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Bridesmaids: Disappointing as a comedy

Director: Paul Feig
Screenplay: Kristen Wiig, rx Annie Mumolo
Release Date: May 13, 2011
Actors: Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’ Dowd, Jon Hamm, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jill Clayburgh

Bridesmaids is the latest film to come out of the long production line of the Appatow Film Productions, but this one is supposedly being touted for the girls. From early reactions from those who saw screenings of the film, they were claiming it to be hilarious, but for my group of friends, we found it downright depressing most of the time. Why?

The main character Anne (wonderfully talented Kristin Wiig) is now working at a jewelry store, hired as an offer to her mom by the boss because Anne’s mom is her boss’ AA sponsor. She previously owned a cake shop with her boyfriend, who decided to split once they closed up shop and she had lost the place. She lives with two strange British roommates who don’t respect her space or her privacy. She sleeps with a hot guy (Jon Hamm) who doesn’t respect her and is not looking for a relationship with her or anyone. Her one bright spot is her childhood best friend Lilian (Maya Rudolph), whom she can confide in and enjoys many a nights to spend her time with. However, Lilian is about to get married to her long-time boyfriend, and when Anne is asked to be Lilian’s maid of honor, things get that much worse.

My biggest problem with this film was that it was toted to be this continuous-laugh out loud movie, ala “The Hangover”, but I was lead astray, and found it to be a rather depressing film with moments of over-the-top hilarity. Most viewers will probably go in expecting as I did and coming away a bit disappointed. However, looking at the movie for itself, after putting my expectations of what I thought it would be aside, Bridesmaids was not a bad horribly bad. In true Judd Apatow style though, he takes bad situations and tries to make them funny – here in the form of Anne who seems to failing in life. I think many of us could probably relate to Anne in one form or another, whether it wanting to be the most important person in another person’s life, or wishing their career would succeed, or that someone would love them. Anne’s rival here with Helen (Rose Byrne, who is having a fantastic few months with the number of movies coming out with her) are the main moments that are hilarious, from an over-the-top trip to a fancy bridal store after an interesting meal at the Brazilian buffet to Anne’s breakdown on an airplane and ultimately, at the bachelorette party, all competing for Lilian’s attention.

There are a few jewels to be found in Anne’s life, with the introduction of Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd, from ITV’s “The IT Crowd”), a cop who stops Anne at night due to her back lights being broken and is charmed into her life. Because of Anne’s horrible attitude to herself and others, she finds herself continuing to ruin potentials that might have been good for her.

There is a lesson in life to be found here, that it really is how you approach your life and others that make people drawn to you, and how you yourself can make a change to make your life for the better. “Bridesmaids” teaches this lesson, between moments of absolute craziness, thanks to the main cast, and the other three actors (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper and Melissa McCarthy(Mike and Molly)) who play the other bridesmaids. Their characters were not fleshed out very well, but that is somewhat to be expected with such a huge cast and were simply there to add to the comedy.

Kristin Wiig has always been an extremely talented comedian, from her days on Saturday Night Live, along with Maya Rudolph. Seeing them playing best friends is a bit of a delight, albeit in an over-the-top environment thanks in part, to a bit of bathroom humor. One could sympathize with her character, and Wiig’s facial expressions of awkwardness and depression work really well. One of my favorite scenes involved Anne and Helen in a car trying to get Rhodes’ attention. It was one of the funniest moments in the film that is bound to get a few laughs. Rose Byrne is quickly becoming one of my new favorite actresses, with her ability to play a vain bitch in one movie, to a freaked out mother in the next in Insidious, and then a vindictive lawyer getting revenge on her boyfriend’s death (Damages). She breathes a bit of fresh air into each scene she is in, despite how easy it is to dislike her. However, her weight loss is a bit disconcerting to me to the point that it distracts me and takes me out of the film. Kristin Wiig is also just as skinny, but she has always been that way.

At the end of the day, if you’re going into “Bridesmaids” and expect non-stop laughter, you may not get it. However, I seem to be one of the rare people who think this since most people who have seen it thought it was hilarious from beginning to end. Unfortunately, I found “Bridesmaids” to be just okay since a comedy wasn’t exactly what I got. I wouldn’t call it a dramedy either, but it had more serious moments than one might think. The humor is dry (which usually I love), but for some reason, Apatow’s humor rarely ever strikes a chord with me in the right way. This is just my taste however, as I’m sure almost most of this country would be quick to disagree.

Wait for rental. Endearing story, but the laughs weren’t always there. Just okay for me. 2.5 Cupcakes / 5 Cupcakes

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One thought on “Bridesmaids: Disappointing as a comedy

  1. I finally watched Bridesmaids and probably only chuckled twice (the "Who's Driving That Car?" scene, and the scene where the father of the bride suggests that they should skip the expense of the wedding – and everyone else thinks he is joking). I felt sorry for the characters involved, rather than able to laugh at the situations they were in. It reminded me a lot of the 'Meet the Parents' ("Fockers" movie). People were telling me how funny it was, but when I finally saw it, I just ended up feeling bad for Ben Stiller's character as he struggled through one problem after another. I particularly cringe when the problem is self-created.

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