Bridesmaids – Good Drama, Mediocre Comedy

Bridesmaids – Good Drama, Mediocre Comedy

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  1. Paul Feig’s 2011 comedy, Bridesmaids, has been called "The Hangover for women."  This obviously refers to the comedy hit The Hangover which involved mostly men.  If you just look at awards, it’s a toss-up as to which is the superior film because Bridesmaids was nominated for two Oscars (Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy) while The Hangover wasn’t nominated for any.  At the Golden Globes, however, both films were nominated for Best Comedy/Musical but The Hangover won and Bridesmaids didn’t.  However, Bridesmaids was going up against the critical juggernaut The Artist while The Hangover‘s only competition was really (500) Days Of Summer and Julie & Julia.  You’ll have to watch them both to make your decision as to which is better… even though The Hangover is the proper choice.

    What is it about?

    The film is about Annie (Kristen Wiig) whose life is just plain sad.  And, for the first thirty minutes or so, her life gets more depressing.  Her bakery fails, she loses her boyfriend, loses her money, and her roommates are terrible.  The only thing allowing her to keep her head above water is her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolf).  When Lillian gets engaged and asks Annie to be her maid of honor, she does everything she can for her friend.  But, having limited funds, she ends up facing off in a sort-of rivalry with Lillian’s rich friend Helen (Rose Byrne).

    Throughout the planning period leading up to the wedding including the bachelorette party, Annie and Helen’s feud gets bigger and bigger.  Each of them is jeaous of the other’s friendship with Lillian and everything Annie does goes horribly wrong.  Once Annie hits rock bottom and it appears that her friendship with Lillian is over, she puts her life back together with the help of a friendly local cop named Nathan (Chris O’Dowd) and, of course, everything works out so that Annie and Lillian can be friends and again.  Oh yea, and the wedding goes well.  All is well that ends well, as they say.

    Is it any good?

    Bridesmaids is touted as fresh and original because it is a raunchy comedy for women.  Ultimately, the film recycles things that have been done in other movies… but with female characters.  That is a cheap way to fake originality.  That’s not to say that the film is bad, though.  Cliches are cliches for a reason:  becasue they work and have worked for a long time.  It’s just sad to see a film with such potential not be as good as it could be.

    The thing that stands out the most about this film is that it works much better as a drama than a comedy.  The story is very emotional and deals with things anyone can relate to:  jealousy, depression, unrequited love, etc.  When Annie bottoms out, then gets some help to find her redemption, that redemption is wonderful.  Her character arc makes this film worth watching.  Don’t expect to laugh the entire time, though.  Sometimes what is supposed to be funny, just comes off as uncomfortable.  You will laugh, however, at Melissa McCarthy as Lillian’s abrasive soon-to-be sister in law.  She, rightfully so, got an Oscar nomination for it and will have you laughing in most of her scenes.

    Nolan’s Grade:  B-

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