Last night, I watched, via Uverse OnDemand, one of my favorite movies of 2011 — Bridesmaids.
Why Was I Watching It?
Why!? Because it’s just like one of my favorite movies of all time! Seriously, I love Bridesmaids.
What’s It About?
To put it simply, this is a movie about a bunch of bridesmaids but really, it’s so much more. Annie (Kristen Wiig) is struggling to get over the loss of her bakery and trying to find some sort of happiness in a purely sexual relationship with married Ted (Jon Hamm, at his sleaziest) when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces that she’s getting married. She asks Annie to be her maid-of-honor but Annie quickly finds herself locked in competition with Lillian’s other friend, the rich and snobby Helen (Rose Byrne) as well as in a tentative romance with Nathan (Chris O’Dowd, who is so cute and adorable here), who is a traffic cop but he’s also Irish so he can be forgiven.
Okay, so when Bridesmaids came out this summer it was advertised as being a “gross out comedy” for girls but it’s so much more. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of gross out comedy, like not at all. But I love this movie. The film is full of great (but honest) dialogue and features some of the best ensembles of the year. Along with Byrne and Wiig, the bridesmaids include Wendy McClendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Melissa McCarthy and they all get a chance to shine. Especially McCarthy, who plays the sister of the groom and who gets to deliver all of the crude, laugh-out-loud lines along with getting a great, semi-dramatic scene towards the end.
This is a very funny movie but, ultimately, it’s funny because its true. As Annie, Kristen Wiig is very funny and likable but ultimately, she’s a single woman struggling to maintain both her independence and her own sense of self-worth in a world that seems to exist just to judge, a struggle that leads her to live a little too vicariously through her best friend and try to justify being the lesser half in a degrading relationship. And you know what? We’ve all been there. I know I have. And, when you find yourself in that type of prison, sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from going crazy.
There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in this film that I don’t even know where to begin in picking out my favorites. However, a few obvious highlights: the ill-fated trip to try on bridesmaid dresses and the equally ill-fated flight to Vegas. I also have to give major kudos to the film’s opening, which is one of the few sex scenes ever to be found in a comedy that’s actually filmed from the woman’s point of view.
Finally, the film features Jill Clayburgh’s final film performance and she is hilarious. Thank you, Bridemaids, for coming out after Love and Other Drugs.
What Doesn’t Work?
Any time you have a comedy like this, there will occasionally be a one-liner that falls flat or a joke that doesn’t quite work and Bridesmaids has one or two of these. But the entire film is so likable that the jokes that don’t work are quickly forgotten.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments:
Oh my God, so many! And it would probably be TMI for me to go into every single one of them but I will say that I’ve been a bridesmaid like five times and I was my sister Megan’s maid of honor though that was mostly because I cried until she agreed to give me the job. And I actually really enjoyed it every time, mostly because it meant I got to be up at the front of the church instead of stuck sitting all anonymous-like in the back and I could stand up there and be all like, “See, I even make this dress look good.”
The second time I was a bridesmaid, I kinda got everyone mad at me because I made this gagging motion when they were lighting the unity candle but seriously, I just think unity candles are all silly and Vermont-like. Plus, the marriage eventually ended in divorce like a year later so let’s hear it for me for being honest.
Laughter is the best medicine. Always.