Northeast Times

At the Movies: ‘Bridesmaids’ not the typical wedding flick

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Brides­maids is an­oth­er entry in the “wed­dings make wo­men act crazy” movie genre. However, un­like many of the oth­ers, it’s ac­tu­ally very en­ter­tain­ing and not filled with clich&ea­cute;s.

If you’ve seen any Judd Ap­atow movie (The 40-Year-Old Vir­gin, Knocked Up, etc.) and thought it needed a fe­male ver­sion, Brides­maids is that movie (Ap­atow is lis­ted as pro­du­cer in the cred­its).

Though it’s fe­male-centered, it’s far from the typ­ic­al chick flick. For starters, the lead is potty-mouthed and pess­im­ist­ic. There also is enough adult and bath­room hu­mor to ap­peal to males (and to any wo­men who truly en­joy that sort of thing).

The story cen­ters on An­nie (Kristen Wiig, of Sat­urday Night Live fame), who has just learned that her best friend Lil­lian (Maya Rudolph, an­oth­er SNL alum) is en­gaged.

An­nie, the per­petu­ally un­lucky-in-love singleton, feigns hap­pi­ness about Lil­lian’s up­com­ing nup­tials and agrees to be her maid of hon­or. The fun really be­gins when the audi­ence meets the brides­maids, in­clud­ing the wacky Megan (Melissa Mc­Carthy), the naïve new­ly­wed Becca (El­lie Kem­per), the love-starved Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and the wealthy Helen (Rose Byrne).

It quickly be­comes an “I’m a bet­ter friend than you are” battle as An­nie and Helen con­tinu­ally try to outdo each oth­er for Lil­lian’s ap­prov­al and ad­mir­a­tion at the en­gage­ment party, while dress shop­ping, and at the bridal shower and bach­el­or­ette party. An­nie soon turns in­to the “maid of dis­hon­or” when she and Lil­lian have a big blowup.

Kristen Wiig also is the script’s co-writer (with An­nie Mu­molo), and I found the char­ac­ter of An­nie to be very re­lat­able as an every­day per­son. Her cake busi­ness went belly-up in the re­ces­sion, so she’s work­ing at a jew­elry store for a paltry amount of money. She lives with some creepy room­mates, nicely re­buff­ing the of­fer to move back with her moth­er (Jill Clay­burgh in her fi­nal role).

Wiig’s awk­ward­ness makes An­nie even fun­ni­er and more ap­peal­ing. She also handles the dra­mat­ic scenes with ease. Wiig and Rudolph have nice chem­istry and a be­liev­able con­nec­tion as child­hood friends.

An Ap­atow-pro­duced movie means an eye­brow-rais­ing scene or two, and that’s how it is here, in­clud­ing the open­ing scene fea­tur­ing John Hamm (Mad Men) and Wiig in some com­prom­ising po­s­i­tions as they por­tray “friends with be­ne­fits.”

Dir­ect­or Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks) keeps the laughs com­ing at a fairly reg­u­lar pace. At its core, Brides­maids is a nice tale of friend­ship, more so than a ro­mantic movie, though An­nie does meet a nice state troop­er (Chris O’Dowd).

The movie felt very long (it’s about two hours), and at times I found my­self won­der­ing how much longer it would go on. What really makes Brides­maids a dif­fer­ent kind of wed­ding movie is that it’s not the bride who goes crazy. I think a lot of single people (men and wo­men) can re­late to their best buddy ty­ing the knot and the res­ult­ing fear of be­ing left in the dust.

Brides­maids ad­dresses that fear and makes you laugh while do­ing it. 

Movie Grade: B

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You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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