Saturday, June 04, 2011

"Bridesmaids" (2011) - Movie Review

The world behind the curtain of the opposite sex may be is too scary for a man like me. I remember the shock of seeing the complaining session in “It’s Complicated” for five minutes and I get to see the full session in “Bridesmaids”. The whole film is a witness to a wreck methodically performed by Kristen Wiig as Annie. It is a funny film but somewhere in the middle I felt a little guilty for laughing at a character who clearly needs therapy. Despite the horror of seeing the craziness existing in the realm of women, “Bridesmaids” has the talented Wiig who co-wrote this film along with Annie Mumolo.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is in her late thirties and is going through a rough patch in her life. She lost her bakery to the recession, became a sex buddy for an excessively confident and arrogant Jon Hamm and now has to sink herself into the misery of being the maid of honour for her best friend Lilian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. Lonely, broke and neurotic, she is trying to be happy for her friend and gets a rival who subtly and brilliantly orchestrates to snap the best friend job from Annie. That will be Helen (Rose Byrne).

The marketing campaign in making the title look like a women’s version of “The Hangover” is silly as it is mainly about Annie and her insecurities. The film is raunchy stretching its limits to shock people which is surprisingly funny and left me unscathed. What bothered me as the movie progressed was the temper tantrum and drama Annie begins to pull at every step of the way. While the feelings of her being down and dealing it are true and I am sure it depicts the part of women that I am not aware of, it was little disturbing to laugh at the emotional expense of a seriously messed up person. It goes from laughing to awe in crazy disappointment towards Annie.

Regardless “Bridesmaids” leaves you with some great laughs and some amazingly interesting male characters. Jon Hamm is hilarious as the jerk who simply wants a sexual relationship with Annie and nothing else. He is direct, blunt and a super ass about it too. And then there is Officer Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) an Irishman being the nicest guy to Annie. Their scenes have more than chemistry if that makes sense. He is super macho person with such a humility. He firmly believes Annie’s skill as baker needs to be revamped and needs to be continued as a passion. He is gentle, sensible and not the obligatory man figure the standard rom-coms spits out.

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in few of the SNL sketches I have seen provided ample evidence that these women who would stretch beyond the realms and boundaries of what is expected out of women and men. Their physical comedies are a hoot and they go 300% on the job at hand. Here both of them respect that it is a different media and then ice their talents from SNL into perfect situations that require that talents. Kristen Wiig especially leaps from supporting comedic role to center stage giving some serious emotional performance on the way.

There are other bridesmaids beyond Annie and Helen. One that is equivalenced to Zach Galifianakis in “The Hangover” is Melissa McCarthy as Megan, Lilian’s sister-in-law. Megan while is used as the object for fat jokes and total inappropriateness (beyond the regular stunts), her character gets redeemed when she punches a reality check into Annie on to her spiraling life of self pity and pathetic cry for sympathy. Ellie Kemper from “The Office” as Becca has little to nothing to do or punch lines to pull to keep us remembering her along with Wendi McLendon-Covey’s Rita as the mother ready to let loose.

Director Paul Feig embraces this side of women going all in and standing toe to toe with the men’s raunchiness is another door to further films that might or might not be better than this. The resolve for the happy ending is uncomplicated and the redemption for Annie is not overblown either. What the journey provides is some series of set ups for Annie to loose her screws steadily and in the meantime learn some life lessons on avoiding dramas.

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