I’ve never really liked Kristen Wiig’s characters on SNL, but that might just be because it’s SNL. In the context of a film she has a lot more time to get things right, and she’s not inhibited by the one-note characters written for her. I’m not saying she’s a completely different person on the big screen but she’s a lot less annoying when she doesn’t have to be. At least she’s a good writer.
Bridesmaids is a movie that definitely looks like a “chick-flick,” but isn’t. It has many of the same basic building blocks; a bunch of female characters with relationship problems, a love interest, and OMG A WEDDING OMG. However, unlike the films advertised in the previews before this movie, it’s something that anyone with a good sense of humor and a strong enough stomach can enjoy. Being an Apatow-produced movie it’s not much of a surprise that there’s going to be some pretty raunchy comedy.
It’s the story of a largely unsuccessful woman with a newly engaged friend, and her seemingly endless self-destructive behavior and pity-parties. In her quest to compete for her best-friend’s attention, she manages to give the wedding-ladies food poisoning, get thrown off a plane, destroy a bridal shower, lose her job, and almost destroy a promising relationship with the Irish guy from The IT Crowd, jeopardizing the very friendship she was fighting for in the process. It’s a bit painful to watch at times, but being a comedy there’s plenty to keep it from being entirely depressing.
And what a comedy it is. This movie made me laugh more than any new funny-film has in the last few years. It’s gross, it’s irreverent, a bit shocking, awkward, and just a bit genius. The scene I’ll probably remember the longest didn’t even have any dialogue; Kristen makes a pretty neat cupcake and takes a bite, and then the camera just stays on her while she chews just a bit longer than would be expected as she makes unflattering faces. That sort of understated humor isn’t repeated a whole lot but the intelligence of it is prevalent.
The rest of the cast does a great job. There are a lot of great actors, some of which I recognized, including the awesome Jon Hamm as a fantastically awful person, Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric Awesome Show fame as the silent fiancé, and the adorable Ellie Kemper from The Office as an innocent newlywed.
Once in a while the movie does kind of relax into the framework of a chick-flick, but never for long, and not in a way that made me want to stop watching it. It’s really funny.