Bridesmaids (2011)

by George Watches Things

***

Melissa McCarthy was amazing. That’s one thing I came away from this movie thinking. She had both heart and humor, a hard combination to pull off now-a-days.

I was under the impression (from the trailer that heavily featured the airplane scene) that this would be a wild-weekend movie, in the vein of The Hangover, a movie I quite enjoyed. I don’t know if it would be better if it were, but I’m sure it would be a whole lot more connected. As it is, Bridesmaids feels a little like an episode of Mr. Bean; in the first half, he might be packing his suitcase, and in the second half on a plane, but the comedy in those scenes are about the jokes involving the scenes themselves. The movie had the tendency to get very involved in a line of moments meant to be funny within a scene, instead of focusing on characters.

McCarthy plays a supporting character here: Megan. She’s one dirty girl (you may or may not want to stay tuned after the film ends). Megan is Doug’s (actor irrelevant) sister. Doug is going to marry Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who has two people vying for her best-friendship: the struggling Annie (a wonderful turn by Kristen Wiig), the main character of Bridesmaids, and the spoiled Helen (the part performed tastefully by Rose Byrne). This competition reminded my of the second half of Season 4 of 30 Rock, in which Jack must choose between Nancy and Avery. Nancy connects him to his childhood and his hometown, while Avery is the business-savvy woman he would be if he were a woman and had her/his own show on one of the NBC cable channels. Lillian never makes the choice herself because the right answer is neatly presented to her by something called a heart.

But most of the characters were thoughtful enough. Annie was fully believable (thanks mostly to Wiig), but the movie didn’t rely only on her for the touching moments. (Despite an early scene, pictured below, Lillian really isn’t painted as someone who would mock the actions of the snobbish. That was sort of a problem for me.) We don’t really get to know any male characters other than Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd). There isn’t any explanation for where Annie’s father is. That was a nice touch. It sends the message that women don’t need men in their lives to “form them.”

This is a women’s movie. Don’t get that term confused with “chick-flick,” though. It’s made by women, with almost exclusively female characters, but can be enjoyed by all the different sexes. Going back to The Hangover, both of these movies are about the same thing: friendship. I recommend both.

Notes:

  • I even enjoyed the musical thing at the end, but only because of Wiig and Rudolph’s hilarious best friend moment
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper played interesting characters, although their involvement wasn’t really necessary
  • Bridesmaids is available now on iTunes
  • If you see and enjoy Bridesmaids, you might also enjoy Cedar Rapids and The Kids Are All Right
  • Next time: my review of Citizen Kane
  • Oh, also… I was right.
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