McCoy on Movies: Bridesmaids Movie Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tabari McCoy   
Sunday, 15 May 2011 07:14

McCoy on Movies: Bridesmaids Movie Review
It’s one of the season’s most anticipated movies, but is “Bridesmaids” wedded, comedic bliss or a film headed for splitsville? Click here to find out.

"Hang on … This train – like our movie – is gonna crash and burn!" Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Becca (Ellie Kemper), Helen (Rose Byrne), (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Annie (Maya Rudolph) and Annie (Kristen Wiig) take center stage in a scene from the latest Judd Apatow-produced comedy “Bridesmaids.”
Credit: Suzanne Hanover © 2011 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


KEY CAST MEMBERS:  Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Matt Lucas, Jill Clayburgh, Rebel Wilson and Michael Hitchcock


WRITER: Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig


THE PLOT: The latest collaboration between producer Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and director Paul Feig (of Freaks and Geeks fame), “Bridesmaids” stars Kristen Wiig as Annie, the best friend of Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Lillian is getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honor, which she agrees to before realizing all of the responsibilities associated with the job. I mean, Annie's life is already frazzled enough with her recently failed bake shop, Ted (Jon Hamm), her rich, friend-with-minimal-benefits and general unhappiness with her current condition, so it's not like she needs the stress of planning a bunch of wedding-related activities, too.


At least she won't have to plan the wedding itself since that's being taken care of by Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie's new stylish and wealthy friend ... Who also REALLY wants to be the maid of honor. And if Annie thinks it's going to be easy to find stuff that Helen and her fellow bridesmaids Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Becca (Ellie Kemper) and the rambunctious Megan (Melissa McCarthy) are all going to enjoy, she's got another thing coming.


But when she meets a charming foreign-born police officer by the name of Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd), Annie discovers the chaos she just signed up for is going to be even more complicated, stressful - and for the audience's sake, hilarious - than she ever envisioned.


THE TAKE: In the comedy community, “Bridesmaids” has been receiving a lot of positive buzz, so much so that it seemingly has resulted in producing two popular opinions among the general public: [1] Those who can't wait to see it or [2] Those that remain skeptical to the idea that a movie about bridesmaids/a wedding - or, reading between the lines, a movie with an all female lead cast - can really be as funny as everyone says it is.


To those in the latter camp, I simply say this: Get over your selves. Because not only is “Bridesmaids” funny, it is the funniest film released in 2011 thus far.


Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the “Bridesmaids” script with fellow Groundlings alum Annie Mumolo, shines a lot of Saturday Night Live, but seemingly has played the same quirky character in movies for many years in supporting roles. Be it Extract, Adventureland or even MacGruber, Wiig has rarely had a chance to showcase more of her talent on the silver screen. “Bridesmaids”, however, finds her shining well in a Tina Fey-like fashion as her character is not only comedic, but also feels like someone you might actually know, making her foibles and faults not only enjoyable, but realistic. , Annie is good natured, just trying to find her way in life and sometimes screws up and becomes extremely frustrated by her mistakes/misfortunes beyond her control ... Those qualities help make her situation humorous, but also a sympathetic character when she makes mistakes, which in turn helps drive the film.


Of course, it helps that Wiig is surrounded by a great team of actors, the biggest scene-stealer in the film being McCarthy's Megan character. Entertaining audiences on a weekly basis with stand-up comic Billy Gardell on CBS' hit show “Mike & Molly,” McCarthy delivers big laughs in Bridesmaids without placing an emphasis on her size. (Her excellent recent interview with Entertainment Weekly should help explain in part why that is so noteworthy.) While she recognizes her size, her character does not use it as a crutch and instead goes for just being funny in spite of being a bigger gal, not because she is a bigger gal.


That sentiment is found throughout “Bridesmaids,” whether it be dealing with some traditionally male "gross-out" humor, clever wordplay or general sarcasm, these characters don't feel like characters or worse yet, as is the case in so many romantic comedies/female-centered affairs-to-not-remember, caricatures. They're not trying to act like men, they're not trying to act like little girls, they are just acting. That - and good writing and direction under Feig's watchful eye - is what should hopefully not only make “Bridesmaids” one of the years best releases, but also inspire others to realize that despite the stereotype some still have, women can be funny. Comedy may be a man's world, but “Bridesmaids” gives it a welcome shot of estrogen.


Also, in case you're wondering, the males in the film aren't treated with disrespect at all, which adds to its value. For while Jon Hamm's character is a bit of a tool, he serves a purpose in showing how Annie allows herself to be used by him with not only great comedic effect, but in a fashion where you understand why she allows it ... Without giving too much away, O'Dowd provides a great balance as a potential suitor - not only because he and Wiig share great chemistry and timing, but because his character is well-rounded as opposed to being a one shot deal. It all adds up to a package that unlike the old Secret deodorant commercials, is not only strong enough for a man, but humorous enough for them to enjoy alongside women, too. (Then again, having Apatow and Feig's magic touch probably has a little something to do with that)


PARTING SHOT: While a lot of people will simply dub this "the female ‘Hangover,’” “Bridesmaids” will stay with you long after you've left the reception-like atmosphere theaters across the country are sure to have upon its release.




Tabari McCoy -

Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. You can check out more of his work on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy


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