I have never been a bridesmaid. Probably not shocking based on my gender, appearance, and lack of ovaries. I have, however, been in many wedding parties. Not only that, but I’ve been the best man in at least six weddings (the last being that of Joseph “Mumbles” Wilhelm). Why you ask? Because I am literally the best man there is…for the job. And even then I still, always, screw up some aspect of my responsibilities. Now, imagine you put an insecure, self absorbed, lady-child in charge of everything. Would anything go right?
Director Paul Feig, whose directing pedigree covers some of the greatest television shows of the past ten years (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and The Office to name a few), brings his vision to the big screen with Bridesmaids. The story follows two best friends whose relationship is tested by the rigor that comes with throwing together the many offshoot parties and events involved with a wedding.
Bridesmaids manages to get right everything that Kristen Wiig’s character Annie gets wrong. All of her mishaps and general goofery, take the audience down a hilarious path that shows the perfect marriage of blissfully wedded nightmares. Anything that could go wrong when planning and executing a wedding goes wrong. Even something as simple as being fitted for a dress goes horribly awry. Writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo go to great pains to insert chaos into aspects of wedding planning that would typically be stress free events. This helps to separate the film from the wide array of movies that tackle the topic each and every year, with much less success.
Wiig, who has typically been relegated to supporting status, with some great turns in films like Adventureland, Ghost Town, and Whip It, is front and center in the film this go round. Proving that she is ready to make the leap, Wiig nails the role of Annie the failed bake shop owner and all around “hot mess”. Her comedic timing is practical and precise, but she also shows range in some of the more somber and heartfelt moments.
The other bridesmaids, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, and Ellie Kemper are all amazing, for the varying times in which they appear on screen. Some get more screen time than others, proving not all bridesmaids are created equally, which is actually part of the theme in the film. If one were to measure the performances based on memorable moments alone, Melissa McCarthy is the standout supporting actor. If we are to go by the true merit of acting range and performance, then Rose Byrne is the clear standout. Either way, both are worth watching.
My one major gripe, and it’s really not that major, is I wish they had given the men more to do. Chris O’Dowd is an amazing, off the wall comedic actor, who, essentially, played it straight most of the film. Jon Hamm, who is a talented and versatile actor, played the brain dead beefcake. Every other man was a set piece or fabled figure left to the audiences imagination. While the ladies are obviously the focus of the film, it would have been nice to strike a balance that shows the relationships that drive the women to do what they do.
Bridesmaids tosses a bouquet of funny and garter of affectionate association. Wiig and company bring the funny, together as an ensemble, but individually as well. The story is fairly commonplace, but how it unfolds is what hooks the viewer. A fun movie going experience that lets us voyeuristically enjoy the worst of moments embedded in the best of times.
Posted on May 19, 2011, in Film Review and tagged Bridesmaids, Chris O'Dowd, Ellie Kemper, Jon Hamm, kristen wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.