Friday, June 3, 2011
(REVIEW) BRIDESMAIDS: ALL HAIL THE NEW QUEENS OF COMEDY
Relativity Media/Universal Pictures
Directed by Paul Feig
Produced by Judd Apatow
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, and Jon Hamm
Running Time: 125 minutes
MIKE-O- METER: AND HILARITY ENSUES!!!! Absolute Perfect Fun!
Walking down the aisle on the silver screen can often be described as formulaic, trite, generic, or like yet another Mandy Moore film- sugary, sweet dribble. (Yes, I went there and shhh..don't tell anyone! Whispers-"I'm secretly a fan"). Watching a chick flick can also be another formulaic, trite, generic, fluffy, or again, like viewing a "Mandy Moore film". (Well, I'm officially kicked out of the fan club now!) Thankfully, director Paul Feig's (most notably directed several episodes of The Office as well as Arrested Development) BRIDESMAIDS is neither a complete chick flick or typically clichéd wedding movie. BRIDESMAIDS is best described as "the female Hangover", but I say it's something new, something borrowed (Wedding Crashers meets The Sweetest Thing meets The Hangover), and something lavender (come on, BRIDESMAIDS dresses). BRIDESMAIDS is also the perfect star vehicle for Kristen Wiig (MacGruber and a member of the current Saturday Night Live alumni) to shine as a comedic actress proving she has star quality flare. It can also be noted that Kristen Wiig brought her best comedic chops as she also helped pen the script alongside friend and voice over actress Annie Mumolo (Disney's Handy Mandy) .
In BRIDESMAIDS, Kristen stars as Annie whose best friend Lillian (played by the fantastic real life friend of Kristen Wiig and once SNL member, Maya Rudolph) asks her to be her Maid of Honor. Annie uncomfortably accepts the title as her life is currently in the gutter with her dream bakery business now closed, her romantic life is in the crapper(check out the hilarious opening scene with the dashing Jon Hamm of AMC's Mad Men), her current roommate situation is chaos, and her job is less than satisfying. Enter Lillian's bridal party! The other bridesmaids include a female comic lineup made out of celluloid heaven with Rose Byrne (FX Damages) as the snobby and jealously rich Helen, The Office's Ellie Kemper as the shy, reserved Becca, RENO 911's Wendi McLendon-Covey as trashy housewife Rita and finally, the woman who steals the show... Meliisa McCarthy (CBS's chubby hit Mike and Molly) as Megan. Trust me, there are no words to describe her! Annie must make friends with other the girls as she dabbles in the bridal routines of Lillian's wedding, battles Helen who desperately wants to be Maid of Honor, flirts with a dreamy police officer, and plans the perfect bridal shower, all while maintaining (or hilariously losing) her dignity. I know what you are thinking, BRIDESMAIDS does not sound any different from any other wedding film. I'm keeping it as simple as possible to not spoil the best punchlines but trust me, this film is anything but sugary sweet. Look for the dress fitting scene, the airplane sequence, and Lillian's engagement party to put a little raunchy laugh in your throat. Also, stay for the credits as there is a surprise scene that will make you never want to look at your Subway sandwich the same. Great, now I've spoiled the joke!
BRIDESMAIDS delivers on laughs (just as funny as The Hangover) and is already the early surprise hit of Summer 2011. Word of mouth is carrying the modestly budgeted picture (produced for $32 million) far greater than Relatively Media/Universal Pictures had hoped for in terms of a female driven R rated comedy. It doesn't hurt that BRIDESMAIDS is a Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin) production and audiences are more than familiar with his brand of humor. I was knocked off of my socks by Melissa McCarthy. She is one to watch out for in the future (she's a female Kevin James) as well as Kristen Wiig who has certainly proved she is no second rate Tina Fey. I was a little hesitant because I was not sure is Kristen could carry the movie but during her character's conversation with Lillian in the beginning of the film, I was certain she had the right chemistry to pull of this sort of comedy. This is certainly not a chick flick and ladies feel free to bring your guy as there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. He will certainly enjoy this more than Adam Sandler's latest disaster. And there's good news for Kristen Wigg fans as "Best remembered as SNL's Gilly" will no longer be the permanent print on her tombstone.
MOST MEMORABLE LINE: (Too many to list so I'll leave you with this) Annie's Mom "I'm sure she meets him in the evening, beaver first." (played by the late great Academy Award nominated actress Jill Clayburgh, who lost her battle with lukemia shortly after production wrapped.)
I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to go see a "Fun Comedy" with a talented cast and are willing to risk soda spewing out their nose in an outburst of laughter. It may or may not have happened to me, just saying.
Warning: Do not label this film as "The Funniest Movie Ever" when suggesting to others as that title is often hard to live up to. Just say "Surprisingly fun!"