Synopsis: A woman’s life unravels as she helps the bride, her lifelong friend, prepare for the wedding in Bridesmaids.
Release Date: May 13, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Bridesmaids is the new movie from “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kristen Wiig. In it, Wiig plays Annie, a woman with a failed business and a ruined relationship who has been asked to be the Maid of Honor in the wedding of her life-long best friend Lillian (SNLâs Maya Rudolph). By accepting Lillian’s request, Annie is also accepting the responsibility of planning all of the pre-wedding festivities with Lillian’s other Bridesmaids, all of whom are new friends of Lillian’s who Annie has never met. Annie gets along well with all of the ladies with the exception of the high class and beautiful Helen (Rose Byrne from Insidious), who claims to be Lillian’s new best friend. Much of the movie is centered round the jealous competition between Annie and Helen as they both try to outdo each other in every facet of the wedding preparation, from picking the dresses to planning the bachelorette party. The rivalry between the two women is where the meat of the story comes from. Throw in a romantic subplot for Annie and a lot of fun scenes with all of the girls together and you’ve got Bridesmaids.
The promotional campaign for Bridesmaids makes it look like a female version of The Hangover. While that may not be too far off the mark, it’s not entirely accurate either. Produced by Judd Apatow and written by Wiig and her Groundlings comedy troupe conspirator Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids tells the woman’s side of the wedding preparation story, and it does it hilariously. It’s got all the fun and laughs of The Hangover with more heart and less mystery. Yes, it’s a chick flick. But, it’s a chick flick that should appeal to the guys, too. It’s a comedy about a wedding, so, of course, there are tears, but even the most serious of scenes are broken up by snippets of laughter and amusement. This balance makes Bridesmaids a great choice for both the ladies and the gentlemen. It’s the perfect date movie.
It’s unusual to see a comedy film with acting that stands out, mainly because of the lack of seriousness of the material. What makes the acting in Bridesmaids different is the chemistry between the players. It’s most likely because of all of their years together on SNL, but the chemistry between Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph is amazing. These two women really seem to have grown up together like their characters have, and it makes them fun to watch. The entire ensemble of girls is great. Rose Byrne is the perfect girl-you-love-to-hate as Helen. Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”) turns in a side-splitting performance as the manly Megan. The bridal party is rounded out by Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Reno 911!”) and Ellie Kemper (“The Office”). All six women are great on their own, but when they share screen time they are especially entertaining. The interplay between all six women during the scene where they are trying on dresses while suffering from food poisoning is priceless. Even when the conversations involve only two or three of the girls at a time, like when they are in separate sections of the plane on a flight to Las Vegas, the interactions are funny and perfectly timed. Most of the actresses’ experience has been on ensemble television shows, and this experience is apparent in their performances.
Bridesmaids is a comedy with heart, but the emphasis is on the comedy. Even during serious and heartfelt conversations, the scenes are punctuated and peppered with hilarious one-liners and under-their-breath quips that keep the audience in stitches. There are also several scenes (like one where Annie and Helen are trying to get the attention of a police officer by breaking every traffic law they can think of) where the ladies cut loose and let their physical comedy chops shine. The film is not just female-oriented jokes, either. There are just as many low-brow poop jokes as there are intelligent gags, just as many big guffaws as little giggles. Bridesmaids mixes it all up into a film that anyone and everyone will find funny.