Friday, May 13, 2011

Movie Review: Bridesmaids

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Bridesmaids has been getting a lot of build up and positive buzz. I was excited to see it based on all that positive buzz. After watching the movie, I felt like I was stuck at the children's table at the reception. The movie fell flat on its face breaking its nose and I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Bridesmaids Movie Poster
The title of the movie is Bridesmaids. I'm expecting the focus to be on the antics of the group of bridesmaids for a wedding. Based on the trailers, both of them, I'm expecting a female version of The Hangover. The title was plural. I was sold a bill of goods. The main focus of the movie was on Annie (Kristen Wiig), the Maid of Honor for Lilian's (Maya Rudolph) upcoming nuptials. If they called it Maid of Honor or as one character said Maid of Dishonor it would have better represented what the movie was about. The group was window dressing for Annie's story.

Annie is having a hard time in life. She's being used as a toy by a guy (an uncredited Jon Hamm) as boy friend would not be an appropriate term to use to describe him. Her cake business has gone under due to the economy. She's in a job that she doesn't like. Her roommates are just all out weird. Her car couldn't pass a safety test. She's not having an easy time when Lilian asked her to be her Maid of Honor. Lilian knows this and that it's going to take extra finances to fulfill the role but she saddles the burden on Annie anyway. Where they talked about the economy in the opening scenes, it annoyed me that the bride wasn't thinking of the well being of her life long best friend but was caught up in herself.

As Annie meets the other bridesmaids there are personalities that get set up for the comedy and for clashing. It's obvious that there are two people who are going to have major issues with each other. Lilian has her new friend Helen (Rose Byrne) as part of the bridal party. Helen is her fiance's boss' wife and has money to boot! During the first meeting when Annie and Helen try to outdo each other with toasts to the bride, Lilian didn't step up and women up to straighten out things and set the expectations between the two women.

There were some moments of laughter. I don't mind toilet humor when dealing with bodily functions. After having lunch at a Brazilian churrascaria (a place where roasted meat is sliced off of a skewer right onto your plate) the bridal party heads to a super posh dress fitting where they start to develop symptoms of food poisoning. Stomach rumbling, belching and passing gas culminating with multiple people all dashing for the single toilet is the result while the hostess is yelling at them about the dresses and trying to get them to go use a restroom across the street. While you laughed at bodily functions the attitude of hostess and Helen had my stomach rumbling.

At one point Annie meets Officer Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd in a heavy Irish brogue) and a small relationship starts to develop. Annie is at such a low point in her life that she doesn't want to accept the friendship and encouragement that he offers to her. If this was an art house movie, great, wonderful. But this was supposed to be a comedy.

Lastly was the bachelorette party. Helen manipulates the ladies to have her way and hold the event in Las Vegas. It's the plane trip from hell for Annie. She doesn't like to fly and can't afford the trip in the first place, but Lilian seems ok with putting her best friend in such a bad position. Watching what Helen does overtly and as passive aggressive to Annie would earn her a spot in the Bad Girl's Club. Mixing drugs and alcohol on a plane is not a funny matter with current affairs.

I sat there for the two hours and five minutes of this R rated comedy for some strong sexuality, and language throughout cringing, upset and hoping it would be over soon. Many of the scenes shown in the trailers did not show up in the movie. While this happens quite frequently, especially with Will Ferrell movies, I don't think I've even seen as many scenes not make it into the final film as happened in this movie. If the shots had not been left on the cutting room floor, it maybe would have fared better as a comedy.

The script written by Wigg and Annie Mumolo who appears as Annie's seat mate on the plane could have given us much better work. The idea of Annie's downward plunge and hitting bottom then working herself back up or a more raucous comedy could have been developed from this script. It could evolved into two very different and workable scripts. What we got was a combination that instead of being funny or thoughtful was sad and at times self absorbed and mean spirited.

Regal Theaters Jalapeno Poppers and Soda
On a side note, this weekend I was able to try the jalapeno poppers at my local Regal theater. I ordered and they came out relatively quickly. Although the signage showed six poppers and no quantity with the description and price I received five pieces for the $4.50 price plus Ken's Steak House ranch dressing for dipping sauce. They also offered a discount coupon through Facebook that got a small soda for a buck. I upgraded to a large and for $6.50 I got what you see in the picture.

Back to the movie, make sure you stay through the beginning of the credits. There is some additional footage that is pretty funny. Finally, for me the star of the movie was Melissa McCarthy who played Megan. She's played Dena in Samatha Who? and plays the title roll of Molly in CBS' Mike and Molly. She's heavy set and tom boyish in the role. She's loud and somewhat uncouth but she showed more heart in her character than the rest of the bridesmaids combined. If anything, it would be interesting to see if Wiig could come up with a script for Annie and Megan to reprise their roles on the silver screen or maybe even a direct to DVD release.

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