Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids is an interesting mélange of crass, rude, funny, female friendship, clever, and sharp.  You could even go as far as to call it subversive in the way that it pokes fun at the ritual we call a wedding.  I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did, but that could have been due to the cupcakes from Sugar Rush that were provided to the members of the audience at the premiere.  I’m willing to admit my sense of clarity might have been affected as well as my integrity.

All joking (and sugar) aside the crassness of the film was to be expected (as it seemed to me like they were trying to make a female version of The Hangover without ever getting to Las Vegas) though the serious undertones were a bit of a shock, I have to admit.

To put it plain and simply Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life is a mess.  She is totally unlucky in love and broke.  The open scene of the film goes a long way to showing how low Annie’s self esteem is.  She is having sex with Ted (Jon Hamm) and he is just in it for the kicks and Annie allows him to use her even though she has genuine feelings for the cad.  On the professional side, due to the downturn in the economy Annie’s cake shop business went belly up and she is now working in jewelry store. Plus she is sharing an apartment with two roommates who decide to kick her out.

While she is going through all this mess in her life, Annie finds out that her childhood friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married.  Her over 30 year friendship with Lillian is the only bright spot in the otherwise dark life that Annie is leading.  Of course, Lillian wants Annie to be her maid of honour. This is an overwhelming task for anyone and especially pressure-filled for someone at Annie’s place in life.  Annie is also really not aware of all the rituals that go along with being a maid of honour.  She does not want to seem ignorant in front of Lillian’s friends – Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Becca (Ellie Kemper), Megan (Melissa McCarthy), and Helen – so she tries to bluff her way through everything.  Though you know that is not going to work.  Her lack of money and organizational skills lead to any event she plans falling apart.

A further blow to Annie’s already fragile ego is when Lillian hands over the maid of honour role to one of her new friends, Helen (Rose Byrne).  Helen is perfect – has money, is highly organized and is attractive.  Annie is crushed.  You can’t really blame Lillian as anything Annie has touched up until this point has turned into food poisoning and vomit. From this point on it is full our war between Annie and Helen in a contest to be Lillian’s best friend.

In a predictable manner all the female stereotypes are touched on in Bridesmaids. There was the rich and beautiful girl who seems to have everything but is unhappy underneath, the large girl who is in your face and funny, the frustrated stay-at-home mom, etc.  What I did appreciate was all the poking fun at the excesses and ridiculousness surrounding modern day wedding ceremonies.

For many women who go to see this film, I’m sure they will be able to laugh at the humour because Rudolph and Wiig are so good at it, but there will also be a little bit of uncomfortableness underneath it all.  How disappointing Annie’s life is will resonate with most viewers.  Her anger is palpable and her heartbreak painful to look at. There are several moments in the film that are heartfelt and sad.  The depth in the film caught me a little off guard.

Overall this was a better than I would have predicted film experience despite the fact that some of the scenes ran on a little long and were a bit too over-the-top.  A little editing would have tightened it all up, but the bottom line is that it is an enjoyable film.

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