Monday, May 16, 2011

A Few Thoughts on "Bridesmaids"

Last night was very exciting for me: I got to see Bridesmaids, which, from the moment the mere movie poster was released on the Internet, I knew would be a crazy awesome film. And it was!

Finally, comedic firecracker Kristen Wiig gets the leading role she deserves, as Annie Walker, maid-of-honor to her best friend Lilian, played by the equally amazing Maya Rudolph. The SNL alums worked so well together. You could tell they were just having a blast playing off each other. And it wasn't all laughs between the two of them. There were some really emotional moments, as the two dealt with how their relationship would be radically redefined by a major milestone like getting married. I actually almost cried at times.

really encapsulated what a lot of young women these days go through. Annie Walker is in a toxic "relationship" with a loathsome wang (played perfectly by stud muffin Jon Hamm); her career has suffered major setbacks; her life in general is kind of in the dumps. On top of that, she has the daunting task of handling maid-of-honor responsibilities. Throw in a kooky cast of bridesmaids--Ellie Kemper (Erin on "The Office"), Wendy McLendon-Covey (of "Reno 911!" fame), Melissa McCarthy (Suki from "Gilmore Girls"), and Rose Byrne (Marie Antoinette, Get Him to the Greek)--and a lot of wonderful hilarity ensues. I mean, these gals are great at physical comedy. And cursing up a storm. So enjoyable.

The ensemble cast might be the strongest part of the movie. Melissa McCarthy stands out in such an outrageous role; that woman is talented through and through. And I love Kristen and Rose Byrne's interactions, Rose playing such a miss goody two-shoes character.
In the above image, the two give an impromptu and competitive performance of "That's What Friends Are For" at Lilian's engagement party.

One of my favorite cast members was Chris O'Dowd (Pirate Radio, my current TV fave "The IT Crowd"), who plays Officer Rhoads, the love interest of Annie Walker. He's the total opposite of Jon Hamm's character; he's so nice and thoughtful--almost too sweet. I made lots of "awww" sounds whenever he was on screen.
Seriously, he's too adorable.

A lot people are comparing Bridesmaids to The Hangover, like it's a "female version of The Hangover." But really the only thing the two have in common is the wedding theme. Why the hell do we need to compare an all-female lead film with a decidedly male film anyway?! I saw The Hangover, I enjoyed it, but Bridesmaids is in a whole other league. It doesn't need to rely on crudeness and violent stupidity to make it a laugh-out-loud enjoyable film; not to mention the lack of female presence in The Hangover. Pretty sure it doesn't pass the Bechdel Test (note: I just checked, and it doesn't. And Bridesmaids does. Booyah!). In fact, Bridesmaids might not pass whatever the opposite of the Bechdel Test is: has at least two MEN in it, who talk to each other, about something else besides a WOMAN.

Yep, Bridesmaids is more than women being catty and competitive with each other... Which they ARE, but hey, let's deal with it and really explore that issue in women, says Bridesmaids. And Annie's issues go further than the need for finding a guy--this can't be classified as a romantic comedy--her passion and career are lost on her; she's in a scary place; and during the movie, she rekindles that passion of hers. AND she finds an awesome dude in the process who totally supports and encourages her. Bonus points.

So a big thank you to Kristen Wiig and Amy Mumolo, who co-wrote Bridesmaids (they completed the first draft of the film in like, four days!). Thank you providing strong female presence and perspectives in this totally approachable and entertaining comedy, portraying women as the complicated, hilarious, loving, generous, vibrant, resilient creatures that we are!

PS: One more incentive to see it... Wilson Phillips. I'll say no more.


Stacey said...

Agreed! Favorite moment: When Annie tries to upstage Rose's Cambodian blessing with some nonsensical 10th grade Spanish.

Lana said...

So excited to see it now!! And curious, was Chris O' Dowd irish in it?

wildchild said...

i loved it. soooo funny. my favorite scene was probably the airplane scene. i was dying. and they didn't seem like they were trying too hard, which was what i was worried about.

clementimes said...

Great job encapsulating the essence and spirit of this very brilliant film! I think Bridesmaids will do wonders for the future of female-lead feature films. IT WAS SO HILARIOUS!!!!

a day with kate said...

LOVED IT. I was worried it was going to be a little too over the top, but instead, it was just hysterical. I didn't want to read this until I'd seen the movie, but now that I have, I completely agree with your assessment :)