The ad agency responsible for Bridesmaids‘ promotional material should be fired, because this is not The Hangover for women. It’s a comedy with heart that will have both men and women cackling with glee.Kristen Wiig stars as life-in-shambles Annie, who slips down a hill of fear and anxiety when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) appears to have a new BFF planning her wedding. Add that to Annie’s crappy jewelry shop job (courtesy of her mother’s connections at AA), strange roommates, and a car in critical condition, she’s got a lot to sort out.
Though the title and the aforementioned promotional materials focus on the wedding and some zany bachelorette party, these are only parts of a larger whole. Much like the films of Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids was produced by his company), Bridesmaids is as hilarious as it is genuine. Though Annie’s task of getting her life straight isn’t new to the romantic comedy genre, the film goes above and beyond to develop our allegiance to the character. It’s the difference between relying on the audience’s familiarity with the tropes to fill in the gaps, versus developing the story and characters as if we’ve never met them before. It’s a subtle difference, but you’ll feel it.
It also helps to have Wiig star in a film she co-wrote; she does a great job making you love Annie even at her lowest moments. Her chemistry with Maya Rudolph makes the friendship feel legit, and Chris O’Dowd is a natural charmer.
The axiom concerning children (to be seen, not heard), closely resembles the U.S. attitude towards women in comedy – they can’t look silly. Watching the U.K. sitcom The IT Crowd, my wife and I regularly comment on the show’s acceptance of ridiculous women. They’re allowed to be as buffoonish as any male, which comes at the expense of one’s attractiveness–a big no-no in the U.S. Bridesmaids features good-lookin’ gals, but they aren’t ashamed of their silly natures, which is what will make you love this film.
Bridesmaids is the perfect date movie: a good one.