Film review – BRIDESMAIDS. From Built for Speed

Like weddings themselves, wedding movies are big business and the latest wedding-related flick Bridesmaids has already made a bundle in US.  The buzz preceding this film was that it took the wedding flick and gave it a raunchy makeover in the vein of The Hangover but this time with women acting disgracefully.  While the film has its gross-out moments it’s nowhere near as crass as The Hangover and is actually a wittier, more thoughtful and ultimately more satisfying movie.

Bridesmaids represents a collaboration between Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig who co-wrote and stars in the film, Judd Apatow (producer) and his former Freaks and Geeks buddy Director Paul Feig.  The film, though, belongs to Kristen Wiig who, like a ballsier Tina Fey, brings a mix of cynical wit, quirky self-deprecation and charm to her role as Annie the seriously disillusioned maid of honour to soon-to-be-married best friend Maya Rudolph.  Recently sacked from her job, living with two obese weirdos (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson) and enduring a strange relationship with a sexually perverted John Hamm, Annie is at an all-time low and her friend’s wedding is the only positive thing in her life.  Unfortunately, newcomer and rich uber-snob Helen played by the ubiquitous Rose Byrne has usurped the best friend role, taken charge of the wedding and left Annie out in the cold.

Despite some occasional lapses including a brief foray into soppy rom-com territory, Bridesmaids is genuinely funny for most of its running time.  This is thanks largely to Wiig and her gift for both verbal and physical comedy. Mike and Molly’s Melissa McCarthy is also a riot as the Zac Galiafinakis of the group; her suggestion of a theme for the bridal shower is a fall off your seat funny. There are, however, a few stereotypical characters in the bridal party who appear to have been modelled a little too closely on Kim Cattral and Kristin Davis from Sex and the city.

Like most films involving Apatow, this one has that odd, sometimes awkward mix of outrageousness and sensitivity.  Occasionally this leaves the audience unsure whether to laugh but at other times produces a terrific combination of hilarity and pathos; Annie’s freak out at a weird Paris-themed bridal shower is one of the funniest and saddest scenes in movies this year.

Bridesmaids is certainly not up there with the great cinema comedies such as Spinal Tap or the original Producers but it probably has more laughs than any other film so far in 2011.


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