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Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

What She said:

She

Imagine The Hangover minus the testosterone, plus the sentiment of The 40 Year Old Virgin, and there you have it, Bridesmaids.  I was actually expecting this comedic romp, starring SNL alums Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, to be much more careless and heartless.  Isn’t that how the SNL gang sort of goes, really funny but sort of empty on the inside?  Well, fear not, Bridesmaids has heart.  And it’s gross.  It’s both, which is sort of weird, but also peculiarly enjoyable.

Wiig plays our lead character, Annie.  Her life is in the toilet, and then she finds out that her best friend, Lillian, played by Rudolph, is getting married.  Not only is she off to wedded bliss, but while Annie couldn’t really get more poor, Lillian is marrying up in a big way.  She’s sort of entering a new territory, and Annie feels very left behind, even if she was selected to serve as Maid of Honor.  We get to meet the odd hodge-podge of other bridesmaids.  There’s Rita, a bitter, already married relative, the adorably naïve Becca, Megan, whose just letting it all hang out, and the uber evil Helen, Lillian’s self proclaimed new best friend who is ridiculously rich, attractive, thin, and, well, practically perfect in every way.  She’ll make your skin crawl, and it’s immediately apparent that she and Annie are NOT going to get along.

So, the movie follows this group of women in the days leading up to Lillian’s wedding—through the engagement party, the bridal shower, and the bachelorette party.  I had no idea what to expect.  I thought that the movie just followed a wild weekend in Vegas, but it’s nothing like that.  It’s mostly about Annie, her raging jealously, and the feud that develops between her and Helen.  Annie watches as her life goes from rock bottom to even lower, and learns valuable lessons along the way.  The movie is also quite funny at times, and extremely disgusting at others.  Actually, I was shocked by how nasty things got.  I mean, I thought this was a movie aimed toward women, dainty, rom-com loving women. 

Annie borders on annoying at times, but it’s nice to see she learns from her experiences.  Megan is downright hilarious and kudos to Melissa McCarthy for excelling in the role.  She was actually my favorite part of the movie.  There are some jokes that drag on at times (to the point where you start rolling your eyes and begging them to move on), but overall the film is pretty enjoyable.  A few tweaks and I would have liked this even more, but as is, it’s still a good movie.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

Maybe it was just me, but for some reason I got the impression this was supposed to be a female version of The Hangover. Maybe someone mentioned that to me or the trailer made it seem that way? Or perhaps I just kind of made it up? I’m not really sure to be honest with you. I kept waiting for something similar to Bachelor Party or The Hangover. Well it turns out the bachelorette party is actually a fairly small part of the movie (and that was totally ok). This movie is more about the insanity of the wedding planning process and all the crazy things you gals do during said process.

It also reminded me a lot of the The 40 Year Old Virgin in more ways than one.  

First, I didn’t really expect it to focus so heavily on one character. I thought it was just going to be a bunch of women going wild, but if focuses primarily on Annie (Kristen Wiig). Though not completely the same, there were a lot of parallels between her and Steve Carell’s character. Both are going through something of a rough patch in life and are the butt of most of the jokes throughout the movie. Wiig is really funny, but what impresses me about her is her ability to bring depth to a character in such a raunchy comedy. She has comedic talent, but she showed some range in Whip It. She impressed me then and did again in this film.

Speaking of depth, I was shocked at the fact this movie had an actual storyline. Much like with The 40 Year Old Virgin, you’re actually interested in what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I like plenty of comedies that have little-to-no storyline. Caddyshack and Anchorman come to mind. But when a movie can make you laugh your ass off and have a story, it gets some major points from me.

In addition to the big laughs and storyline, this movie’s other big strength is its casting. Melissa McCarthy was effin’ hilarious. Rose Byrne played the character you loved to hate perfectly. Even Jon Hamm was hilarious; which I really didn’t see coming at all. This movie was loaded with one good performance after another. I cannot think of one person in this movie who gave off a bad performance. The cast was strong from top-to-bottom.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on November 11, 2011.