Thursday, June 2, 2011

Movie Review: Bridesmaids

After the semi-disappoint that was The Hangover: Part 2, I went to catch Bridesmaids, and as the credits rolled, I realized it should've never been my second choice this last weekend.

Here's a quick plot summary: Annie (Kristen Wiig) doesn't really have much going for her. She works at a jewelry store just to make ends meet after her bakery business failed, her love life is far from enviable, and her living situation is laughable (no pun intended, really). But she does have her life-long best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who chooses Annie as her maid of honor for her upcoming wedding. The movie jumps off at that point, as the dynamics of the bridal party, tied in with how it affects Annie's life and her relationships, are hilarious.

First thing's first, this movie is Kristen Wiig's official coming out party as a comedic star. I know she has been prominent on SNL for some time now, as well as landing some notable lesser roles in big time comedy flicks (especially Knocked Up), but this is the first time she had the burden of a whole film on her shoulders, and she performed wonderfully. She is really great at the whole "awkward-funny" thing...kind of like a grown-up, female version of Michael Cera.

Of the bridal party, all the actresses were adept, but Melissa McCarthy, as the role of Megan, gave what could be the best supporting role in a comedy we see this year. She was given a great character and ran with it. Absolutely hilarious. Hopefully she appears in more roles like this one in the near future. Other supporting characters of note would be the cop (Annie's love interest) and her roommates. Both of these provide funny side stories to give the viewer a break from the wedding/bridesmaids angle.

Beside being incredibly funny, as with most Judd Apatow films (he produced), there are lessons to be learned beneath the surface of the laughs. The film does a great job of portraying how life-long relationships change when one person in the equation feels they are being replaced. Naturally, this is a source for a lot of the big comedic set pieces, especially as the competition between Annie and the "new best friend", Helen (Rose Byrne), heats up. Some truly ridiculous moments occur between these two, but oddly, it all feels kind of real.

My biggest gripe with this film is the running time: 125 minutes! But I guess that is what we should expect from any movie Apatow is attached to. Fortunately, there didn't really seem to be too much fluff. All the time was utilized well, except for three scenes which I thought could be chopped by a few minutes, but nothing that would drastically reduce the overall run time. Personally, no matter how good a comedy is, I think 105 minutes should be a filmmakers cutoff.

Overall, I highly recommended this movie. For current comedies, this is definitely the superior choice when compared to The Hangover: Part 2. Also, any preconceived notion that this movie is a "chick flick" due to it's predominantly female case, forget it. It's as raunchy and vulgar as just about any other comedy in recent years. Sure, there are certain moments/conversations in the film that will resonate more deeply with female viewers, but they are still funny to everyone. I won't be surprised if Bridesmaids is the best comedy I see this year.

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