D: Paul Feig. DP: Robert D. Yoeman. W: Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo. Starring: Kristen Wiig/Maya Rudolph/Melissa McCarthy/Rose Byrne/Ellie Kemper/Wendi McLendon-Covey/Chris O’Dowd/Matt Lucas/Rebel Wilson/Ben Falcone/Jill Clayburgh.
Now surpassing 2007’s Knocked Up as the most monetarily successful Judd Apatow produced film, Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids if not the most memorable, will be the most talked about comedy of the year.
Right off the bat, prior to its release, Bridesmaids was heating up blogs and industry mixers as people placed their bets of the success of the film. Success that despite being produced and directed by already very successful and funny men, and also being written and starred in by successful and funny women, was somehow under contention. Why? Because since it stars mostly women, it must a: not be THAT funny, b: only attract female audiences, and c: not make money as it is not generically defined as a “chick flick.” Hmm, whose laughing now?
However, Bridesmaids doesn’t need much of an introduction. It is what it claims to be and you’ll love it for it. Yes it is about women who are bridesmaids, but thankfully it it is less about picking out dresses and throwing parties and more about actual friendships and the romantic entanglements we all experience. Taking center stage is SNL actress Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the screenplay. Wiig’s Annie is immediately likeable and lovable as she weasels through life sulking about what she’s lost, while being artfully self-deprecating about it. It is only when her best friend, Rudolph’s Lillian gets engaged that things changes, as does her perspective. And although the film doesn’t give the gals much time to showcase their friendship prior to the engagement crazies, the rest of the film makes up for that.
As, thankfully, the movie’s main storyline is not about Wiig having the best or worst maid of honor skills, but about proving to herself and her friend that friendship can evolve with life. This couldn’t have been clearer that the glamorous Rose Byrne sashaying in as Rudolph’s new friend Helen. One can only root against Byrne as she is not only good at rocking the boat, but also reminding audiences how wonderful it is when the movie is not about the beautiful, self-centered, snobby girl. Even better is the juxtaposition of Byrne and Melissa McCarthy who steals almost every scene from Wigg as Rudolph’s new sister-in-law, Megan. Rough and tumble, yet shooting the truth out, McCarthy has too many great scenes to list, but is able to really showcase the film’s director Feig and screenplay at its best.
Bridesmaids squeezes in some other great additional characters, Jon Hamm’s small role opens the film with a ton of guffaws, but winning in the end is dopey doe-eyed Chris O’Dowd as Officer Nathan Rhodes. Not only does he have darling chemistry with Wiig, but somehow manages to pull off being realistic yet marginally romantic at the same time. Unlike other films that tackle romantic comedy (cough, cough, Something Borrowed) O’Dowd stud is three-dimensional and comedic. Yet this could also be attributed to the fact that Bridesmaids never tries to be anything other than a comedy, yes one starring mostly women, but in the end it’s still a comedy. No other adjectives invovled.
But who will be involved? Men. Of all ages and status flocked and will continue to flock to see the movie. Proving to other men that women can be funny too, even if male dominated Hollywood didn’t believe it until the clickers counted and the money was in the bank. Get it girl! Oh, wait, she already had it.