is an Apatow comedy, sort of. It's his company it feels kinda like his humor, but it passes the Bechdel without even trying. It's awkward as hell, enough to me me
squirm, but very funny.
Annie (Kristen Wiig) is kind of at a loss. She's working at a jewelry store, but is a lousy salesperson. She's living with a brother and sister (Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas) who are...not especially bright, invade her privacy and are generally creepy. Her mother wants her to move in; she's resistant. She's in a FWB relationship with an absolute creep (John Hamm). Her best friend (Maya Rudolph) Lil is her one source of joy...and now's Lil's getting married.
Happy for her friend, if a bit jealous and worried about how their relationship will change, Annie agrees to be maid of honor, and then meets Lil's fiance's boss' wife, Helen (Rose Byrne), who immediately sets about trying to usurp the position of "best friend" from Annie. Helen is beautiful, over-the-top, and rich, and Annie can't really measure up, but she tries (which is really the problem). The central conflict of the movie, then, is Annie fucking everything up - her job, her relationship with Lil, a promising relationship with a cop (Chris O'Dowd) who tries to help her come to terms with her fears...
Of course, that's ignoring the other bridesmaids, which would be a shame, because they're amazing. Megan (Melissa McCarthy) is the best of them - raunchy, blunt, overtly sex-positive and self-assured (she was nominated for an Oscar for the role). Rita (Wendy McLendon-Covey) is a mother of three horrible teen boys and has long since abandoned any identity of her own except complaining. Becca (Ellie Kemper) is a sweet newlywed, but as she talks with Rita she starts to realize that maybe she might be missing something. The chemistry between the actresses (Rudolph, Byrne and Wiig included) is fantastic.
I have to say, too, that O'Dowd is awesome in this movie. He doesn't swoop in and save Wiig, and when she hurts him, he says so and backs off. He's got a lot more identity than the Girlfriend roles that generally happen in male-oriented comedies (which may be due to this script being written by women - both the male and
female roles are well-realized. Why do we suck, guys?).
The humor in Bridesmaids
comes from suffering, but it's not a Job comedy in the vein of Meet the Parents
. Instead, Wiig brings it on herself (and sometimes her friends) by being self-absorbed and depressed, and it's only when she takes a breath and works to correct her life that it improves. That's different than being a generally good person and have horrible shit happen to you - I like this way better. I'd rather see characters with some agency choose to be better. My grade:
Next up: A Few Good Men