Let me stop you right there. No this is in no way the skirts answer to The Hangover – a description which is both unfair and quiet frankly a little offensive to the female cast who between them all have an extensive (perhaps more impressive) comedic, entertainment and reputable background. Nope that lame comparison is for the lazy and those who have heard others say it. I said it, before I even realised it was linked to the film trailer I’d seen a while back. When the movie trailer started gaining traction I retracted my idol criticism and actually thought the film trailer looked so bad. Then I read the cast list. Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph ?! yes please. If you have seen these two in action on SNL then you would know how funny they are together. Obviously familiar faces sealed the deal in the other female members Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Byrne (brilliant who knew she was so funny), Ellie Kemper (also SNL peer) and the always fantastic Melissa McCarthy. So where was the link? Okay its a predominantly one gendered cast, with cringe worthy scenes, potty-mouthed dialogue and R-Rated label thrown in for good measure. Well that’s been done before sure…oh the wedding element perhaps? Even Sex and the City movie (though stylised to no end) ticked those boxes. Maybe it had something to do with Judd Apatow famous for his less frat and more twat pack buddy comedies (starring Seth Rogan) and people made that connection mistaking him for The Hangover scribe.
It’s not a completely upsetting comparison but it is a careless one. Bridesmaids isn’t “a chicks version of The Hangover ” this statement kind of implies that as woman the humour of the latter would’ve perhaps gone over my pretty (ahem) little head? Others I have actually heard say that Bridesmaids is just women trying to be as funny as its male counterpart because women can’t do the R-rated passive humour like the boys, if that’s the mentality you go in with then the films already wasted on you. Yes it contains content and elements from a female point of view but it’s not a chicks flick.
Annie (Kristen Wiig) cake shop has suffered from the recession and she now works in jewellers selling the material dream, albeit in a cynical manner, to others. She’s living with a creepy pair of siblings (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson) and her sex buddy manipulates her in to thinking she doesn’t want anything more. Poor girl has hit bottom, but before she can let rip her childhood best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) becomes engaged and Annie is appointed the maid of honor. She’s ready to take up the challenge but what she’s not prepared for is Lillian’s bridesmaids, women from all walks of her life whom Annie has never met before. It’s the little miss perfect scheming Helen (Rose Byrne) is the perhaps the most threatening to Annie’s comfortable post as BFF. She’s skinnier, prettier, richer and is after Annie’s blood. A series of hilarious, seriously awkward, disgusting and all too familiar catty scenarios ensue forcing Annie and Lillian’s relationship to breaking point.
Bridesmaids isn’t groundbreaking it’s like most comedies around today but can perhaps take a medal for proving that women can do funny with writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo penning some gutter humoured scenes that had me laughing and cringing all at once. Like most comedies around today it can go too far and drag on the gags a little but it doesn’t seem to care, this film doesn’t even seem to be trying to hard to be funny its just awkward, entertaining and superbly acted highlighting how raunchy and crude humour knows no gender.
The men in this film are great supporting roles, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm relishing in a more ignorant disgusting womanizing 2011 version of Don Draper. Chris O’Dowd (hell yes after that funny stint in Dinner for Schmucks) keeping up with funny lady Wiig in his endearing approach to Irish born (obviously) American traffic cop and love interest (admittedly me and friend came out discussing how fanciable he is) even Matt Lucas if not a little misplaced worked well but it was Rebel Wilson‘s turn as his sister that stole the laughs whenever their scenes came on.
Now I enjoyed the Hangover, quiet late in the game, I appreciated it out of the hype a couple of years after its cinematic release and I was impressed. It is its own success and probably bared the brunt of unfair comparisons to comedy’s with Frat Packs finest Stiller, Wilson and Vaughn even though it went beyond awkward situations and pushed for the down right vulgar. Well so does Bridesmaids, a great portrayal of the crazy and crass world of female relationships without all the guff presumed to be all we female viewers are interested in seeing on the big screen and it does well to pit at the forefront of comedy and should be treated with the same respect as its male dominated peers.