Good comedies are so hard to come by these days, so I was very excited to hear that the buzz on Bridesmaids has been overwhelmingly positive. It has been described as a female version of The Hangover, though I personally think Bridesmaids was actually better.
Co-written by and starring comedian Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids tells the story of Annie (Wiig), a former cake store owner who becomes the Maid of Honour to her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph). And as the Maid of Honour, Annie is entrusted with various tasks associated with the wedding and the bridal party, which comprises the wealthy, perfect wife of the groom’s boss Helen (Rose Byrne), the groom’s crazy sister Megan (Melissa McCarthy), and friends Rita and Becca (Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper, respectively).
The best parts of Bridesmaids are hilarious. Bawdy conversations, outrageous situtations, a couple of which rely on gross-out humour — but nonetheless worked because of the surprisingly good execution from director Paul Feig (which became less of a surprise when I discovered he had directed episodes of Arrested Development, The Office and 30 Rock) and excellent comedic timing from the actresses, in particular the trio of Wiig, Byrne and McCarthy. John Hamm (from Mad Men) was also brilliant in a small but memorable role.
Despite the praises, I still thought Bridesmaids could have been better and funnier. For starters, at 125 minutes it was far too long for a comedy of this kind — though strangely it left a few loose ends. The film worked best when it was focused on the bridal party and especially the rivalry between Annie and Helen, but for some reason the second half put excessive emphasis on Annie’s depressing personal issues and a sweet, sappy romance, both of which were adequate but seldom funny.
Since it was titled Bridesmaids, I was really hoping for more interaction between the bridesmaids, where there was so much potential for laughs, but instead there ended up being too many typical ‘rom-com’, ‘chick flick’ and ‘personal growth’ sequences that made the film’s humour somewhat choppy and uneven. I put the blame on Judd Apatow, who was a co-producer of the film.
Having said all that, this was just my personal opinion and probably reflected my wishes and expectations more than genuine shortcomings of the film.
Ultimately, it may fall quite a fair way short of a classic, but Bridesmaids was at least a fresh idea that’s clever, entertaining, sometimes funny and occasionally hilarious. And this is coming from a guy.
3.75 stars out of 5