So here’s a late review to a movie that’s enjoying a slow but steady burn at the box office, and a nice buzz as well, Bridesmaids. Starring Kristen Wiig, this movie employs an extraordinary comedic cast in a script that writes circles around similar movies.
Let’s get this out of the way: yes, this movie is kind of like The Hangover for women. That’s the log line. That’s how you can begin to appraise it. And in every single possible way, it is better than The Hangover. Everything that’s funny in The Hangover is in Bridesmaids, except for the douchey stuff. There’s still grossout comedy, there’s still ridiculous stunts and hilarious characters. It’s just not trying so hard to be cool. They even almost go to Vegas halfway through the movie but stop when everyone gets really wasted on the plane and force a landing (yes, this movie is that cool). But the focus isn’t on “dude, we got wasted and did craaaazy stuff last night”; instead, Bridesmaids gives us a lot of three dimensional characters we start to care about instead of just three “pretty craaaazy” bros.
Beyond just the difference in quality, there’s an increase in quantity as well. Bridesmaids is showcasing a lot of up-and-coming talent. First, Kristen Wiig is finally given a starring role, and if there is one person on SNL who deserves it (besides Bill Hader) it’s her. She plays a full range of convincingly depressing and off-the-wall funny in the film, best exemplified by a laugh that lasts just a little too long- and then goes on for a few more seconds. Fans of The Office will recognize Ellie Kemper in another mild-mannered role- albeit less crazy. She’s not the only person from The Office involved in the film either: director Paul Feig has directed multiple episodes of the show, as well as several episodes of Arrested Development, the “Cleveland” episode of 30 Rock, and various episodes of several other comedies, as well as bit roles in about a million (don’t quote me on that number) other Judd Apatow movies.
Equally impressive are the resumes of the British Islanders in the film (yes, there are a weird amount of Europeans living in Wisconsin apparently). Matt Lucas, of Little Britain fame, contributes a weird bit role as Kristen’s roommate. More importantly, Chris O’Dowd from The IT Crowd stars as Kristen’s love interest. This is his first big American role, and he is brilliant as Rhodes the police officer.
But the real breakout performance in this movie belongs to Melissa McCarthy. She’s been playing back-up roles for years now, most notably as Sookie on Gilmore Girls. Lately she’s been playing a lead role on Mike and Molly, but let’s be honest, none of us have been watching that. Usually known for playing sweet-tempered, lightly funny characters, she goes berserk in this film. She acts like a female Zach Galifianakis, but with less shame. There is no restraint, no covering up anything embarrassing, no dignity and yet I can’t have more respect for her. To top it all off, her character initiates some crucial plot points and comes off as a crazy but still somewhat valid person.
So that’s all I’m going to tell you. Maybe you’ve already seen it, maybe you haven’t. If you have, you know more now. If you haven’t, you should. Bridesmaids looks like it’s going to continue a strong run at the box office, and the buzz is right this time. If you liked The Hangover, you’ll like this. If you thought The Hangover was dumb or douchey, you’ll still like this. If you’re not sure what The Hangover is, I’m not sure how you got on the Internet. Get off. You’re freaking me out.
Click here to see the trailer!