The Trouble with Quibbles: Bridesmaids

With Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo take us past the picture perfect veneer of the romantic comedy wedding, into the real world of blood, toil, tears and sweat involved in planning a wedding.

Wiig stars as Annie, a down-on-her-luck thirtysomething, struggling to put her life back together. When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks her to be the maid of honor, Annie can’t say no. Annie’s lack of experience and funds is only exacerbated by Lillian’s wealthy new friend Helen (Rose Byrne), and her preternatural wedding-planning skills.

AS: I was eager to see Bridesmaids. A Hangover-esque comedy starring Kristen Wiig, but after seeing it I think calling it Hangover-esque sells it short.

BP: Oh, for sure. I think in general they were struggling how to market and define this thing, but that might have helped keep expectations lower in the end.

AS: Ah, the power of lowered expectations.

BP: I went in expecting some good laughs, and I was treated to laughs as well as a fantastic movie.

AS: Agreed. I think Melissa McCarthy‘s character, Megan, is what made it the easy comparison to The Hangover . . . quirky sibling of the groom . . . but at the same time, she was so much more than just a female take on Zack Galifianakis’ character from The Hangover. She’s hilarious in her own way.

BP: She kills.

AS: And she’s surprisingly flexible.

BP: Plus, the whole “wedding” story has such a bad stink of shitty rom-coms, the fact that it is barely about the wedding is refreshing. I’ve heard various complaints about small things in the movie and I disagree with all of them. I really could not have liked this movie more

AS: What complaints?

BP: Some say it is too long.

AS: Really?

BP: I think while there are some scenes that could be trimmed, I wouldn’t because the bits are hilarious.

AS: It didn’t seem long to me at all, which is surprising for an Apatow Productions movie. And some of the scenes that ran long where obviously intentional. That was part of the joke.

BP: Right, the editing was spot on this time around. Like Wiig trying to get the cop’s attention could have ended sooner, but then she does the “who’s driving that car” gag and it’s perfect.

AS: YES! And the speech scene . . . just when you’re thinking that it’s gone on too long . . . the singing brings it all back.

BP: Another complaint is the dress fitting scene is too gross-out compared to the rest of the film. Which is so not the case.

AS: WHAT!?!

BP: It’s what I’ve heard.

AS: That is one of the best scenes in a movie ever.

BP: I think it was Ebert Presents that said that. And it’s not like you see anything, it is just built so well, cross cutting between, “It’s flowing out of me like lava,” and Wiig trying to keep her shit together.

AS: It goes: final saloon scene from Unforgiven – “Smile you sonuvabitch” from Jaws – singing in the rain in Singing in the Rain – food poisoning in Bridesmaids. It’s that good. And I am in no way being hyperbolic . . . maybe just a little.

BP: Some have also said that the other bridesmaids are not in it enough. Again, I disagree.

AS: See, that I do agree with. But that’s mostly because I love Wendi McLendon-Covey.

BP: But then the movie would have been too long. They were funny, but you didn’t need them for the story anymore then they were already present.

AS: I didn’t need more development for them or anything . . . but there were jokes that I’d seen from them in various trailers that I missed.

BP: Cut for timing, I’m sure. And the only complaints I might agree with were her roommates. They didn’t ruin it or anything; I’m just not a big Matt Lucas fan.

AS: I don’t remember seeing him in anything else.

BP: It was fine and they were small scenes, so no biggie.

AS: The bit with the tattoo was pretty hilarious.

BP: But otherwise, Wiig, McCarthy, Byrne, O’Dowd all gave great performances. The character moments were balanced perfectly with the laughs and everyone else had room to steal scenes . . . oh, and Wilson-Phillips.

AS: What about Rudolph!?! I’m sorry, but seeing her in a wedding dress, crouched in the middle of the street . . .  that’s icing on the cake.

BP: Everyone was great.

AS: That’s better.

BP: I mean, I literally slapped my knee at one point . . . 30 secs later I was like, “Did I just slap my fucking knee? Who gives a shit I’m having such a blast!”

AS: And I hate to hate Jon Hamm, but dammit he was great at being a prick.

BP: “Sup, fuck buddy.” – “Cup my balls.”

AS: “I really want you to leave, but I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a dick.” Brilliant!

BP: The comparisons have been all over the place, but I felt it reminded me of Sideways.

AS: Yeah, I can see that.

BP: Sideways is obviously striving for something else, but the similarities are there.

AS: Definitely. I just really appreciate the fact that Bridesmaids isn’t afraid of reality. It’s not worried about being all cutesy. These are real people and real life can be dirty. Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo and Paul Feig aren’t afraid of the “unmentionable” parts of life that romantic comedies gloss over. Bridesmaids doesn’t make everything seem nice and neat all the time. People are flawed. They sweat and shit and get sick and can be pretty awful to each other . . . and it’s ok to laugh about it.

BP: Well said. Best comedy since I think Superbad . . . Best rom-com since . . . forever! Just go see this movie . . . Grade: A!!!

AS: Agreed. Grade: A


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2 responses to “The Trouble with Quibbles: Bridesmaids

  1. Pingback: 2012 Oscar Checklist – Part 1: The Links | Shooting the Script

  2. Pingback: Bryan’s Top Ten Movies of 2011 | Shooting the Script

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