If you dismiss Bridesmaids as an estrogen laden raunch fest, you’d be selling it short. Not only is the film wickedly funny, but it has a surprising amount of heart to boot. How refreshing to see a talented ensemble of women deliver the goods on every level.
Kristen Wiig really gets to strut her stuff as Annie, an adorable underachiever who just can’t catch a break since she lost her bakery during the recession. She occasionally beds down with a handsome prick (John Hamm) who kicks her out of the sack the minute he has done the dirty deed. A real charmer, there. Adding to her misery is her boring job selling jewelry.
When Annie’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) becomes engaged, she asks Annie to be her maid of honor. However, their friendship is tested when Lillian’s new (and obscenely wealthy) friend Helen (Rose Byrne) starts honing in on the wedding planning.
A jealous rivalry begins escalating between the two as the events leading up to the wedding unfold. Poor Annie is roped into buying an expensive designer bridesmaid dress she can’t afford and is subjected to the most over-the-top bridal shower ever.
Despite her best intentions, Annie manages to ruin almost every event. Not only is her friendship with Lillian on the rocks, but Helen is slowly taking her place as Lillian’s best friend. It’s a relatable scenario. I think all women have mixed emotions when one of their friends gets engaged. After all, it’s inevitable that the relationship will change forever.
Wiig deftly conveys the insecurity and jealousies that anyone in her position would have. She’s losing her best friend twice-once to a husband, and again to her impossibly perfect nemesis, Helen. It lends real heart to the film, and separates it from the usual pack of rom-coms and and slapstick comedies that come out every year. Wiig co-wrote the film with Annie Mumulo, a member of the comedy troupe The Groundlings. No doubt this is why the film feels so authentic and rings so true when it comes to relationships.
There’s not a bad performance in the film. The women have a light, easy, and believable rapport that never feels forced. There’s been a lot of buzz building around Melissa McCarthy, and it is absolutely warranted. McCarthy steals every scene she is in. It would be very easy for her character to just be a punchline due to her weight, but McCarthy adds an emotional element to the character that you usually don’t see.
Wendi McLendon-Covey is also a standout as shrill, harried housewife who is stuck at home with three boys. Rose Byrne has emerged as quite a versatile actor. She was great in Get Him to the Greek, yet she tackles dark roles (Damages, Insidious) just as well.
Chris O’Dowd plays a cute, charming police officer who wants to treat Annie the way every woman dreams about, so naturally she pushes him as far away as possible. That’s what women do.
I think most of us can see a little bit of ourselves in the characters. Bridesmaids is simply a ton of fun, and my stomach literally hurt the next day from laughing so hard. Screw the cosmo guzzling gals from the city, I’ll take this crew any day.