Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bridesmaids review... girls just wanna have fun

I only posted the trailer a few weeks go.  I have been anxiously Tweeting away about it.  The ensemble cast is as different and as funny as they come.  So what movie has got me so hot and bothered?  Bridesmaids!  It stars Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (both SNL alumni) as best friends.  They have grown up together, been there for each other, and now Rudolph's character is getting married.  And of course, like any best friend should, she has asked Wiig's character to be her maid of honor.  The real comedy magic happens when Rudolph introduces Wiig to the rest of her bridal party.  I have a lot I liked about this movie, so let's begin!

What I liked about the film:
The Characters
I know this pretty much goes without saying; but the characters in the film are so funny, so unique, they're among the funniest I've seen in a long time.  Ironically, the last time I saw characters this unique; it was in the movie Bridesmaids keeps getting compared to, The Hangover.  There are five bridesmaids including Wiig.

Rose Byrne is the antagonist... according to Wiig's character.  She has formed a relationship with Rudolph that threatens Wiig's role in the bride's life.  She is everything Wiig is not, rich, has friends, connections, etc.  Byrne found a way to bring comedy to the role that could have otherwise been viewed as a villainous role.

I loved "Reno:911" when it was on Comedy Central, and one of my favorite characters on the show was played by Wendi McLendon-Covey.  In this film, she plays Rudolph's cousin and is the only bridesmaid with children.  She's a woman with a lot of marriage experience she shares with the other ladies; and she also has an urge for strip clubs.  Hillarious!

Ellie Kemper is one of my favorite characters on NBC's "The Office".  In this film, she plays a similar character in that she is sweet, innocent and a newlywed with very little sexual experience.  She forms a bond with McLendon-Covey's character and the two share a hilarious scene together!

And the award for scene-stealer goes to Melissa McCarthy who plays Rudolph's future sister-in-law.  The plus sized woman is electric in the role!  She's a lovable loser who happens to be confident with herself.  Her character definitely helps the movie earn its much deserved "R" rating.  McCarthy nailed it and will reap the same benefits as Zach Galifianakis did after The Hangover.  She's so good, I'm looking up her past roles to rent on redbox.

The movie was written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo.  It has a lot of heart.  I'm sure the real life friendship between Wiig and Rudolph only helped to authenticate their relationship on screen.  In Judd Apatow fashion (he is a producer on the film), you fall in love with the characters.  Most of the film is based in reality, which also helps us care for the characters.  This was great.

The Love Story
Believe it or not, this isn't like most "chick flicks".  Granted some of it is cliche and you can see certain plot points coming a mile away; but for the most part it is a grounded film.  Jon Hamm has a great little role in the film; he plays Wiig's screw buddy.  We see Wiig's character grow and evolve, eventually dumping Hamm for the other love interest in the film.  It is tastefully done and very well written.  I actually wanted to see Wiig end up with the good guy, something I usually don't care for in romantic comedies.

What I didn't like about the film:
Pacing / Run Time
I know this is something not a lot of people will concern themselves with, but I do.  The film goes from 100 miles per hour to 5 within a few minutes.  There are obviously fast paced scenes involving all the bridesmaids, but the character development material is exhausting.  Also the run time was a bit long.  I would have completely cut out some of the characters and sub-plots, like Wiig's roommates.  I understand what they were trying to do by having them in the film; but I believe it hurt the film more than it helped.  They were unique characters, but unfunny for the most part and made the movie drag a bit.The movie could have been tightened up and maybe even cut back a half hour or so.

The Repetitiveness
Sure, there are scenes where the repetitiveness is on purpose, but there were a lot of scenes in the movie where it didn't work in my opinion.  Or it was just too long a scene and it killed the joke.  Take the maid of honor speech at the engagement party for example; Wiig and Byrne compete for Rudolph's attention by fighting over the microphone confessing their love to her.  The joke works, but after 10 or so exchanges of the microphone, it becomes redundant and unfunny.  Unfortunately there are several examples of this in the film. 

The Verdict:
A much needed start to Summer 2011
I am so happy my Summer movie season is off to a good start.  I thoroughly enjoyed Thor last week and Bridesmaids was a treat for my wife and I.  I have to reiterate what a lot of people online are saying; hopefully this movie will help to generate a new breed of female driven comedies.  We need to laugh and cheer, not just fight super villains with our superhero friends.  It was a fun movie and hopefully the rest of the Summer goes as well as the last two weeks have, we'll look back at this post and see if it does!

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