Sunday 13 November 2011

Today's Review: Bridesmaids

When I first saw the poster for Bridesmaids I groaned a little inside. Then I learned it was another Judd Apatow produced comedy, and my hopes were suddenly lifted. Apatow has served me well over the years. In a time when I was completely disheartened by the comedy genre, I took a plunge and watched The 40-Year-Old virgin and absolutely loved it, and most of the things Apatow has been involved with since. To me he has revitalised comedy in this day and age, and Bridesmaids is continuing that trend.

Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig as Annie, a single lady who doesn't have much going for her since her bakery business failed. Upon learning that her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and wants her to be maid of honour, Annie plunges somewhat unwillingly into the responsibilities thrust upon her, learning to deal with the rest of the bridal party, especially Lillian's other friend Helen (Rose Byrne), and the inevitability of her relationship with Lillian changing.

Don't make assumptions from the plot. While this does sound like a generic girly romantic wedding movie, it is in no way like that. If you've seen a few Apatow produced pictures in the past, you'll feel right at home with the swearing, the gross out elements and the improvised scenes. At times there are really uncomfortable situations, and at others it's just laugh out loud funny.

The cast all do a great job in their roles. The bridal party itself does well to encompass a whole range of characters, from the perfect goody two shoes lady, Becca, to the intense and kinda gross Megan. While some are indeed more outrageous than others, none of the characters escape some of the more unpleasant moments in the movie (you'll know exactly what I'm talking about if you've seen it). It's good to see that even with these characters wrenched out of their safety zones, they're still played in a way that makes them very believable.

The dialogue is very well written. The rapport bouncing forth between characters in conversations is great, and you can often find yourself chuckling from just a couple of lines. This is what the element of the improvised scenes offers, if you look at the extended versions you see a lot of weird stuff being said, but in amongst that is a lot of great stuff that made the final cut. While it is good to see improvisation used to inject some fresh humour into the movie, you can really tell when it's being used, especially alongside scenes that are more tightly written into the script, and can be a little jarring, although very funny indeed.

The story is a little disjointed in places too. It feels as though there were a lot of ideas, and not really enough time to tie them properly together, despite the film lasting over two hours. Even despite the length, some scenes feel very cut, like there was a lot of stuff discarded that could have been great. I know this especially because the trailer at work that's been playing for weeks had some great lines in it that were conspicuously absent from the movie.

So yes, there are a couple of setbacks, but they don't really spoil the movie. It's still funny and well acted, and does a great thing in straying away from the lovey dovey romance movie to prove that women can be very successful in the gross-out "bromance" genre. I was certainly not disappointed.

My rating: 4/5


  1. I watched this on a plane a few months ago. I was taking some students on a school trip, and the ones sitting behind me were agog to see me watching the sex scene at the start. That was awkward. I really enjoyed the film. I don't know if I'd ever watch it again, but it was a good plane movie. Do you think it stands up to repeated viewings?

  2. I'm not normally one to watch a movie over and over, I normally find myself getting bored halfway through the second time. But I watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin last week, a while after my last viewing, and it was great catching all the bits of dialogue I didn't remember. I think in the case of the unscripted scenes you can pick up on things you didn't really notice the first time round. Plus I find there's a big difference between tiny airplane screens with headphones and watching the same movie at home.

  3. True enough... Maybe I'll give it another whirl some time.