Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BRIDESMAIDS - Kristen Wiig's Vehicle

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jon Hamm and Jill Clayburgh
Director: Paul Feig
Screenplay by Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo
Time: 122 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

From left: Kemper, McCarthy, Wiig, Byrne, Maya Rudolph and McLendon-Covey

PREAMBLE: Promoted as the female version of The Hangover, Bridesmaids starts off going way over-the-top to the point of being 'disgusting' but later redeems itself amicably. It ends up not as a comedy about a wedding, but as an inspiring treatise on friendship, love and picking up the pieces of one's life. At over two hours, the comedy is rather long-drawn but bearable.

SYNOPSIS: Annie (Kristen Wiig) sucks at her job selling greeting cards and romantic stuff, and sleeps with a guy (Jon Hamm) who doesn't care for her. When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces that she’s getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honour, Annie starts to discover what a loser she really is. The one who makes her feel like dirt is bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne), a wealthy and well-organised wife of the groom's boss who suddenly claims Lillian as her best friend.

The more Annie tries to please Lilian her friends, the deeper she gets into trouble. This gets to the point that even when a romantic prospect (Chris O'Dowd as police officer Nathan Rhodes) pops up, she somehow rejects it.

HITS & MISSES: Actually, it is the first half of the movie that is a bit like The Hangover. And it goes from merely annoying to utterly revolting as we see the cast mired in vomiting and sh*t jokes. Here too, we find Wiig (who also co-wrote the script) unreasonably making her Annie odious and spoilt. However, the plot takes a turn for the better in the second half when the movie transforms itself from comedy to drama. This is when we see Wiig shine as a dramatic/romantic actress the likes of Meg Ryan. Another show-stealer is Melissa McCarthy (above) who plays the groom's sister, Megan. It comes as no surprise that McCarthy has just won the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.

The late Jill Clayburgh (left) and Wiig

Byrne supports credibly as the attention-grabbing Helen while O'Dowd gets us rooting for him as a 'nice cop' and enthusiastic suitor. On a more sombre note, Bridesmaids marks the final movie for the late Jill Clayburgh who plays Annie's mom.

THE LOWDOWN: A fitting choice for a hens' night out and as a chick flick.


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