DIR: Paul Feig • WRI: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo • PRO: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend • DOP: Robert D. Yeoman • Ed: William Kerr Michael L. Sale • DES: Jefferson Sage • Cast: Kristen Wiig, Terry Crews, Jessica St. Clair
From the producer of Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, the director of episodes of hit shows such as 30 Rock and The US Office, and written by the current darling of Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids comes from purebred comedic roots.
Annie’s (Kristen Wiig, the aforementioned SNL darling) life is in a bit of a shambles right now. Her cake shop has been shut down due to bankruptcy, her love life consists of a friends-with-benefits scheme with a total douchebag (Jon Hamm), and she lives in a tiny apartment with a brother and sister who have no problem invading her privacy. The only ray of light is her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who has just announced that she is getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honour.
Lillian also introduces her to the rest of the bridesmaid’s party, which consists of Megan (Melissa McCarthy, or the female Zack Galifinakis), Rita (Wendy McLendon-Covey, underwritten), Becca (Ellie Kemper, ditto) and, ultimately, Helen (Rose Byrne). Helen is classically beautiful, rich, happily married… everything Annie is not. Cue a game of one-upmanship between the two, both vying for Lillian’s attention/affection, both out to prove that they are her real best friend.
The acting between these three leading ladies is top notch, with a very natural rapport between Wiig and Rudolph, and the hilariously catty back and forth between Wiig and Byrne. Wiig’s barely contained jealousy leads to some fantastically awkward situations (the speech-off comes to mind), and when the gloves finally do come off, either accidentally while high as a kite on a flight to Vegas, or fully erupting at the Paris-themed bridal shower, Wiig clearly shows why she is the natural comedienne successor to Tina Fey.
But behind all this bitchiness, there is some other, heavier stuff going on. Annie has a burgeoning romance with police officer Chris O’Dowd (playing it straight and cute, but his accent is distracting) which, while a nice distraction, almost stops the movie dead. There is also a very real, dramatic story hinted at here about the disintegration of a friendship.
Anyone going in expecting The Hangover For Girls won’t be disappointed, and neither will those wanting more than just poo jokes; this is a proper, grown-up comedy for the head and the heart.
Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
Bridesmaids is released on 24th June 2011