Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Bridesmaids" Are Doin' It For Themselves

Standin' on their own two feet, and ringin' their own bells. There's been a lot of talk comparing the new Kristen Wiig/Annie Mumolo comedy to 2009's The Hangover, as though it were some kind of PR campaign to make guys want to see a movie with a bunch of ladies in it. Because clearly a movie with women is going to be geared towards weepy, hormonal women who need something to eat chocolates to, just like action movies are for dudes who need something to do when they're not masturbating.

This is my way of saying that Bridesmaids and The Hangover don't really have anything in common, and what they do share feels crammed in to fit more demographics. But the reality is that this movies is made for men and women alike, with laughs that come from genuinely funny social situations, well-written jokes, and terrific physical comedy. It turns out prat falls and intoxicated ramblings aren't just for boys' weekends in Vegas.

To be perfectly honest, Bridesmaids doesn't have a million laughs a minute, but the plot is paced really well and it doesn't really slow down. The women are shown as flawed, weird, outspoken people who are just looking to have a little fun before the bride's big day, and when Kristen Wiig's character feels she's being pushed out of her best friend's special moment, the in-fighting begins. Wiig plays the part so convincingly, really driving home the feeling of being replaced, and Maya Rudolph is great as the bride-to-be who is grounded, yet silly, and their chemistry helps pull the audience into their life-long friendship.

Rose Byrne shines as the intruder Wiig is trying to edge out, and Jon Hamm prizes any moment where he can be funny and shed the Don Draper shell, but it's really Melissa McCarthy who stands out the most in this movie. She played Lorelei's best friend on 'Gilmore Girls,' and is currently co-starring in 'Mike and Molly,' but I never realized how truly weird and hilarious she is until now. I feel sorry for how the trailers are playing, because they really don't allow us to see the real tone and humor of Bridesmaids, so go with an open mind and enjoy the film. With the exception of one rather misplaced moment of gross-out humor (you'll know it when you see it...), this was a great experience. Hopefully comedies featuring women in prominent roles will stop being grouped with rom-coms, but on the flip side, just because a movie is funny and not solely for women, they won't be treated like Hangover duplicates.

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