MOVIES: Bridesmaids

Thoughts on Film
Movie Review

At its core, BRIDESMAIDS is the story of one woman trying to pick herself up from the bottom. Annie, played brilliantly by Kristen Wiig, is feeling the pinch of life. She has a job she hates, unbearable roommates, a busted-down car and the bakery she co-owned with her ex-boyfriend stands as a monument to her failures. Her one bright spot is the relationship she shares with her best friend, Lillian, (Maya Rudolph), who has asked her to be Maid of Honor in her upcoming wedding. However, their lifelong friendship is threatened by Helen, (Rose Byrne), a beautiful socialite looking to usurp Annie’s title as “best friend.”

Annie is also struggling to find her way romantically, but is stuck in a perpetual booty-call rut with a pretty face and no personality. That is until she’s pulled over by state patrolman Rhodes, (Chris O’Dowd) for driving erratically with no tail-lights. She sob-stories her way out of a ticket and the seed is sown.

Whenever I try to find an adjective for their relationship, the word I keep coming back to is charming. Wiig and O’Dowd are very charming, and not “gorgeous” by Hollywood standards, but their banter is playful and believable which is something that is usually absent from romantic-comedies.

Kristen Wiig

Director Paul Feig does a good job of intertwining the budding romance with the rivalry of Annie and Helen. There’s a nice balance and though we can see Annie’s breakdown coming, it’s earned, and as far as meltdowns go, the bridal shower scene is one of my all-time favorites.

I did have some problems with the film though. It’s a perfect example of what is wrong with Hollywood. I imagine the original script was charming, peppered with clever dialogue and heartfelt moments, propelled by strong female characters. Somewhere along the way, the marketing geniuses decided it just wasn’t broad enough, so they dropped in a gratuitous scene of full-contact puking and shitting-in-the street jokes, as well as some secondary characters who say off-the-wall and outrageous things. This is surely meant to draw in a more masculine audience. The sad thing is that none of those things are needed.

The story is good on its own. The main characters are fully recognized and acted superbly by Wiig, Rudolph, Byrne and O’Dowd.

I’ve seen BRIDESMAIDS touted as “THE HANGOVER with chicks”, but it’s not, and really, it doesn’t need to be, because it’s good on its own merits. It’s a film about a woman struggling to overcome the same speed-bumps in life that everyone endures while still trying to maintain the relationships that make her life worthwhile.


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