h1

Bridesmaids (2011)

June 6, 2011

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne
Director: Paul Feig (“The Office”, “Arrested Development”)

Quick Thoughts: It’s a shame people are mistaking Bridesmaids for a chick flick. Sure, the film has mostly female characters and the plot centers around a wedding, but this is a movie that continues the recent trend of really strong R-rated comedies, following in the footsteps of Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I Love You, Man. And perhaps it’s the best of the bunch.

Kristen Wiig displays an acting range I didn’t think she was capable of. Between her small film roles and her current run on “Saturday Night Live,” I was a fan of her work, but she seemed to be a one-trick pony, often playing her characters with a holier-than-thou attitude coupled with a mixture of craziness and ditz. She didn’t seem to have much depth past that, but as Annie, an overwhelmed and self-destructive Maid-Of-Honor in Bridesmaids she gives a genuinely touching and hilarious performance. Wiig really hits all the marks in this movie, as her character suffers through the pressure of trying to organize her best friend’s wedding while her own life crumbles around her. The rivalry between Annie and the bride’s new, extremely wealthy and resourceful friend Helen (Rose Byrne) creates most of the film’s tension and also a lot of its laughs, as Helen’s success often challenges Annie’s self-esteem, providing lots of awkward moments for Wiig to display her patented one-upmanship. A lot of comedies add some sort of contrived conflict that its characters must overcome just because they’re supposed to, but in Bridesmaids Annie truly bottoms out and Wiig really goes through quite the range of emotions. It’s an impressive performance. One that will surely get the Golden Globes’ attention. Wiig has been a slowly rising talent the past half decade or so, but this is a breakout film for her and legitimate stardom may actually be in her future.

Wiig is supported in Bridesmaids by a pretty funny female cast. Fellow “SNL” alum Maya Rudolph and Elle Kemper of “The Office” aren’t given a whole lot to work with, but have some funny moments. Rose Byrne as Helen is a suitable antagonist: she’s gorgeous, rich, and mostly ignorant of her pretentious and snobbish behavior, giving her such a sense of naivety that you almost feel bad for her when she discovers that she’s the film’s villain. Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Reno 911”) is hilarious in a small role as one of the bridesmaids, providing most of her humor by constantly ragging harshly on her children and her retched life as a mother.

Obviously, this is Wiig’s movie, but if she’s Batman, then Melissa McCarthy is a worthy Robin. She plays Megan, the bride’s sister and a member of the bridal party. McCarthy has found some success on the CBS show “Mike & Molly” this year, a series that plays largely on the plus size bodies of its two main characters. As Molly on that show, McCarthy’s performance is pretty subdued, but she’s let loose in Bridesmaids and she’s much funnier than I expected. Megan teeters on the edge of sheer silliness but McCarthy manages to bring some heart to the role and makes a character that easily could have been annoying very enjoyable. She’s consistently hilarious throughout the film.

Bridesmaids is everything you want out of a quality comedy. Strong, funny performances from the important actresses and a pretty incredible script from Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumolo. It’s a shame that The Hangover Part II is cruising past $200 million in domestic revenue while this film has roughly half that gross in twice as many weeks of release because Bridesmaids is not only a far superior film, it’s also much, much funnier.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: A must own comedy with tons of replay value.
Sequel Potential: These characters would be worth seeing again, but it’s usually a mistake to make sequels to this kind of film since continuing the story will usually be forced and unbelievable. However, the film has performed well enough to warrant a sequel, economically speaking.
Oscar Potential: Through the first quarter of the year, Wiig has given 2011’s best performance I’ve seen, but comedies are mostly ignored come Oscar time. The script might have a shot at a nomination though.
Nudity: The movie opens with a pretty gratuitous sex scene, but no nudity.
Grade: 8/10 (Excellent)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 88% Audience: 88%
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
Recommendation: At the time of publishing this, Bridesmaids is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. A very charming and funny comedy with breakout performances from Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: