Comedic wedding disasters must already form a movie sub-sub-genre. We have enough of them, that’s for sure. Still smarting from You Again (the tail end of which I caught on TV), I wasn’t exactly psyched for this movie, but I felt low that day and thought a comedy would do the trick.
As the maid of honor, Annie (Kristen Wiig) strives to help her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) plan her upcoming wedding. However, things go awry when she faces competition in the form of another bridesmaid, the rich and fabulous Helen (Rose Byrne). Confronted with this challenge, Annie finds an unlikely confidant in Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd). But as abysmally bad luck continues to shower her life, she comes dangerously close to ruining both her life and her best friend’s wedding.
No regular moviegoer is a stranger to female leads with messed up lives, but Annie takes the cake for this award. Raised by a non-alcoholic mother who attends AA meetings, she goes through life encountering people who do not get much farther towards the spectrum of what’s considered normal. Lillian’s bridesmaids are prime examples. They seem so ridiculously unreal that, in the strange way of movies, they appear all the more alive onscreen. Individual Bridesmaids posters show the five women sporting nifty labels like “Little Miss Perfect,” but those who have watched the film know better than to confine them to such descriptions. Everyone is extreme, and that’s exactly what this movie has going for it. Aware of what’s already out there, Bridesmaids makes no attempt to veer clear of formulas and instead jumps straight to the stereotypes, taking them to levels we’ve never seen before. Familiar scenes like catfights and falling-outs take on an entirely new dimension here, aided by the occasional slow-motion effect and cynical dialogue.
Bridesmaids is also incredibly gross, something you never expect from an all-female comedy, even an R-rated one. No lighthearted melodrama here—in this movie, life is one tough bitch. “Fuck” is thrown around as the new “OMG,” and women lose their sanity in more literal ways than what we’re used to. “Wasn’t it my turn to be crazy?” Lillian asks. “You kind of stole all the crazy.” Fresh, inventive, and absurdly funny, Bridesmaids owes its success to a spectacular cast and a daring script. I was feeling sad when I started this movie, but damn, I laughed and laughed.
‘I’m life, Annie, and I’m biting you in the ass!’
‘You’re your problem, Annie, and you’re your solution.’