Bridesmaids (2011)


The only disappointing thing about Bridesmaids is that it has yet to result in a significant uptick of female-centric comedies. Yes, this only came out in 2011 so maybe I should give it more than three years, but with all the raving people did when this was released I expected more projects starring and written by women to be green-lit right away.

No offense to rom-coms that traditionally star some funny women, but what made Bridesmaids exceptional is that it reveled in so-called “guy humor.” I mean, one of the funniest scenes involves the cast puking and crapping in the street. Definitely not lady like, and certainly not a scene I could picture Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan in. But it works here because these ladies are never presented as sweet, eyelash batting waifs who are just looking for love. These are real– albeit exaggerated– people with flaws and insecurities. Their behavior may be atrocious at times, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’d all admit to doing something terrible to a friend at some point in our lives.

The sharp writing is great, but what really makes this movie is the cast. Kristin Wiig stars as Annie, a woman whose life is not going to plan. When her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), gets engaged, Annie tries to show her support but cracks under the pressure. Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey complete the bridal party. It’s wickedly fun to watch this group interact, even when they are fighting with each other. It’s also fun to note that McCarthy was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Bridesmaids. It was cool to see comedies get some recognition from The Academy.

Bridesmaids is by far one of my favorite comedies. It’s definitely one of the best from the past decade. Way better than The Hangover, Knocked Up, or The 40 Year Old Virgin. All great comedies, for sure, but they’ve got nothing on Wiig & Company.

Rating: A

Bridesmaids takes your typical ‘Bromance’ comedy like The Hangover and switches it up to great effect. It was quite a risk for Hollywood to make an adult comedy revolving around several female characters, and not males as these types of films generally do. I don’t understand why female driven comedies have such a stigma against them. Most of the movies that have failed in the past have not been because women were front and centre, it was because these films were not very good. It was a breath of fresh air to see a film dominated by females that is not just funny, it is hilarious.

Kristen Wiig stars as Annie, an out of work baker whose best friend since childhood, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), announces she is getting married and asks Annie to be her maid of honour. What follows is a story of Annie’s missteps as she tries to fit in with Lillian’s new well-to-do friend Helen (Rose Byrne), and her misadventures in love with her ‘sex buddy’ Ted (a delightfully douchey Jon Hamm) and a cop who has taken a shine to her (Chris O’Dowd).

This film surrounds itself with some of the best female comediennes around today. Wiig is brilliant as the failing at life Annie, who is extremely jealous of Lillian’s new relationship with Helen. The rest of the bridal party are all very funny in their own right. Ellie Kemper is a newly married sweetheart who honeymooned in Disneyland, she is taken under the wing of fellow bridesmaid, Rita (Wendy McLendon-Covey). Rita is a housewife upset with her own life, she has some of the best lines of the movie. Mostly when she is chastising the sons she can’t stand. If you get a chance, be sure to check out McLendon-Covey’s sitcom The Goldbergs. She is the highlight of that show as an 80s mother who loves her kids way more than they want her too. As a child of the 80s, I love the show and its very nostalgic feel. But I digress, all of these actresses excel in their role, but the standout by far is Melissa McCarthy, who stars as fellow bridesmaid Megan. She is the groom’s sister and steals nearly every scene she is in. I loved her character, this film put McCarthy on the map, eventually earning her an Oscar nomination. It was nice to see McCarthy doing something other than being involved in the countless fat jokes she is subjected to on her sitcom Mike and Molly. Rebel Wilson also has a small role in her American film debut as Kristen Wiig’s roommate. Her small cameo is very funny, you could see even from that little role that she was destined for greater things.

This whole cast has terrific chemistry. All of them have a moment to shine. It is always one of the pitfalls of having a large cast like this that one character could overshadow everyone else, but this script does a really good job of letting everyone have their time in the sun. This film is hilarious, and well worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Rating: A-

5 thoughts on “Bridesmaids (2011)

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