It’s become apparent that any film boasting an R-rating in the comedy vein is actually compared to The Hangover. The recent film Bridesmaids is being labeled “the female Hangover” which is incredibly disappointing as aside from the rating there’s no comparison between the two. For one thing Bridesmaids is a darker, more touching tale that focuses on the craziness of women around weddings. Bridesmaids is hilarious but knows when to take time and focus on the phenomenal group of ladies assembled making it one of the surprise comedies of the year!
Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) have been best friends since childhood, so naturally when Lillian gets engaged she asks Annie to be her maid of honor. Along with the other bridesmaids including the beautiful and scheming Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie tries her hardest to give Lillian what she wants. As the friendship starts to fray Annie tries to get her own life on track while falling for a loveable police officer (Chris O’Dowd).
Bridesmaids is hilarious from beginning to end! I’m naturally wary of female comedies especially in this day and age where the women have little depth but here Bridesmaids shows women as they are. Yes the laughs are consistently hilarious and they benefit from their R-rating but the script, co-written by Annie Mumolo and Wiig, is superb. The women all have intricate back stories and they aren’t obsessed with relationships or backstabbing. The movie takes a dark turn at the midway point when Annie starts to lose her way and it was refreshing to have characters tell her to stop whining and change her life! Annie is a character that, despite how fun she is, has a tendency to feel sorry for herself. This is something that could have been ignored but here everyone confronting her causes her to grow and change. All of these women, even the villainous Helen, have reasons for their actions. Other than the laughs are not given away in the trailer, in fact most of the trailers show scenes that aren’t in the finished film which makes you go in fresh no matter what. This is a fantastic female-centric movie that even men will want to see since the humor is universal.
The cast is what makes this movie such a treat. It’s great that Wiig and Rudolph have been able to move beyond their Saturday Night Live roots and Wiig is one to keep watching. Her character is a genuine everywoman that all women will be able to relate to. She doesn’t try to be someone she’s not and she looks like a normal woman, no airbrushing or anything here! Rudolph takes a backseat and looks visibly pregnant but it’s always great to see her drop F-bombs and sing Wilson Phillips. Byrne continues to be hilarious in R-rated comedies, here playing the friend that tries way too hard to keep friends even if that means buying tickets to Paris. She could have been a cliché character but she has a genuine motive for her actions. Melissa McCarthy steals every scene as the groom’s sister Megan. O’Dowd is truly loveable as the police officer that tries to get Annie to fall for him. Other great casting choices include Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson as disturbing British roommates of Annie’s, and Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey as the other two bridesmaids.
The only flaws I had with this film are in some of the casting. It’s a little sad that Kemper and Covey are pretty much cast to the side by the film’s conclusion, making them feel like window dressing. It’s also apparent that Jon Hamm is trying way too hard to fit into every genre as he plays Annie’s jerky friend with benefits. It’s incredibly unbelievable to see Hamm play a sex-obsessed jerk considering how hard he tries to make his lines sound funny. It just seemed like a cheap cameo.
Aside from a bizarre appearance from Hamm there is little to nothing wrong with Bridesmaids. It’s an intelligent, gut-busting comedy that shows women for who they are! It’s also got career making performances from Wiig and O’Dowd making it one to see this weekend!