Our Score: 4 1/2 out 5 stars
I wish I had Judd Apatow’s eye for spotting talent. Over the years he has encouraged the actors he has directed to take the time and write a movie. Because of his mentoring such films as “Superbad” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” saw the light of day. Now comes the Apatow formula with a twist…a decidedly female point of view, courtesy of encouraged actress Kristen Wiig and her writing partner Annie Mumolo. Readers, I give you “Bridesmaids.”
Annie’s (Wiig) life is in a tailspin. Since her bakery failed (and her boyfriend left her) she’s been reduced to a life selling jewelry and sharing an apartment with an unusual brother and sister act from England. When she’s not at home she finds herself answering the booty call of a friend (a very funny and uncredited Jon Hamm). In spite of her desire to have a relationship with him (she goes so far as to reapply her make up afterwards so that she looks good when she wakes up in the morning) he has made it clear that he’s only interested in the physical aspects of their friendship. When her best friend Lillian (Rudolph) announces that she’s getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honor, Annie’s tailspin turns into a full fledged free fall.
Billed as “the female HANGOVER,” “Bridesmaids is much more than that. Other films have tried to feature tough talking ladies (example: “The Sweetest Thing” with Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate), but it takes much more than some salty language to make a good comedy. You have to have characters you believe in put in situations you understand, and “Bridesmaids” has both. As Annie, Wiig is very funny. Looking like, and this is going to sound weird, a more attractive Meg Ryan, Wiig proves herself a gifted comedienne, both with the jokes and with some very strong physical comedy. The supporting cast is just as gifted. The various bridesmaids are a diverse group, each with their own ideas on marriage. I must take the time to single out Melissa McCarthy, who plays Lillian’s future sister-in-law Megan. McCarthy, who stars in the current CBS television program “Mike and Molly,” is a fireball and steals every scene she’s in. Strong supporting work by Chris O’Dowd (as apparently the only Irish cop in the state of
Wisconsin) and the late Jill Clayburgh, who plays Annie’s mom in what is sadly her last performance.
The script is smartly written and Feig’s direction is equally strong. That double shot easily makes “Bridesmaids” one of the funniest films of the year.