Film Review – Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids (MA)

Directed by: Paul Feig

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

 

Vomiting on friends and defecating on the street. Anyone would think this was another Hangover sequel. No, it isn’t the Wolfpack out on another bender; this is a group of women preparing for a wedding. Not quite what you would expect to see at the cinema, women acting so raucously. This chick flick takes a filthier path than rom com sweethearts Jennifer Lopez or Sandra Bullock would ever dare tread.

The gross out genre has mainly been the blokes domain so it is good to see chicks giving it a shot. But instead of solely going for cheap laughs with a “chicks can do anything guys can do” attitude, Bridesmaids also has a big sappy heart that it wears on its bodily fluid stained sleeve. Driven by characters and relationships instead of a high gross out count, Bridesmaids has some delicate moments between the “ewww” moments.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is having a tough time as she closes in on the big 4-0. She was forced to close her bakery when the global financial crisis hit, she has no money, her roommate is a freak, she has never been married and she is having an affair with a sleaze. Her life has hit the skids but she has always had the support of her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who has just announced her engagement.

Annie is the obvious choice as Maid of Honour but struggles with the fact that she is the still the single one. Annie puts in her best efforts when it comes to helping plan the wedding and making the big day as special as possible, but they are always one-upped by Lillian’s other friend Helen (Rose Byrne) – a snooty socialite with a bigger bank account and many more resources.

Annie feels she is being edged out by Helen with her connections that allow instant access to prestigious and exclusive wedding dress stores and extra cash that allow for more decadent pre-wedding festivities. Every attempt she makes to impress Lillian blows up in her face like the quaint restaurant gives the girls gastro. This is where the vomiting and defecating comes in during one hilariously gross sequence. Meanwhile, Annie’s insecurities about her friendship begin to affect the courtship she is having with cute as a button cop Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd).

Annie could easily have been a despicable character, but Wiig brings a vulnerability and likeability to her. She also manages to emerge from the mid-flight drunken shenanigans and explosive tantrums with some dignity. Not an easy thing to achieve. The Saturday Night Live veteran also has the comedic chops to have us rolling with laughter.

Unlike other chick flicks or romantic comedies, there is no quirky best friend that occasionally pops up to dish out love life advice to the lead with sitcom style quips dropped in for good measure. You know the ones, they usually steal the show from the leads but we never believe they would actually be friends in real life. Annie and Lillian are believable as friends and we get a sense of history, mainly due to the rapport between Wiig and Rudolph. This raunchy adult chick flick mixes heart with fart in equal doses and ends up being one of the freshest and funniest comedies of the year.

 

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