Review: Bridesmaids

by Arianne Tong

This Judd Apatow produced movie is cringe inducing in the best possible way – a surprising feat for a movie with an all female cast. Bridesmaids, at the very least, demonstrates a refreshing shift to the female buddy comedy and, based on its success, there are sure to be more of its kind on the horizon.

Love never seemed to stick for Annie (Kristen Wiig). Personally and professionally, her life was characterized by a series of failed commitments; Annie’s meaningless affair with the insensitive, booty-calling Ted (Jon Hamm), and her out-of-business bakery indicate her inability to hold on to things of value, spare her life-long camaraderie with best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Annie seemed to have accepted a relatively static lifestyle, that is, until Lillian gets engaged, upsetting the constancy of her life and forcing her to come to terms with it. After all, there’s nothing like seeing your closest friend moving on in life to make you realize how little you are moving in your own. As Lillian’s maid of honour, Annie participates in all the usual pre-marriage rituals with an eclectic, oddball cast of bridesmaids, and manages to derail each event as a result of her jealousy over Lillian’s budding friendship with another bridesmaid, posh socialite Helen (Rose Byrne). Simultaneously, Annie juggles the challenges presented by her own romantic scenario with a charming, dry-witted officer (Chris O’Dowd).

The plot was unspectacular – there’s nothing new about the best friend getting married angle, and the problems Annie encounters do not demand a sense of urgency. There is no one clear goal for Annie’s character to develop towards; although there are a few threads – her romantic life, her friendship, and her career – they never fully evolve, and we are still left with questions in the end. How will Annie and Lillian’s friendship change after Lillian gets married? Does Annie ever pursue her passion and talent and re-open her business? The lack of clear focus in the plot is due to the fact that there’s too much at stake in Annie’s life, and it’s hard to resolve all that misfortune in a 125 minute movie. Nevertheless, the movie is grossly funny and entertaining, and I mean that in every sense of the word. These women are not afraid to upset the typical representation of the female, and they certainly do not behave “maidenly”.

The casting of Saturday Night Live’s Kirsten Wiig as lead actress did not disappoint, despite doubts that she could, in fact, carry a film. However, she had a great deal of comedic support coming from all ends. Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) was especially noteworthy for giving a believable character performance that, although utterly ridiculous, was crucial to the films success. Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd) proves to be a charming unconventional romantic interest, and his wry sense of humour contrasts well with the otherwise bawdy, physical humour of the film. Perhaps the only disappointing performance of the film was Wiig’s Saturday Night Live cast mate Maya Rudolph, who was hardly funny, and probably was not very well suited to the role of bride.

Bridesmaids is an entertaining female buddy comedy that, although it sometimes lacked focus, manages to seriously compete with other movies in this male dominated genre. Not quite a “chick-flick”, Bridesmaids is a very funny hybrid movie whose strong (predominantly female) casting is certainly capitalized. The film makes up for its weak plot in strong comedic performances by the entire cast, and is sure to entertain male and female audiences equally.

70/100 - Bridesmaids is an entertaining female buddy comedy that, although it sometimes lacked focus, manages to seriously compete with other movies in this male dominated genre.

Arianne Tong

I consider great film as visual poetry: a story told, not only by words and dialogue, but also through a deliberate and dynamic visual language. I appreciate all kinds of film, but take particular interest in dystopian visions, and science fiction narratives. I am always thrilled to see when directors can unconventionally and successfully communicate themes and abstractions through the physical form – that is what I consider to be the art of film.
  • JoseB

    Loved this movie. I thought this to be better than the Hangover because the characters seem more realized and grounded. What Wiig’s character went through is what a lot of people have gone through.
    Glad you liked it.

  • Christopher Misch

    I watched Priest instead of Bridesmaids last weekend

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