Bridesmaids: It’s All About the Dress
My friend invited me to go and see Bridesmaids on Memorial Day, and I agreed. I previously have seen the trailer and read a few reviews. Other than that, I had no expectations for the movie because it was not one of my “must-see” movies. However, I am glad that I saw Bridesmaids, because it’s definitely worth seeing.
Before I move on to my commentary on the movie, I would like to say that this is not a chick-flick. From the marketing campaign and the trailer, I felt like Universal was trying to cater Bridesmaids as a comedy catered to women. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Paul Feig discusses the idea: “It’s a new genre that I like to call a ‘sismance’” (…) “I wish that it was a more elegant word. A ‘galmance’?” Funny enough, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph humorously offer their opinions at a different interview:
Maya Rudolph: I hope nobody calls Bridesmaids a ladymance.
Kristen Wiig: It’s better than womance. [Laughs] How about it’s just a comedy? We wanted to write a comedy.
Maya Rudolph: A comedy, with vaginas everywhere.
It is indeed a comedy with female main characters. However, one should not read into it and think of the movie as a comedy directed to females. On the contrary, when I saw Bridesmaids at the theater, the ratio of women to men was definitely equal.
Bridesmaids is definitely not feminine. It is vulgar, in your face, funny and at times touching. You -man or a woman- may find yourself actually relating to some moments in the movie. Jokes are carefully planned; they are not there to fill up the scenes with garbage. There is definitely that ease with swearing we also saw in 40 Year Old Virgin and subsequent Judd Appatow-produced and/or directed movies. However, that kind of talk seems natural in this movie and without it would be odd. Megan (Melissa McCarthy) and especially Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) have to be foul-mouthed because it fits their character.
Bridesmaids follows the story of Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig), who has to plan her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph)’s bridal shower as the maid-of-honor. However, as a single thirtysomething woman living in Milwaukee, Annie has no accomplishments. After her failed attempt at opening a bakery, she now works at a jewelry store struggling to sell engagement rings. She is having a sexual relationship with a megalomaniac named Ted (brilliantly played by Jon Hamm) but that is going nowhere. When she learns that her best friend is getting married and she must plan the bridal shower, Annie has a breakdown. One way or the other, she must come to terms with the reality of her life and try to improve it. While Annie struggles to be supportive of Lillian and form a healthy relationship with other bridesmaids, hilarious events ensue.
A few things I really liked about this movie:
- Kristen Wiig. We are very familiar with her characters on Satuday Night Live and her small roles in various comedy films, however, this movie confirms her as a “leading actress” type. Wiig is so genuine as Annie, so much so that I actually think similar things happened to her in real life.
- Rivalry between Annie and Rose Byrne’s character Helen. Byrne showed her versatility playing completely different characters in Damages and Get Him to the Greek. Bridesmaids adds another comedic role to her resume. Everyone knows a girl or a guy who is extremely irritating and you hate her/him with a passion. However, you put up with them because he/she is good friends with your close friend. Helen is that kind of a friend. She is not mean spirited though very much a control freak. You cringe and laugh while Annie and Helen plot moves at each other. I of course sympathized with Annie but still enjoyed Helen’s unbelievable attempts to become the maid of honor.
- One word: Puppies!
The success of and critical praise for the Bridesmaids show that comedy films with female main characters can work for audiences. To end, here is a photo of Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, planking in YouTube studios.
(courtesy of http://ijustine.com/paul-feig-planking/)