Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bridesmaids Review

I just saw Bridesmaid and it makes me say something that I don't think I'll ever say again. This is a chick flick that made me sick and laugh loudly at the same time. More on that later. Writer-star Kristen Wiig may say her film is not a chick flick (Entertainment Weekly, 5-13-11, pg. 32) but it is. And it's also a romantic comedy whose standard formula is the backbone for Wiig's character's love interests.

Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live) plays Annie, a broke and depressed woman. She's best friends with Lillian (May Rudolph, also a former SNL cast member) who has been her friend since childhood. Annie's love life consists of being a sex partner for the cold and rich Ted. (Jon Hamm) Annie's life is sent spinning when Lillian tells her she's going to marry Doug. Lillian asks Annie, Doug's rich boss's wife, Helen (Rose Byrne) , Doug's sister Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Becca (Ellie Kemper) and Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) to be her bridesmaids.

Helen who's rich, beautiful and seemingly perfect vies for Lillian's affections as best friend. This leads Annie to compete even though she has no money and goes overboard in trying to top Helen's plans for the wedding festivities. In the meantime, Annie gets pulled over by a charming Irish cop, Rhodes. (Chris O' Dowd) Their meeting leads to a relationship.

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have crafted a script that captures a woman's emotions. Annie is a three dimensional character. She has bouts of jealousy over Lillian's marriage, Helen's perfect life and Becca's happiness with her own man. Annie has feelings of sadness over the failure of her business and unhappy personal life. While the romantic comedy aspects of the movie are very conventional. Woman is in a loveless relationship. Woman meets Prince Charming. Something separates the two true loves. There are other parts which are fresh. Wiig and Mumolo also create the conflict within Annie's self imposed prison of depression. No black and white villains. Annie, Lillian and Helen are flesh and blood. Each has their own problems.

What makes this comedy funny is that ability of the cast to humiliate themselves for laughs. Director Paul Feig also knows how to stage a comic sequence with a good eye for sight gags. But the scene that made me sick and laugh at the same time deals with Annie taking Lillian and the bridesmaids to a cheap Brazilian restaurant. Later they go to an upscale dressmaker to shop for wedding and bridesmaids' dresses. Harmless enough, right? No. You see the ladies got food poisoning from the restaurant. And the rest is movie history.

Two performances stand out. Kristen Wiig is fantastic as the depressed Annie. Her face shows depression, jealously, sadness and her comic talents rivals Carol Burnett. Melissa McCarthy as Megan steals every scene she's in. She's a hoot as Lillian's crazy sister in law. And this movie is a fond farewell to the late Jill Clayburgh who plays Annie's mother.

Bridesmaids is a funny romantic comedy. It's also the most vulgar chick flick ever made. The grade is A.

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