to mind when I saw that poster were 27 Dresses, Runaway Bride, and every other movie that boyfriends/husbands/drifters across the globe got dragged to and didn’t laugh at because that’s just what good boyfriends/husbands/drifters do. And I’m not saying that because it’s called “Bridesmaids“, nor am I saying that ’cause I think women aren’t funny or anything, I just think we’ve gotten used to the idea of “guy movies” and “chick flicks” being two separate things and it wasn’t until pretty recently that women have really started getting their due in the male-dominated world of comedy. So, yeah, this movie’s breakin’ down barriers, y’all.
And I think the fact that this establishes itself as being nothing like 27 Dresses or Runaway Bride right from the first scene where Kristen Wiig and John Hamm are knocking boots like the marionettes from Team America is what surprised me more than anything else. It’s crude, it’s raunchy and it’s even got an awfully memorable scene filled to the brim with explosive diarrhea that would give Jeff Daniels’ career-defining moment from Dumb and Dumber a run for its money. With that being said, there’s something for everyone here, it had all the fellas laughing just as hard the ladies, but it’s balanced out with enough heart, likable characters and consistently solid comedic writing to keep it from becoming an exercise in bad taste. This is what The Sweetest Thing could have been had The Sweetest Thing been even remotely funny.
And another thing I that I loved about this is that there weren’t any lulls in the plot where the laughs disappear to make room for romance. Granted, the funniest parts are when the bridesmaids are together and everything’s going to hell, but when it shifts to Kristen Wiig’s on-again, off-again semi-relationship with local cop Chris O’Dowd, the laughs keep on comin’. Not an easy thing to find in romantic comedies, but it’s just one great scenario after the next filled with great dialogue and great ad-libbing backed up by a great cast.
Up until now, I wasn’t exactly on the Kristen Wiig bandwagon since I’ve never been a huge fan of Gilly, but consider me a convert ’cause this is clearly her baby and she totally rocks it. Girl’s got some killer timing and the deadpan shtick down pat. Maya Rudolph is also a trip as the bride; newcomer Melissa McCarthy is a flat-out riot as the femdom, fight club enthusiast of the bunch; Rose Byrne is perfect as the gorgeous, conniving bridesmaid; and even though they don’t get the kind of screen-time or development as the other four girls, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McClendon-Covey make the most out of what they’ve got. Bonus points for two choice cameos from Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson as Wiig’s weird-ass roommates, and double bonus points for a random dance scene (to Wilson Philips no less) that didn’t make my eyes roll back in my skull. An achievement I once thought impossible.
So I’ll never be a bridesmaid and I won’t be losing any sleep over that cold truth, but regardless of whether or not you can relate to what these women are going through, this thing is a blast and is far closer to Superbad than it is to The Wedding Planner. I wish I had something other than praise to dish out, but Bridesmaids really is effing hilarious on a whole lot of levels and it’s so awesome to walk into a movie that had the potential to be sheer torture and walk out two hours later with sore cheeks from laughing so hard. After watching Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work not too long ago and realizing how hard it is for even the funniest of comediennes to get the respect they deserve, it’s great to see these ladies doing what they do best, doing it better than the men, and having themselves a time while they’re at it. Guys, win-wins don’t get much better than this when it comes to date movies, but all that chick flick/guy movie noise aside, it’s just a damn funny movie.