'Oh my God! You're getting married!' If you enjoy this kind of shrieking, along with references to various bodily functions and wedding parties so extreme they'd make royalty look mild, you will like Bridesmaids. As someone who does not have any interest in these things I found Bridesmaids to be a film of two halves: the first appalling and the second not much better. It's been directed by Paul Feig, under the watch of producer Judd Apatow and many have touted this as a female version of The Hangover (2009). Although the misdirection of the comedy could be pinned on Feig, the film was already on shaky ground because of the screenplay written by Wiig. She co-wrote the film with Annie Mumolo and was also one of the producers herself. Wiig has a background in variety programs like Saturday Night Live and for worse, it shows. Somewhere the rules of comedy have been forgotten. Comedy must exist in reality. Humour is funniest when we can imagine ourselves in similar, plausible, situations. There are very few scenes in Bridesmaids that feel honest or genuine. Too many moments play out like extended skits, stretching plausibility with unsophisticated humour and little concern for developing theme. This movie is so desperate for a laugh that if it nudged you it would have broken a rib. I took zero pleasure from watching women defecate over a sink, vomiting on top of each other, or becoming boozy on an aeroplane.
If these situations weren't distasteful enough, smaller moments are undone by dialogue that lacks subtlety. Some lines of dialogue, like when Annie talks to customers in the jewellery store, are ridiculously blunt when they should have been loaded. It weakens the credibility of the characters and flattens the humour because we know people don't talk like this. Though taste in humour is subjective it's difficult to ignore the image problems rising in modern comedies. A lot of rom-coms, including this one, are pushing a social view that if you are fat, single or unmarried, you are weird, low in confidence and a failure. Wedding parties in films are also now so extravagantly realised that they have become a measure of success and social approval. Bridesmaids continues many of these trends, taking every chance to deprive its characters of dignity. That is until Annie can find the ridiculously nice Irish bloke. In the second half, the film at least tries to give Annie a recovery after hitting rock bottom but its views of friendship and renewal are simplistic and predictable. Like a lot of the film, Wiig's comedic performance is so annoyingly exaggerated that it saps any chance of realism. But Chris O'Dowd, as one of the film's few likable characters, is mercifully restrained. A lot of women will see this because it gives them the rare centre of attention in a raunchy, mainstream comedy. But is this really the best Hollywood can offer? If there's a Bridesmaids: Part II I'm sending a non-acceptance card.