Movie review – Laughing all the way down the aisle

2011-06-25 09:36

Film: Bridesmaids (UIP)
Director: Paul Feig
Featuring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Jill Clayburgh, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm
Rating: 8/10

With a grounding in satirical American television shows ranging from Saturday Night Live to Freaks and Geeks, The Office and Arrested Development, director Paul Feig and writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have cracked the big funny one with Bridesmaids.

The secret of this comedy’s success is that it is a chick flick written by chicks – and by chick flick, I don’t mean soppy romantic comedy; I mean a really funny film that deals with the absurdities of friendship, dating and marriage.

But long before anyone gets to deal with the weirdness of marriage there’s the dreaded wedding – and that’s where Bridesmaids begins its
hilarious tale.

Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting hitched. Before she can so much as taste a potential wedding cake or flick through a wedding magazine, she needs bridesmaids and – drum roll – a maid of honour. Enter Annie (Kristen Wiig), her best friend since, like, forever, who is going through a rough patch.

Her business has failed and the only relationship she can hold down is one with an emotional cripple who calls her for sex and won’t let her stay over.

Played with epic f**kwittedness by Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, his will go down as a one of the funniest cameos I have ever seen.

But Annie’s downturn is about to hit the bottom. Lillian may have made her maid of honour, but prissy perfect Helen (Rose Byrne) keeps telling everyone that Lillian is her best friend.

Rounding out the dysfunctional sextet for the wedding party are mother of three Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who is counting the minutes to any bachelorette party that is out of town and away from her feral children; newlywed Becca (Ellie Kemper), who wears Alice bands and says things like “we do everything together”; and Megan (Melissa McCarthy), the groom’s butch, gun-obsessed sister.

Trust me, if you are a woman who has been part of a friend or relative’s wedding party, you know a version of these women intimately – the jockeying for position, the bullying over the dresses, but most of all the ­we-are-in-this-for-life support that female friends offer each other in spite of all the strife it comes with.

Though Lillian is getting married, Annie is the protagonist and she has to have a love interest, which brings us to cutie Chris O’Dowd, who is a study in what styling can do for a bloke.

He’s a nice, ordinary guy – the kind women like, eventually.

He is most certainly not one of the ugly boys of Hollywood – you know, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel and Jonah Hill – who constantly get cast opposite women who cannot possibly get drunk enough to sleep with them.

This is perhaps the biggest giveaway that Bridesmaids is written by women. They know that while women may be more forgiving in the looks department, they are not entirely aesthetically challenged.

The only big miss is the way-too-graphic scatological humour.

Involving bad Brazilian food, a roomful of poofy wedding dresses and one Biggie Best-decorated bathroom, this scene takes bodily functions to a surreal level. It’s a shame as it spoils an otherwise smartly rude, sassy and comically spot-on piece of entertainment.

I for one will be waiting to see what Wiig’s pen turns out next. Like her contemporary Tina Fey, she is an agenda-setting American comedienne. 

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