Written by, and starring, Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids is a comedy that looks how life can alter friendships in the most unexpected ways. Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) have been best friends since they were children. Annie’s life has been in a tail spin ever since her bakery business closed down. Working at a job she hates, and in a “friends with benefits” type of relationship with Ted (John Hamm), Lillian is the only uncomplicated thing in Annie’s life until she announces that she is engaged. Annie then finds herself in the Maid of Honor role responsible for planning the Bachelorette Party for Lillian and the rest of the bridesmaids. Lillian’s bridesmaids include Helen (Rose Bryne) who is the wife of Lillian’s fiancé’s boss, Lillian’s future sister-in-law Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Lillian’s jaded cousin Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), and her naive friend Becca (Ellie Kemper). As the cost surrounding the wedding events continue to rise, Annie struggles to fulfill her Maid of Honor duties for fear of not only disappointing Lillian, but of being usurped by Helen who is itching to replace Annie as Lillian’s number one friend.
Bridesmaids is a film that delivers the laughs without sacrificing the story. Sure it may not be the laugh-a-minute film that the hype may have led some to believe but, when the jokes hit the mark, there is plenty to smile about. While Melissa McCarthy has been getting all the praise, and rightfully so, for her scene stealing work as Megan, I thought that John Hamm and Kristen Wiig were extremely good as well. As Ted, Hamm has some hilariously sleazy lines that had me howling with laughter. Kristen Wiig shows that she is capable of carrying a film. Not only does she hit all the right comedic notes but she manages to keep her character grounded in reality despite all the craziness that occurs in the film. It is not only a reflection of Wiig’s talent as an actress but her skilful writing as well.
Wiig’s script is not only well written and manages to capture the complexities of female friendship. Especially in regards to how situational female bonds can be. Annie and Lillian are friends who have built a bond since they were children yet, in many ways, Annie is replaced by Helen long before the insanity ensues. Lillian and Helen are only friends because their husbands roam in the same circles. She is drawn to Helen, the very type of person she used to despise. Annie is essentially pushed aside for a woman Lillian has only known for a few months.
My only real complaint with the film is that Megan, while funny, is given the worst outfits. I understand that Megan is rough around the edges but her character looks awful even by tomboy standards. You would think Hollywood would have evolved from the “she is fat, so she is sloppy” style of humour. It would have been better had McCarthy been given a reasonable fashion sense like the rest of the characters. Especially considering what her character reveals about herself in the last act. Also, another minor gripe is that, the arc between Rita and Becca is completely dropped once the airplane scene ends. In fact they are barely seen at all in the second half of the film.
Minor issues aside, I had a good time watching Bridesmaids. It did not have me crying with laughter like I had expected, but it was a very good film nonetheless. It is one of the few recent comedies that I foresee holding up well upon repeat viewings.