In the past couple of years there has been a spate of very guy-focused comedies. We’ve had The Hangover (soon to be sequel-ised), Due Date and Hot Tub Time Machine, amongst others, but here’s one which proves the ladies can not only compete, but can fairly comprehensively surpass their male colleagues.
Kristen Wiig’s film career has taken a while to get started – many will still know her from Saturday Night Live – but thank goodness she’s finally made the transition. She’s provided support in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up (he produces here, too) and Greg Mottola’s brilliant Adventureland, but Bridesmaids is the flick which deserves to catapult her into the mainstream.
Wiig co-wrote and stars in this broad comedy about bickering bridesmaids and she’s brilliant. Not only that, but director Paul Feig has gathered an exceptionally well-cast ensemble who mesh together beautifully. Wiig steals it, but she has the most screen time; her cast members compliment her well throughout. She plays Annie, a thirty-something whose business has recently collapsed in the recession and who isn’t exactly lucky in love. Just to rub it in, her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting engaged and will marry into a wealthy family. Onto the scene comes the prim, proper and pretty Helen (Rose Byrne) who drives a wedge of jealously into Annie’s friendship with Lillian.
Annie, who is trying to ingratiate herself into this new group of women (having been elected maid of honour) while struggling with her own problems, finds it difficult to accept the changes that are coming, and this leads to plenty of comic japery. The film sets up several wonderfully executed set pieces (awkward speeches at the engagement party, trying on wedding dresses and an extended flight to Las Vegas to name just three) that play out delightfully, but crucially it is consistently funny in-between the larger scale events. On the aforementioned flight to Vegas, in particular, and in one glorious slapstick scene towards the end, Wiig gets to show off her range, and she doesn’t falter, going at it full tilt at times and reining herself in at others.
Yes, the film is a little loose structurally and takes a while to get going; yes, the denouement comes about a little too quickly and is too easily resolved, but there are more than enough laughs here to justify what is a fairly lengthy runtime by come dy standards. There are few greater compliments one can offer a film than to say they feel shorter than they really are, and Bridesmaids‘ two hours positively flew by.