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Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy directed by Paul Feig that centers around one woman's struggle to be her best friend's maid of honor. When Annie's (Kristen Wiig) lifelong friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, she immediately accepts the offer. When she starts to meet the rest of the bridesmaids at the engagement party, however, Annie starts to realize that the path to Lillian's wedding might be a bit more interesting than she had originally imagined. Rounding out the bridal party are innocent newlywed Becca (Ellie Kemper), bitter mother Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Lillian's soon-to-be sister-in-law Megan (Melissa McCarthy) and Lillian's apparent new "best friend" Helen (Rose Byrne), who believes she should have been chosen as the maid of honor. The tension between Annie and Helen begins almost immediately and permeates throughout all of Annie's duties as the maid of honor. To add to the problems, Annie's personal life starts to spiral out of control. Her bakery went out of business, forcing her boyfriend to leave her. She offers herself physically to a man who doesn't reciprocate her deeper feelings. All of her problems make it all the more difficult for her to accept that Lillian is moving onto the next chapter of her life and just might be leaving her behind.

At first glance, I didn't think that Bridesmaids was going to be my type of movie. With a female-dominated cast that delves into much of the women's side of the wedding process, I wasn't quite sure whether there would be anything to which I could relate. However, when the film started to garner rave reviews from critics, I figured I'd give it a shot when I had the opportunity. That chance came today, and I can say that I was delightfully pleased with what was brought to the screen.

The story is a rather simple one, but there's something about the screenplay that just amps it up. We do get a bit of raunchy humor - that seems to be what sets Bridesmaids apart from other female-centric romantic comedies - mostly at the expense of Melissa McCarthy's character, and I think she's the one that drew me into the story the most. However, written within the raunch was a story with a lot of genuine laughs and definitely a lot of heart. There's definitely a very human element throughout the entirety of this film, and it all culminates in some of the final resolutions towards the end. I have to give screenwriters Annie Mumolo and Wiig herself a lot of credit for finding a perfect balance between all of those different facets of humor.

The cast is also superb and should definitely be applauded. I've been a Kristen Wiig fan for a while now, finding her quirky humor to be rather appealing and refreshing. She wrote her character's part exceptionally well and in a way that only she may have been able to pull off successfully. It's definitely Wiig's vehicle, and her presence is so strong that it's hard to deny the fact that she should now be considered a bona fide movie star. I'm also a bit of a Rose Byrne fan, and she does extremely well with her role as our main antagonist. From the first moment she appears on-screen, she oozes this personality that's so easy to hate, and that makes her all the more effective. The verbal sparring between Wiig and Byrne throughout the film is comic gold and should be viewed as such. I can't really say enough about the rest of the cast, especially the bridesmaids themselves. McCarthy brings the most outright laughter, but Kemper and McLendon-Covey definitely throw in a couple of brilliant one-liners as well. I'd also like to commend Chris O'Dowd, who works as the most prevalent male character in the film. In a movie dominated by women, he definitely holds his own.

At the end of the day, Bridesmaids may not be a movie that every guy is going to enjoy. Still, it definitely has quite a few parallels to "guy" films like 2009's The Hangover, and I personally found quite a bit to laugh at. If you're in the right mood, Bridesmaids can definitely be one of the betters comedies you've seen in a while, so I personally think you should give it a view if you've got the chance.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
1.5 Thumbs Up

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