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Bridesmaids

A movie directed by Paul Feig

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The Gross-Out Romantic Comedy

  • May 14, 2011
Rating:
+4
Star Rating:


I’m not going to make this about how women can be just as crude as men, since I’ve personally never believed otherwise. I guess I’m just progressive that way. The simple fact is, Bridesmaids is relentlessly vulgar, and there are times when it really isn’t very funny, but it tells a story, and better still, it has characters I could actually care about. This is key, because those latter elements have been noticeably absent from movies like this. The most recent example would be the Farrelly Brothers’ Hall Pass, a film that reveled in its crudeness but was never really developed beyond that – not even with Owen Wilson’s character, who realized he wanted nothing more than to be with his wife. Bridesmaids is a blending of the gross-out buddy movie and the romantic comedy, and in spite of itself, it’s successful.
 
Taking place in Milwaukee, it tells the story of Annie (Kristen Wiig, also the co-writer) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who have been best friends since childhood. Annie’s life is a mess; her passion for baking didn’t save her pastry shop from going bust during the recession, she’s in a casual relationship with an absolute pig of a man (Jon Hamm), she’s nearly broke, and she shares an apartment with British brother and sister roommates (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson), quite possibly the strangest people on the planet. Lillian’s life, on the other hand, seems to be headed in the right direction; apart from steady employment, she has just gotten engaged. Annie is, of course, asked to be the Maid of Honor, which she accepts ... albeit with a certain resentfulness, considering her own lovelorn life.

                                            
                                             
Annie soon meets Lillian’s bridesmaids, and while each present themselves very stereotypically, they all reveal deeper aspects of themselves at one point or another, if only for a moment. Firstly, there’s the groom’s sister, Megan (Melissa McCarthy), who has all the finesse of a lumberjack, or a drill sergeant; in spite of her stocky masculine features, she’s overtly heterosexual, and she gets weak in the knees for air marshals. There’s Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who desperately needs a break from her adolescent sons and her constant but loveless sex life. There’s Becca (Ellie Kempet), whose sweetness and purity mask a screaming need to be an independent woman. Finally, there’s Helen (Rose Byrne), who, sweetly as can be, interjects herself into Lillian’s wedding plans. She’s fabulously wealthy, she has connections to the local bridal boutiques ... and she’s well on her way to becoming Lillian’s new best friend.
 
The cracks begin to show as Annie feels more and more like a third wheel. It could be that Helen is intentionally trying to get her out of the picture. Then again, it could be that Helen’s wealth and social status have limited her in certain aspects of her life. Into Annie’s life enters an Irish cop named Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), who pulls her over under suspicion of drunk driving. Against all the odds – unless, of course, your life plays out as it does in the movies – they start a relationship that’s actually rather sweet. Indeed, Rhodes is awfully likeable; he remembers Annie from her days at the pastry shop, and he wastes no time in encouraging her to give baking another try. In one of the film’s best scenes, Annie is alone in her kitchen making a batch of cupcakes; she decorates one beautifully with frosting and fondant leaves, but there’s no one around to admire the craftsmanship, so she simply takes a bite out of it. I love scenes that say so much in so few words.

                                           
                                             
I mentioned the vulgarities. Don’t let my positive observations of the plot and characters detract from that – this movie earns its R rating. There’s a lot of off-color dialogue, and much of it is sexually frank. The single most disgusting scene takes place at a thoroughly upscale dress shop, where the floor is covered in delicate white carpeting; let’s just say that the Brazilian food they ate for lunch no longer agrees with them. You do not want to know what Megan has to resort to in order to relieve her rumbling bowels. And poor Lillian – she can’t find a bathroom in time to save the beautiful white dress she’s trying on.
 
Wiig’s performance is surprisingly good. Apart from the usual hallmarks of memorable acting – emotional range, nuances of expressions – she’s also a gifted physical comedienne. Nowhere is this more apparent than in a scene where they board a plane for Las Vegas; I will not give away details, for I want you to see for yourselves how she plays off of the situation. It’s priceless. I’m usually dismissive of movies like this, since gross-out humor tends to exist for no reason other than to be itself. In the case of Bridesmaids, the humor is balanced with a generous helping of heart. In an age of dime-a-dozen romantic comedies, it’s actually nice to see a film push a few boundaries. I think it has achieved the unthinkable: It’s a film both men and women will appreciate.

                                               

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May 16, 2011
I'm going to try to see this soon. Sounds hilarious!
May 16, 2011
Parts of it are hilarious. Parts of it are not funny at all. Essentially, it's just like a guys-only gross-out movie.
 
May 14, 2011
This does sound pretty insane....I am interested! Oh, women can be just as crude (even cruder) amongst themselves...my lady friends are! I'll try to see it next week since I have a longer weekend. Nice review!
May 16, 2011
Sure, they can be just as crude as men. We just rarely see it on film. What I liked about the film, however, was not the crudeness; I liked it because it balanced its crudeness with likeable characters and an engaging plot.
 
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More Bridesmaids reviews
review by . February 09, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
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I consider myself a fan of "low brow" humor. Don't get me wrong, I love my smart and witty humor ala Woody Allen. However, I have no problem switching over to crude jokes and physical pratfalls to grace a smile and to induce chuckles. I really enjoyed "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Horrible Bosses", hell I still think "Dumb & Dumber" is hysterical. With that being said, I was eager to watch "Bridesmaids" since I had heard only great things …
review by . October 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Bridesmaids" is exactly the kind of film where you don't expect too much of it going in. I mean, how good can what appears to be a "feminist comedy" really be? Seldom are they notable; or even decent. And the fact that it's being billed as "The Hangover" with an almost all-female cast may also turn a few heads in the wrong direction. I can understand why. Fellow females may feel that the film is giving people the wrong impression when it comes to a solid …
review by . May 11, 2011
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'Bridesmaids' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Stop Laughing From This Outrageous Brilliant Comedy (video)
      'Bridesmaids' is directed by Paul Feig and written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo.  I have to say right off the bat...This is one of the funniest films I've seen since 'Hangover'.      From the opening scene, you know what kind of movie this is going to be. It's morning.  Annie (Kristen Wiig) wakes up in bed next to Jon Hamm.  His character doesn't even have a name.  He's sleezy...He's rich and …
review by . May 05, 2011
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I have always wondered what would happen if all of the "dirty laundry" us women carry around was aired (or screened) in front of the general public.  Not just our moments of madness when it comes to life, work, and dare I say relationships... but what if we all just let it hang out?  Well, Bridesmaids does just that and it seems like there is no turning back from where this film takes it.      From the opening scene (which I will not give away) you are immediately …
review by . May 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Kristen Wiig has been a stand out in the Saturday Night Live cast for some time now, and for those of us unwilling to stay up late for a show that is erratic at best we may have been missing out. Her talent has been noticed by Emmy voters recently, but it was in 2007 that Judd Apatow cast her as the snarky E! executive. Since she has grown into quite the starlet and has put all her talents together and teamed up with executive producer Apatow to star and co-write, along with Annie Mumolo, in the …
review by . May 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Girls will be girls
BRIDESMAIDS   Written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo   Directed by Paul Feig   Starring Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm       Megan: You’re your problem and you’re also your solution.       For years now, the boys have been yukking it up at the movies for our enjoyment and they have been doing it as crassly as humanly possible. These male bonding …
review by . July 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
15 - 125mins - Comedy - 24th June 2011   Many people have been describing this as the female version of The Hangover. Those people however forgot to do one tiny thing- watch both films! Yes both films revolve around the preparation for a wedding and contain their fair share of low brow comedy but that is where the similarities end.   Bridesmaids follows Annie (Kristen Wiig), the maid of honour for her best friend Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) wedding. While she is preparing for the …
review by . May 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
And so the masses cried out,"Where is the twenty-something gross-out comedy for women?" and lo, the gods of cinema did smile and outpoured Bridesmaids, the latest effort from producer Judd Apatow, the genius mind behind such films as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.    The movie centers on Annie (Kristian Wiig, who also wrote the screenplay), whose best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph), is about to get married. Her newest friend (Rose Byrne), a type-A who organizes everyone's …
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
What a fun cast of dynamic characters! I love how different each woman is, but how they bond and mesh together. Bridesmaid fitting scene = too hilariously disgusting. The sister-in-law = disgustingly hilarious. And I found Annie to be incredibly relatable. Actually, all of the women were in some way. Love.
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Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #2
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Picked as her best friend's maid of honor, lovelorn and broke Annie looks to bluff her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals with an oddball group of bridesmaids.

The delightful Kristen Wiig, who's shone in dozens of supporting roles and onSaturday Night Live, hits a bull's-eye with her first lead role inBridesmaids. Annie (Wiig) isn't doing so well; her bakery failed and she keeps sleeping with a good-looking louse (Jon Hamm,Mad Men), but she's always had her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph,Away We Go) to buoy her up… until Lillian gets engaged. Annie becomes maid of honor, but another friend of Lillian's--the rich and lovely Helen (Rose Byrne,Get Him to the Greek)--wants to take over that position. Misadventures with bad Brazilian food, dress fittings, an unfortunate flight to Vegas, and a sympathetic traffic cop (Chris O'Dowd from British TV comedyThe IT Crowd) follow, with increasingly hilarious results.Bridesmaidssuccessfully balances raunchy comedy and character portrait. The embarrassing and socially catastrophic stuff, which in too many movies balloons into absurdity, is here kept in check just enough to allow Annie and the other characters to be multidimensional people--without the movie losing its comic capacity for cringe. (Actress Melissa McCarthy, ofMike & Molly, works miracles with a character than in most hands would be pure cartoon.) Wiig's enormous appeal keeps Annie sympathetic, even as she becomes more ...
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Details

Director: Paul Feig
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 13 May 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo
Runtime: 125 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Apatow Productions
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