Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Every once in a while a movie comes along that is fucked up in a really wonderful way. Bridesmaids is what Hollywood used to call a high-concept movie. It’s the country cousin of Wedding Crashers, both in theme and in its capacity for a kind of foolhardy farce that is like a serial killer with bad aim. More often than not it doesn’t hit the mark, but when it does you can’t help but yelp. Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Helen (Rose Byrne) are rivals for the attention of the bride, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and the competitiveness starts off from the beginning when one of them tries to out do the other with nostalgic anecdotes. Helen renders an overly long Thai proverb in Thai only to have the mike grabbed away by Annie, who attempts, but fails, to reciprocate in Spanish. Annie arranges a dinner for all the bridesmaids that ends in food poisoning and, in an homage to Monty Python, projectile vomiting. The scene concludes with the bride taking a dump in the middle of a crowded street in her wedding dress. Underneath this female version of Animal House lurks yet another story about a character trapped in her own negative projections about the world. Annie’s business enterprise, a cake shop, has failed, but she is unable to weather the storm since it reinforces her philosophic view that all human relationships and enterprises are doomed to failure. Her mother, played by the recently deceased Jill Clayburgh, is an avid AA member, even though she’s never had a drink, and as her daughter engineers her own downward spiral, she insists that Annie has to reach a bottom. As incongruous as such a serious character portrait might seem amidst all the comic haymakers, it works, and is as terribly interesting as the it is terrible. Bridesmaids is a jumble of silliness that lacks pacing but manages to go everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

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