So I watched Bridesmaids…
I watch more movies than the casual movie-goer so it’s always a bit offensive when someone quotes or references a well-known movie and I can’t keep up. This recently happened to me and I genuinely felt horrible that I got out-quoted by my friends. So the only logical thing to do was to put this film on the schedule and regain my honour. So Bianca and Alricia, this one’s for you…
Okay, basic plot: Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a woman who’s a bit down on her luck. The bakery she started failed, leaving her financially destitute and she can’t get a solid commitment out of the man she’s seeing. All of this is topped off by Annie’s best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) getting engaged and asking Annie to be her Maid of Honour. Annie is initially thrilled but the financial pressure of being in a wedding party starts to overwhelm her. Added to this is the fact that Lilian has a new close friend – Helen (Rose Byrne) – who is gunning to overthrow Annie as Lilian’s bestfriend. With her life in shambles and her friendship with Lilian under strain, Annie wonders if she’s going to survive the wedding process.
I think the beauty of the film is that on its surface it looks like a big-budget comedy but when you delve deeper into it, you realise it has the feel of an indie-comedy. I’ve watched various interviews with the members of this cast – both talking about this film and others – as they describe director, Paul Feig’s style. The general consensus is that he leaves a great deal of room for improvisation. He views the film’s script as a fluid, constantly evolving organism instead of a rigid rulebook that has to be followed. He appreciates the talents of his cast and there are moments that you can feel were unscripted and spur of the moment. This is what gives the film this great indie feel because these moments of improv are sincere and grounded. The film also has grand comedic set-pieces and outrageous pieces of dialogue but by allowing the cast to roam free; Feig manages to craft a blockbuster comedy with an intimate quality.
This film introduced (to me, at least) the stars of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Wiig in addition to starring in the film also co-wrote this piece with Annie Mumolo. The film has a great script and one of the film’s big drawpoints was the fact that it wasn’t a traditional chick flick. It features strong woman and you can always tell when the characters and story of a film are written by those it concerns. A man couldn’t have written these characters or come up with this story. It feels genuine and there’s an insight it possesses into the inner workings of female relationships that I loved.
But I digress, I was speaking about Wiig and McCarthy’s introductions. The pair are the stars of the film and – although not always together – do amazing work. Wiig is in the lead and shows off her full comedic talents as the self-destructive but well-meaning Annie. She’s a character who’s being dealt a few rough hands by life and has decided to deal with it with a healthy share of sarcasm and wit. Wiig is hilarious from her awkward sex scenes to her well-scripted dialogue. McCarthy probably had me laughing the hardest. She has a real shock and awe quality to her. Everything that comes out of her mouth is unexpected and will have you bursting our just from sheer surprise.
I have to also give some praise to Chris O’Dowd – another actor I met through this film – who stars as Nathan Rhodes, a sweet police officer trying to win Annie’s heart. O’Dowd and Wiig have fantastic chemistry and much like Wiig, O’Dowd has a sharp wit and amazing delivery of his lines. Jon Hamm is absolutely brilliant as Ted – Annie’s ridiculous f*ck buddy. Hamm goes wild with the role and is so obnoxious and idiotic that even though he has little to no screentime, he manages to carve out a memorable performance. I also forgot how wildy villainous Rose Byrne is in this movie as the friend-stealing Helen. I’m a huge fan of Byrne, her acting is effortless and always entertaining. Okay, almost always, I still haven’t forgiven her for the mess that was her performance in Annie.
Overall, Bridesmaids is a riot! It has a wonderfully talented cast at its helm who do well to bring the script to life. Furthermore, because of Feig’s respect for spontaneity, the cast are allowed to really shape the film and make the most of their talents. Sure, there are a few moments when the improv drags for a bit too long and you wish they’d just get on with it but these moments are few and far in between. Definitely worth watching. 8/10