A case of severe rivalry causes a maid of honour to morph into a maid of dishonour in the lead up to her best friend’s wedding.
Hi there. Getting married can be extremely stressful, not only for the bride and groom. Those nearest and dearest to the lucky couple can be financially crippled by all those costly wedding registries and fashion ensembles required for the special day. In Bridesmaids we get a glimpse of the sort of anxieties that plague a bunch of women assigned to support the bride on her journey to the altar, things that were they not so hilarious, would probably make you gag with disgust.
Maya Rudolph is Lillian, the bride-to-be, and Kristen Wiig is Annie, her best friend and maid of honour. $40,000 in debt after the closure of her Milwakee cup cake shop, Annie is struggling to make ends meet let alone fork out for an expensive bridesmaid gown and a high rolling Bachelorette party. But when the affluent wife of the groom’s boss, played by Australian actress Rose Byrne, starts imposing her extravagant ideas on the wedding plans, Annie’s pride forces her into all sorts of embarrassing and side-splitting situations.
Designed as a star vehicle for Wiig after her appearance in Knocked Up, the film was directed by Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, a man renowned for those and other blokey comedies like 40 year Old Virgin and Pineapple Express. Proving that gross-out gags are not just the domain of the boys, this film smashed it at the box office, surpassing Sex and the City to become the highest grossing female comedy of all time.
It was scripted by Wiig and her writing partner Annie Mumolo, who appears in one of the funniest scenes in the film sitting next to Annie in economy class on a trip to Las Vegas while all the other bridesmaids are living it up at the pointy end of the plane. The pair were nominated for an Oscar for their screenplay as was Melissa McCarthy for her supporting role as Megan, the butch sister of the groom. A New York stand up comedienne, McCarthy is truly a stand out here, pushing the boundaries of bad taste with her husband Ben Falcone as Air Marshall Jon.
Pretty much all of the cast members have a background in comedy with many of them coming from the Los Angeles based improvisation group The Groundlings. Ring-ins include Irish comedian Chris O’Dowd as Annie’s policeman love interest, who’s idea of a hot date is checking out speeding cars on the freeway. John Hamm from Mad Men is her disinterested occasional lover with whom she has the odd adult sleepover. And Little Britain’s Matt Lucas pops up too as Annie’s dysfunctional flatmate, with Aussie comedienne Rebel Wilson from Bogan Pride as his equally horrendous sister. Jill Clayburgh also appears as Annie’s mother in her last screen role before her death from leukemia.
Bridesmaids is one of those films that I kind of expected to hate but it managed to surprise me with some really funny moments. It’s great to see women on screen not just in the service of men. And Kristen Wiig brings a certain low key, naturalistic charm to her performance that made me warm to her despite some of the more formulaic set ups – the sort of antics she gets up to when trying to get the attention of her man have to be seen to be believed. With a rousing finale by the Beach Boy’s offspring Wilson Phillips, this kooky comedy kicks a winning curve ball for chick flicks albeit a rather low one. But as that other featured song by ACDC points out, these are ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’.Get Brides