[Review] Bridesmaids (Feig, 2011)
After we are finished talking about the gross moments, the riotous laughter, and a few knockout performances, there is going to need to be a fair evaluation of this movie. I think it is going to be a good one.
There were numerous LOLian moments. The fitting room. The airplane. Air Marshall John. John Hamm. “Hold On.” And McCarthy and Wiig turn in some magnificent acting and substance. Wiig does a good job harnessing the propulsion of the movie, even when it becomes a flaw. There are large pieces of material that could be edited out, but Wiig still manages to fill the screen with the same lovable awkwardness that audiences have started to appreciate. One of Bridesmaids‘s best qualities is the ensemble energy. The women work well together (and the unnecessary material should have been swapped for more time with them) and every character has unique energy. This is exactly what makes Bridesmaids crucial as genre evolution. This level of female ensemble acting in contemporary comedy has not been produced to this extent. It’s a marvelous group performance and a big step forward.
The script is owed a certain due. The use of repetition and stop-start dialogue is commendable, but the silence is what drives Bridesmaids. They seem to know every smart-ass retort, but nothing can stand up to silence when they just have nothing to say. It’s used very well. The scene where Ms. Wiig makes and eats a cupcake is one of the most arresting examples of loneliness, loneliness amongst everything, that has been recently seen. In fact, Ms. Wiig crafts herself as a repugnant character, wasteful and constantly waiting for pity. Her jealousy towards the enigmatic Helen is taken much too far (even in the film) and, like Woody Allen writing his own flaws into his own characters, here we see an embarrassing character in need of a Rosebud (baking shop).
As the main themes are clearly lined out as “change v. same,” we never end up seeing a title bout. There are some apologies and everybody gets to the wedding. But will they be any better off when the sequel comes out? Will Helen still be the clueless self-righteous turd that she is? Will Annie be baking? and not being the most subtly evil twirp that she was here? Maybe we will find out.
Until then, enjoy something very close to Judd Apatow. Enjoy some truly unique comedy coming from a great gaggle of females. And Enjoy seeing girls cycle through dismay and distaste. The obvious criticism that Bridesmaids only proves that women can be as disgusting as men seems truthful. But if that’s where your evaluation of the film ends, you experienced a shallow reading.