Monday, February 6, 2012


Kristen Wiig hammered on an airplane in Bridesmaids
**1/2 out of ****

Bridesmaids is a very funny viewing experience. That doesn't stop it's 125-minute running-time from making it feel indulgent. This is a movie I enjoyed as I watched it but in retrospect, it seemed kind of taxing for what it was. It's no surprise that this movie is produced by Judd Apatow, who I feel has had a great influence on modern comedy films but if there is a major shortcoming to that influence, it is the length of some of these features.

Maybe I'm the only jerk in the theater who can't laugh for more than two hours, but I'm a big believer in keeping comedies short. I think there could be a much better version of Bridesmaids with more editorial choices. I'm not calling these choices easy. Some of the funniest moments in this film have no connection to the story at all. I also think some of the bridesmaids, that is the title characters, didn't get enough screen time.

The film I saw was a pathos comedy about a woman who's life goes from being a mess to a personal crisis when her friend, one of the best things in her life she hasn't lost, is getting married. What's unconventional here is that she isn't threatened by the groom (Why would she be? He's played by Tim Heidecker -Great job!). She's threatened by the woman who was picked over her to be the Maid of Honor who shows her up in every way that wealth and unbelievable connections can. Then the movie jerks back and forth with no focus between the protagonist's troubled personal life and the funny bridesmaids.

Kristen Wiig's comic abilities shine as the lead in this movie, Rose Byrne surprised me as the annoyingly perfect and phony maid of honor character. Melissa McCarthy steals the show and generated the biggest laughs as the assertive and strange sister of the groom.

Some have incorrectly labeled this movie, 'The Hangover for chicks'. I like that this is a low-brow movie starring women. Frankly, I think there should be more movies of the type. But this movie isn't focused on the nasty misadventures of a group of Bridesmaids who let things get out of control. It's more like director Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks), Apatow, and the editors did that. This is a movie that is sure to be enjoyed by men just as much as women. I just don't think it measures up to much more well-formed comedies.

Here's a nice interview with Maya Rudolf (The Bride in this film) and director Paul Feig on All Things Considered.

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