Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy Bridesmaids: A bit befuddling

Bridesmaids: A bit befuddling

“Bridesmaids” is somewhat of a dichotomy in my humble opinion.  The movie is co-written and stars everybody’s new comedic genius, Kristen Wiig.  Wiig’s credited writing partner is Annie Mumolo, who has a cameo appearance as Wiig’s fellow airplane passenger (they both desperately need to find a 12-step program for aviatophobia – fear of flying).  The film is directed by TV veteran Paul Feig of “Freaks and Geeks” and “Arrested Development” fame.

The plot line is benignly straight forward:  Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and asks her childhood best friend, Annie (Wiig) to be her maid of honor.

As we meet Annie in the setup, we realize her bakery business has folded due to the struggling economy (as the movie progresses, one wonders if there were other reasons); she’s desperately lacking in the self-esteem department, as she’s basically a sex doll for a guy who literally kicks her out of bed after a tryst; she’s on the brink of financial disaster; and shares a house with two oddball British roommates that have no respect for her or her privacy.

Even though Annie’s life is literally falling apart, she agrees to be Lillian’s maid of honor.  To the chagrin of Annie, it seems Lillian has found a new “best friend” in bridesmaid Helen (Rode Byrne), who has married into a wealthy family, and her tastes are far more upscale than Annie’s meager budget can handle.  The rest of the movie revolves around Annie screwing up at every turn and after a plane ride that goes seriously awry, Annie’s booted as maid of honor, and Helen gladly steps in.

“Bridesmaids” has some very funny scenes.  The episode on the airplane is definitely a highlight as Annie’s fear of flying gets the best of her.  Wiig’s slapstick comedic chops are spot-on.  There’s a scene where Annie attempts to snag the attention of a police officer (who, at this point, wants nothing to do with her) by attempting some tactics that would land any of us in the pokey.  The relationship between Annie and her mother (the late Jill Clayburgh) is done very well, and Annie has quite an amusing scene with a rather large cookie (ironic, given she was once a baker).

One of the main issues with the movie is, well, Annie’s character.  Sure, she’s funny, kind of.  In my estimation, Wiig’s funniest scene is on the airplane, but she has to get bombed to really show her comedic potential?  Quite honestly, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, when Wiig isn’t wasted on an airplane, she’s just there, and her co-stars actually pick off the comedic elements like apples from a tree.  One bridesmaid in particular, Megan (Melissa McCarthy), steals each and every scene she’s in, leaving everybody else in the dust. Think Peter Griffin “Family Guy” with boobs.

Judd Aptow produced, and in Megan he let his signature foul mouthed, obnoxious, character lose with her cursing and just plain off the wall mannerisms.  In my estimation, Megan absolutely stood out as the character I wanted to follow, and not Annie.  As for the rest of the bridesmaids, they were shallow; almost cliché characters that really had no redeeming value whatsoever. 

Also, Annie is so self-absorbed in her own pity that she literally almost blows it with a male character that’s a great guy and obviously interested in her, and she blows him off like lint from a blouse.  She’s nothing but a bitch to customers at her job, which her mother set her up with.  Three quarters into the movie, I was thinking that this woman is totally and completely responsible for her own problems, and that, to me, is not what I want to see in character development.

This movie has been bantered about as “The Hangover” for women.  Not even close.  “The Hangover” is a nonlinear plot line, and its tempo chugged along like a locomotive.  Every scene in that movie has multiple gags going on and is humorous on some level.  “Bridesmaids” is linear as can be (not a bad thing), and is only comparable to “The Hangover” in that Aptow shoved in some pretty gross out material with chicks swearing like drunken sailors.  Other than that, it’s basically a chick flick with episodic scene structure:  Funny scene, mildly funny scene, serious scene, etc.

Also, I was amazed at how long some the scenes lasted.  Sure, the airplane scene was funny, and perhaps hilarious at points, but it’s like Aptow (if you saw “Funny People” you know what I’m talking about here) and Feig saw the comedic potential and ran a marathon with it.  The scene was so long and drawn out, it kind of lost its luster.  Many of the scenes in this movie have a similar problem with length and impact, which contributed to its bloated running time of over 2 hours.

Listen, I’m going to advise readers to go see “Bridesmaids.”  It’s got enough chops to make it a somewhat enjoyable viewing experience, but I’m not buying the hype of “this is the best comedy that will come out all year.”  Ladies and gentlemen “The Hangover Part 2” could possibly be the highest grossing comedy of all time, and if it’s not funnier than “Bridesmaids,” I’ll shut up, sit down, and let Annie shove a piece of wedding cake in my face.



1 thought on “Bridesmaids: A bit befuddling”

  1. Nice review…. although I really enjoyed this one! I found it to be way funnier than The Hangover (which I really liked), and I thought each and every scene was laugh-out-loud funny. I agree with a lot of what you said, but I guess it just made me laugh a lot more than you, haha. Although, I am a woman. >:)

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