David Gately

Maids of Dishonor: Bridesmaids (review)

In Bridesmaids, Bridesmaids movie, John Hamm, Judd Apatow, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolf on July 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm
 

Within the first 15 minutes of Bridesmaids, Judd Apatow’s hilarious all-girl romcom about the fun times of a flock of female bridal sidekicks, it becomes clear that being a bridesmaid today is like a stab in the eye. Or a kick in the shins. Maybe a sh_art (two words, one syllable each) in the pants. Anything but fun.

Annie, the movie’s numero-uno fun-girl and maid of honor, is a thirtysomething unremitting bachelorette. Sluggishly engaging, she’s Meg Ryan cute by anyone’s standards. Could be the girl next door, a keeper even, but she’s really not that into it. She’s doing her utmost to remain single, miserable and free.

Then there’s Ted (Mad Men’s John Hamm). He’s Annie’s slimey but dependable friend-with-benefits. He’s not that into it either. After a night of aerobic lovemaking in a truly side-splitting opening scene, Ted sweetly whispers in Annie’s ear in the morning, “I really want you to leave, but I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a dick.”

Ouch!

Adding salt to that ditty, Annie, played by SNL’s Kristen Wiig (who also cowrote the movie), rendered brilliantly with equal parts low-pulse verve and mid-octane angst, is broke. Her bakery business crumbled. Her rent is late. Worst, she drives one of those unrecognizable beat-up broke-ass hatchbacks from the late 1980s. Could be a Chevy Chevette. Remember those? Of course not.

After Annie’s best girl friend Lillian (a solid performance by Wiig’s SNL colleague, Maya Rudolf) asks her to take on the all-important MOH role, Annie quickly realizes she’s over her head with the financial and social task-mastering that comes along with it. The gown and shoes. Bridal shower. Bachelorette party in Vegas. And the other bridesmaids – “My bitches,” Lillian’s sentimental toast to them – in the toxic sisterfest?  Annie soon starts resenting she ever said yes to be a wedding-day lady-in-waiting.

Lots of hysterical mayhem ensues, of course, once Annie and friends get down to business. One already famous scene (see video below), a cringing, outrageously riotous puke and sh_art blowout in a bridal shop, has surely driven the blockbuster’s poop-ularity (sorry).

Bridesmades has grossed more than $150M since its May release. It’s another sure-shoot Apatow-proof blockbuster: toss today’s teen and twentysomething torment against sharp sartorial writing and great comedic acting, a la 2007’sKnocked Up, Him: “Should we have sex tonight?” Her: “Ugh, I’m just really constipated, but you want to?”

I highly recommend Bridesmaids, poop gags and all. The supporting cast of maids of dishonor are just as stellar: Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper. Holding his own as Annie’s thankless wannabe boyfriend (and the only substantial male lead) is Irishman Chris O’Dowd in a finely nuanced performance as an endearing do-good cop. The movie gets a whooping 89 percent top critics rating on RottenTomatoes.com, certifiably two thumbs-up fresh.

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