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Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids: Smart Comedy That Won’t Just Appeal To Women

  • Chris O'DowdEllie Kemper...
  • Comedy
  • Paul Feig
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Bridesmaids: Smart Comedy That Won’t Just Appeal To Women
This is a story about two
lifelong best friends Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Rudolph) whose lives are diverging wildly. Annie is broke, miserable
and single while Lillian is happily engaged. Lillian chooses Annie to be her
maid of honour, which is fine until she meets Helen (Byrne), a bridesmaid who is
everything that Annie isn’t. She’s rich, married and glamorous; and she seems to have her
whole life under control.

Calling this a straight comedy
is kind of misleading. Bridesmaids is
wickedly funny but at its heart it’s about how Annie hits rock bottom then
proceeds to pick herself up again. You’ll laugh a lot, but you’ll also cry,
cringe and occasionally scream at the characters. It’s about a woman that hates herself so
much and who is completely lacking in self-esteem to the point that she puts up
with a man who has no respect for her and routinely kicks her out of bed.

The
only person that Annie can rely on is her best friend Lillian and that relationship
becomes increasingly strained during the wedding planning due to a class clash
in the form of that certain bridesmaid called Helen. These crazies provide the
kind of laughs that shake up your entire body especially when they’re flying to
Vegas and Annie gets high on pills and liquor. This also happens to be the best
use of a Britney Spears song in a movie ever. In fact, the whole soundtrack is
pretty awesome and includes everyone from Fiona Apple to Hole to Blondie.

The refreshing thing about
this film is that it almost completely focuses on the women. For a change,
it’s the men that are defined by their relationships with the women instead of the
other way round. This doesn’t mean that all the women are three dimensional
characters, though; in fact quite a few are walking stereotypes. The two men in Annie’s
life are basically used as shorthand for her relationship with herself. When
she’s at her most self-loathing, she hooks up with Ted (Hamm), and when she
feels better about herself, she hangs out with Rhodes (O’Dowd).

This isn’t like
most wedding-centric chick flicks that showcase demented bridezillas. Lillian’s
wedding isn’t the reason behind Annie, Lillian and Helen’s problems, but it is
the catalyst.The film doesn’t deal with their problems simplistically, and this allows the viewer to see the women as something more than shallow stereotypes.

Rudolph’s Lillian is
absolutely brilliant. She’s torn between two worlds; the solidly working class
one that she grew up in and the upper class world that she’s marrying into. She
shows just how difficult it can be to navigate both without losing your friends
and, more importantly, losing yourself. Wiig’s Annie is hilarious, desperate
and completely messed up. You find yourself alternately wanting to cuddle her
then yell at her, which makes the part where one of her friends finally slaps
some sense into her hugely cathartic. While both Wiig and Rudolph are known for
their comedic talents, they fully establish themselves here as nuanced
actresses; and watching their friendship fall apart on screen is rather
heartbreaking.

Bridesmaids is a smart comedy for
adults. It’s as touching as it is funny, and will appeal to both male and female
audiences. It’s right up there with the best of the comedy hits that we’ve seen
in the last few years.

Like This? Try

The House Bunny, Superbad, The Hangover

360 Tip

Wiig and Rudolph used to work on Saturday Night Live together.

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