Published on July 28th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie1
Bridesmaids Film Review: A Movie That Justifies Its Hype
Director: Paul Feig.
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd and Melissa McCarthy.
Bridesmaids is a highly entertaining film that is peppered with comical incidents, providing a very enjoyable cinematic experience.
The movie centres on Annie, a thirty-something year old former cake shop owner, who is undergoing a difficult period in her life. Her best friend, Lillian, is now getting married while she is seeing a particularly unsavoury character. In addition, she can barely afford to pay the rent while working at a job that she clearly loathes.
Not at her confident best, Annie’s insecurities come to the surface when a rather false acquaintance of Lillian appears to threaten her relationship with her best-friend.
‘Megan is a powerhouse of energy and likeable rudeness.’
Kristen Wiig as Annie, is irrefutably the star of the film. As the co-writer she knows Annie inside-out and this shows. Annie’s paranoia and insecurities propel the film as she undergoes the mental transition from an overgrown adolescent to a mature adult.
Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Megan is rich in comedy and humour. Megan is a powerhouse of energy and likeable rudeness. Always saying what is on her mind, Megan seems to exist in a different Universe to our own.
Nevertheless, McCarthy’s performance is not quite in the same league as Wiig’s. Her character is also not as prevalent as the film’s trailer would have you believe either. Some scenes from the trailer are quite misleading and don’t appear in the film. Although it must be conceded that the final scenes that make the cut are a much better choice.
‘Lillian acts as the viewer’s surrogate of normality in a world full of zany characters.’
Two other characters, who provide a rich contrast to one another are the ultra-cynical Rita, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey, and the extremely naive and innocent, Becca, portrayed by Ellie Kemper. Both of these characters contribute handsomely to some highly memorable scenes.
The voice of sanity and reason throughout the film comes from Annie’s best friend and the bride of the film, Lillian. Much wiser and pragmatic than Annie as well as emotionally stronger, Lillian acts as the viewer’s surrogate of normality in a world full of zany characters. Maya Rudolph, as Lillian, does an excellent job of grounding Bridesmaids.
‘Two characters which jar with the film are Annie’s two extremely weird housemates’
Annie’s mother, played by the late Jill Clayburgh, provides both comedy and insight into Annie. Slightly dysfunctional and somewhat naive, she is often forceful towards Annie which is not always in the best interest of her daughter.
Two characters which jar with the film are Annie’s two extremely weird housemates, Gil (Matt Lucus) and Brynn (Rebel Wilson). Brother and sister, the duo are just too odd and stupid to be real people. If there was not the already zany mother and Megan present in the film then Gil and Brynn would work perfectly well. Nevertheless, as the film stands they are just two-too many and this upsets the balance.
Another of the standout performers is Rose Byrne as the false, smarmy wedding planner who tries to ingratiate herself with Lillian. Excelling at playing the painful fake, Helen, provides a worthy adversary to Annie and much of the film’s comedy is derived from tension between the two.
If Bridesmaids makes an indelible impression on the viewer it will be due to some remarkably funny scenes and a varied palette of differing humours. From gross-out comedy, to cringe-humour and one-man, or in this case, one-woman up-man-ship, Bridesmaids delivers on many different fronts.
Some scenes will be permanently etched into memory. The choice picks amongst these are Annie musically challenging the wedding planner, Helen, to who is the better friend and the superb encounter between the over-medicated and drunk, Annie, and the passengers on a plane.
‘Women have reclaimed the comedy genre and now the bar is raised higher, a lot higher.’
However, Wiig and the director have made sure to avoid relying on the comedic scenes to the detriment of the story. Bridesmaids has a strong and well-thought-out plot underpinning the entire film. At its core, it is about three things, friendship, adulthood and happiness.
These are themes that we are all too-familiar with it, without the humour, Bridesmaids would be a pretty uneventful film, but the same could be true of the opposite. The movie’s ultimate achievement is how it blends the two together creating something that is both entertaining and clothed in substance. Women have reclaimed the comedy genre and now the bar is raised higher, a lot higher.