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Back in 2011 Bridesmaids was hailed as the comedy of the year, a
raunchy R-rated female affair that earned Academy Awards nominations
for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Melissa
McCarthy, turning her into a huge comedy star. But despite this
Bridesmaids is really a mediocre comedy which is not as funny or
heartfelt as it thinks it is.
Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a singleton in Milwaukee and a failed business owner. Her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks Annie to be her maid-of-honour; but Annie has to deal with her limited budget when the rest of the bridal party wanting something more extravaganza and Annie developing a rivalry with the yuppyish Helen (Rose Byrne).
Bridesmaids does have some funny moments and set-pieces, such as a violent tennis match, the visit to the bridal shop and some of Annie's dodgy motoring skills. They do raise a laugh and McCarthy and Irish comedian Chris O'Dowd were the best members of cast, McCarthy for her vulgarity and O'Dowd just having a sweet quality to him. For fans of The IT Crowd it is great to see he is getting Hollywood. The rest of the cast are fine, Wiig getting some laughs and Byrne always being strong, but Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper do not get much in the way character development. McLendon-Covey does have a few fun lines due the stresses of being a mum to three boys.
Despite the few moments of humour Bridesmaids is very lacking throughout its run time. The famous bridal shop scene is a gross out scene which could have been in a film like American Pie, just aiming to show that women are also capable of gross out jokes, even thought gross out is very puerile. The inclusion of Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson as a weird British brother and sister were painfully unfunny and there were many moments based just on Annie's humiliation which is more sad to watch then funny. Hell Annie could solution could have been to say I love to be your maid of honour but I haven't got much money at the moment and I'm sure people would have helped her.
Bridesmaids is meant to be a film set in the real world due to its setting and scenario. You would expect some comic exaggeration which is part of the course, but that gets thrown with gag that at the bridal shower people are given puppies as a gift: it is too stupid and over the top. There needed to be some internal logic.
Bridesmaids was produced by Judd Apatow, a filmmaker who has praised for his work on films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. But Apatow is an overrated writer and director and his comedies are neither as groundbreaking or funny that they are made out to be and Bridesmaids follows some of his worst aspects. The film ran at over two hours which is long for a comedy, like other Apatow film and Bridesmaids does nothing dramatically or comedically to justify itself. Also like Apatow films, Bridesmaids takes itself too seriously and tries to show Annie's lonely lifestyle and seeing her life full apart, but it is just too depressing.
Bridesmaids does have some funny moments, its lacks any consistent in jokes or drama. There are too few jokes and its dramatic parts are too low. The IMDb score of 6.8 is much more reflective of the films quality then its 90% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
"Bridesmaids" is uneven at times but there are a lot of laughs and a lot of heart present too. My problems with it are that some of the gross out humor feels out of place and most of the jokes that don't work are related to some kind of body function. There are times where movie feels like it's being something else instead of just being itself. Thankfully, most of the gross-out jokes are dropped (along with some of the excess characters) a third into the film and it starts to focus more on the leads, their relationships between each other and the humor that is generated when everything starts to go wrong right before the wedding. It isn't perfect but once it gets going you'll appreciate the genuine relationships on the screen. You'll laugh a lot and it will amuse both men and women. (On DVD, March 30, 2012)
It's amazing that no one has thought of this before. After countless
years of watching groups of men behaving like idiots on the big screen,
we finally meet a gaggle of women who will put any stag party to shame.
A lot of people have called 'Bridesmaids' the 'female version of The
Hangover' and there certainly are similarities in the set-up, but
they're both different enough to be enjoyed separately without too much
There's a preconception (possibly among men!) that 'women aren't funny,' or at least women aren't AS funny as men. I won't attempt to guess at either of those statements' validity, but I will say that 'Bridesmaids' goes some way to prove that women can be pretty amusing when the setting is right.
The 'plot' is pretty simple: a woman is getting married and invites her various friends to the various pre-wedding preparations. Mayhem follows.
Yes, there is a strong element of 'rom-com' in there, but it never overshadows the general humour. There are six central (female) characters and not all are as 'fleshed-out' character-wise as they possibly could be. However, the film plays to its strengths and gives more screen time to the funnier of those among them.
Basically, you have a light-hearted comedy/romance that should appeal to men and women. I should point out that the humour is pretty 'adult' in nature and anyone easily offended by bad language may be in need of earplugs (and that's just from the women!).
Of course it's not for everyone. I'm guessing its primary audience will be women. My (male) friend warned me from ever watching this film, telling me how awful it was (I haven't admitted I've seen and enjoyed it to him yet).
Special mention to Melissa McCarthy, who steals every scene (and every puppy).
Given the reviews and the comments by many of those who'd already seen
the movie, I was expecting "Bridesmaids" to be a bit more of a raucous
affair than it ultimately turned out to be. Yet, while it isn't exactly
the "groundbreaking" film so many people had described it as being,
there's enough you-go-girl sassiness and charm to make it a pleasant
enough comedic experience.
SNL alums, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote the screenplay with Annie Mumolo), play best friends from childhood, Lillian and Annie, the former a career-woman who's getting ready to tie the knot with a wealthy banker, and the latter, an insecure bundle of neuroses with commitment issues whom Lillian has asked to be her bridesmaid. Into the breach steps Rose Byrne (Glenn Close's bete noire from TV's "Damages"), as Lillian's snooty new friend whom Annie sees as a rival for Lillian's affections. The focus of the screenplay is mainly on Annie, as she goes about subconsciously sabotaging many of the traditional pre-wedding festivities, as well as her own chances at happiness.
Though the women here are occasionally foul-mouthed and uninhibited in their behavior and topics of conversation, they really aren't as crude and vulgar as the media - looking for a look-even-women-can-be-as-bad as-men storyline - has made them out to be. In fact, the tone of much of the movie is sweet and thoughtful, as Annie copes with her very recognizably human feelings of inferiority and jealousy.
Directed by Paul Feig, the movie alternates between broad slapstick and sophisticated satire without skipping a beat, though there is the occasional dry-spot to slow down the proceedings. And Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly") steals every scene she's in as a straight-talking tomboy who obviously flunked out of the Miss Manners School of Social Etiquette.
It's not a great comedy by any stretch, but it's hard not to be won over by it in the end.
I can hardly find something interesting in one of the few movie I
stopped watching after some 80 minutes. Good comedies know that you
can't have the right rhythm with a total length far beyond the
90-minute mark. OK I knew it was a bad idea to get the 'Unrated
version', i.e. some marketing ploy to make you feel you'll get an
exclusive product when buying the DVD while it's only the original
professional cut inflated by dozens of minutes that were originally
thought useless (and most probably counter-productive).
Still, at over 2 hours Bridesmaids is clearly overlong and you can tell it from the very start. Scenes lead to other scenes without the rhythm ever picking up. The lead is mostly pathetic, and it's rarely pathetic-funny, and even then the hurtfully pathetic annihilates the good jokes. With such a slow rhythm you also have plenty of time to see the ensemble cast is only made of one-dimensional characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many people compared 'Bridesmaids' to 'The Hangover' but in terms of
the comic tone of its characters, I found it much more similar to a
recent indie film, 'Cyrus'. Both films attempt to get laughs by
introducing a series of passive-aggressive types. The
passive-aggressive credentials of the film's protagonist, Annie Walker,
is established very early on when she sleeps with a boyfriend who also
is afflicted with a passive-aggressive personality. When the boyfriend
aggressively declares he has a rule about not sleeping over, instead of
acting angrily, Annie lamely declares, "you're funny in the morning."
The interesting thing about the passive-aggressive type is that the passivity masks a deeply repressed reservoir of anger. When the anger finally rises to the surface, it often comes out as a challenge, marked by a hurried retreat. We see this when Annie and her best friend Lillian (the bride to be) attempt to take an exercise class in the park without paying. When they're found out by the instructor, they run off with the excuse that they can no longer afford the high price of admission (despite actually costing $12).
Annie's lack of self-esteem is on display when she turns off her customers by telling them that you can't trust anybody, while working as a salesperson at the jewelry store. As is often the case with a lot of the characters here, there's a thin line between the unsavoriness of their blatant aggression and viewing that aggression as humorous.
Often the language of the passive-aggressive character is cloaked in overly diplomatic terms; the underlying sub-text of course, is an insult. For example, when Annie's mother (played by Jill Clayburgh in her last film role) tries to put a positive spin on Annie's negative life situation, she relates a story of a floundering gay prostitute she met at an AA meeting, concluding that "hitting bottom is a good thing."
Screenwriters Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumulo try to mine as many laughs as possible from Lillian's assorted bridesmaids with mixed results. Lillian's cousin Rita can't stand her "disgusting" three teenagers and the joke about semen being all over the house is too crude to be funny. Becca, Lillian's friend from work and Megan, the groom's sister, ineptly conclude that Annie isn't single when they spot her next to two successive creepy guys who they should have known she would have no interest in. Little is done with newly married Becca character throughout the film but Megan (Melissa McCarthy from the 'Mike & Molly' TV series) proves to be one of the more amusing aggressive characters in the passive-aggressive pantheon. Megan not only can bond with a dolphin while on vacation but isn't afraid to make her sexual wants known (in spying one particular tall guy at the wedding, she proclaims, "I'm going to climb that like a tree").
It's Helen, the snippy Trophy wife of the groom's boss, who turns out to be Bridesmaid's central antagonist. Again, the dialectic between her passive and aggressive side is evident when we first meet her. Helen aggressively attempts to steal Annie's thunder as they lock horns with their back and forth toasts to Lillian at the engagement party (the joke becomes tiresome as it goes on for much too long). There's more silly shenanigans during the tennis game, when we view Helen and Annie blasting one another with tennis balls in slow motion. Only Helen's completely lame, passive remark to the stepson's expletive ("put a quarter in the smear jar") hits the mark!
Annie begins to lose Lillian's affections when she brings the bridesmaids to the Brazilian restaurant and most of them end up with food poisoning later on at the fitting room. It's a scene that doesn't work at all as it's too divorced from any kind of recognizable reality (both Megan and Lillian end up defecating in inappropriate places including a sink and outside in the middle of the street). Annie's meltdown on the plane to Vegas proves to be only slightly more amusing. Most of it relies on Annie's face-off with the flight attendant while she's intoxicated. The bit with Annie in sunglasses pretending to be a first-class passenger is something a real drunk would dobut when Annie exclaims that there's a 'colonial woman' churning butter out on the wingthat is truly a line of inspired lunacy! Meanwhile we do take some pleasure in Megan's vindication over her insistence that the man sitting next to her on the plane indeed turns out to be an air marshal.
There's one more truly amusing moment before 'Bridesmaids' devolves into sentimental romantic comedythat's Annie's confrontation with the young woman back at the jewelry store, resulting in her being fired (in substance: Young lady: Did you take your Xanax? Annie: You have four boyfriendshave fun having a baby at your prom).
Once Annie has her final meltdown at Lillian's shower, Lillian expresses her true feelings toward Annie (how she's truly screwed up the pre-wedding preparations). Events are now set in motion where whatever comedy remains in this very spotty laugh-fest, is lost. Megan drops her animosity toward Annie and conscripts her to help find Lillian who's gotten cold feet about going through with the wedding. I haven't mentioned Officer Rhodes as he's the least interesting character in the film. After Rhodes reluctantly agrees to help locate Lillian (he traces through her cell phone messages), it's only inevitable that he and Annie will end up together after Annie's initial sabotage of their relationship.
'Bridesmaids' probably has gotten more accolades than it deserves as it's one of the few films today that features an ensemble of women in comic roles. Unfortunately those roles are formulaic, as the passive-aggressive types proffered up here, could probably fit into any situation featuring contemporary mores. Occasionally there's a clever line or two but the humor quickly devolves into silly slapstick or outright crudity. Perhaps with some tighter editing, 'Bridesmaids' might have proved more palatable in the end.
Think of 'The Hangover', 'Due Date', 'Pineapple Express', etc. All
those movies feature guys as the main role. The girls in those movies
are usually either in the background or really uptight. So, I want to
thank Universal for making a comedy that has girls in the main role!
I thought 'Bridesmaids' was pure gold. It was absolutely hilarious! Mostly because of Kristen Wiig. I've been a huge fan of her for a couple of years now. I always thought her SNL skits were hilarious. Those only lasted about 3 minutes, while the movie lasted about 2 hours. She was beyond funny! I wished they would have showcased more of Maya Rudolph's funny side, and I wished they showed more of Jon Hamm, because he's, wellJon Hamm. Standout for me would have to be Melissa McCarthy. She didn't look her best, but was too damn funny! I can't really say anything without giving part of it away.
After reading a number of reviews, I see that "Bridesmaids" is a love/hate movie where people loved it or hated it, and all for pretty much the same exact reasons. I am of the latter group for those very same reasons expressed by others in the "hated it" category. I just don't see what was funny about the movie, or Kristen Wiig at that matter! It was much too long and the plot strewn out way too long with extremely poor character development. Wiig's character irritated me throughout the movie as her poor self esteem shtick lost its charm about 20 minutes in. My initial rating of this movie (a '6') came halfway through the movie, but every 15 minutes or so I was finding another reason to drop it down another point. By the time the movie was over, the resulting rating was a pathetic '3'. However, don't decide to see it based on my review because you'll either love it or hate it on your own. By the way, Melissa McCarthy was the funniest actress in the whole movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Absurd comedy. It is quite vulgar and Melissa McCarthy, who snagged a
best supporting actress nomination for parading around with her
heaviness was ridiculous at best.
The one clear light in this awful production was the performance of Kristin Wiig as the very frustrated Annie.
Defecating in the street while wearing a bridal gown is not funny to me at all. The plane scene was somewhat humorous. Annie had too many emotional hang-ups in the film.
Would you want any of these dames to serve as your bridesmaids? No way.
Shame that the late Jill Clayburgh had to end her career in such a hideous film.
I'm wondering how this film earned Academy Award nominations for best supporting actress (Melissa McCarthy) and Kristen Wiig for original screenplay. They didn't win the awards but I'm wondering how this film got nominations in the first place. Wiig wrote and played the main role of Annie, a failed baker, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her best friend played by Maya Rudolph is getting married and she's maid of honor too. The previews made the film look funny but it is actually sad and awkward at times. Annie feels and acts like a failure because she had low self esteem. McCarthy is always a hoot but I didn't understand her character as the groom's sister. Wiig is talented in her character's self- deprecating sense of humor. I just wished the film had more funny moments. This is first rate cast including the late great actress Jill Clayburgh as Annie's mother in probably one of her last film performances. The trip to Las Vegas was a total waste in actuality.
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