“Bridesmaids” Movie Review

     In true “Hang Over”, “40 Year Old Virgin”, and “Wedding Crashers” fashion, “Bridesmaids” comes along to let the girls have some raunchy fun too.  In mentioning those other films, which were centered on an all male cast, the roles are simply flipped and we have an R-rated comedy about the female side of things.  Does this obvious adjustment work for this, yet another Judd Apatow produced summer gross out comedy?  From a character and screenwriting standpoint, Bridesmaids not only comes through, but does so with a brand of physical comedy not typically seen by their male counterparts.  In fact, its really not the gross out gags that made laugh the most, it was the Jim Carrey like physical comedy pulled off by certain members of the cast along with hilarious dialogue that really got the crowd roaring.

     Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a semi depressed loser of a thirty something woman.  The initial scenes do everything they can to first convey this point.  She is single and dates womanizers who won’t allow her to stay the night after they are through using her.  Her small business recently went under because of the recession she says.  She shares a small apartment with two odd ball English people who must be seen to be believed.  She now works at a low rent jewelry store making $350 a week doing a job her mother got for her.  To top it all off, her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) has found the man of her dreams and is getting married.  Of course, guess who now has the extra added stress of being the Maid of Honor!

     And what a stress it turns out to be as it is the fundamental source of each of the film’s comic set pieces.  To say the least, Annie struggles with her new responsibility.  Making matters worse is her competition for the job.  Annie and Lillian have been life long friends, but Helen (Rosie Byrne) is looking to step in.  Some of the funniest and most memorable scenes in the film center around the one upping Helen engages in as she tries to take over the Maid of Honor spot.  While I won’t go into any of them here, I will say there are enough of these scenes to keep you laughing for the entire film.  One of the things I’ve said in reviews of the past is the problem with showing all of the funniest parts of a comedy in the film’s trailer.  That is simply not the case here.  Bridesmaids runs for what would normally be an overlong 2 hours 5 minutes, yet it is consistently funny from the very first scene to the very last.

     I could’ve done without the gross out gags in the film, as they have already been overdone by the guys!  Here I thought women were supposed to be smarter, but they still felt the need to include the standard feces related jokes made possible by a bout of food poisoning at a Brazilian Steakhouse.  If you’ve seen the trailer than you know they already gave this scene away and I’ll tell you, it turns out to be the weakest scene in the film simply because its been run into the ground so many times before (Jeff Daniels in “Dumb and Dumber” 1994!).  Fortunately, the smarts of the female species prevails and the film moves on quickly to endless witty exchanges between a very oddball group of women.

     Though this film, penned by Wiig herself, has the DNA of an SNL sketch written all over it, I found the various set pieces meshed together well.  There is an on going romance brewing with the town’s local cop that keeps Annie busy between each wedding related event.  There is also Megan.  Played to scene stealing effect by Melissa McCarthy (the TV Show “Mike and Molly”), Megan is introduced early and has a tremendous comic impact in every scene she is in.  Her and Wiig would have made a great comic duo in and of themselves, but that is take nothing away from the excellent all around cast supporting them in this film.  There is just too much to go into here as the film is rich in comic gold everywhere you turn.

     To ordain Bridesmaids as the funniest film of the year would be a bit premature and when I compare it to the best comedies of the last few years or even the last decade, I feel as though I have to take it down a slight notch just because of the originality factor.  We’ve seen much of this before with male characters, but seeing women do the same confirms what many men already know.  Women are just as nasty when amongst themselves and being a “woman” as a standard apparently goes out the window when they are alone together.  For this reason, guys should not shy away from seeing Bridesmaids as it is not a “chick flick”.  It’s every guy’s favorite film done up as a female coming out party.  I only ask, what took so long?  GRADE: B+