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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I haven’t actually written a movie review since the summer of ’09 when I wrote about District 9 soon after it opened. Why would I have? When you have a podcast, you so rarely need to write down an entire review. It’s much easier to just devise talking points and bullets and then let your words do the damage. I’m going to wager I’m a bit rusty with my writing…
In my undergraduate years, I remember writing the words “bear with us” into a group project. I didn’t think the project was going particularly well. I think my groupmates did. One of the group members happened to be Nick, who is my partner in crime and one half of the titular Culture Cast with Zack and Nick duo. When Bridesmaids was first announced, it was almost as if star and co-writer Kristen Wiig (of Saturday Night Live, Adventureland, MacGruber, et al) was asking us to bear with her filthy, female-dominated project. We’d seen it before, after all. In 2002, Cameron Diaz starred in the atrocious movie The Sweetest Thing, which happened to be a female-dominated project about ladies who make dick and fart jokes.
The difference between the two (besides how much Cameron Diaz sucks… seriously, she’s awful in everything she’s in) is that Bridesmaids is actually a quality, consistently funny movie. It may rely a bit too much on “I’m a woman, so when I make a dick/fart/poop/sex joke, it’s even funnier!” and it also may peak a bit too soon for my liking, but it’s a pretty solid effort for Wiig and friends.
Wiig stars as Annie Walker, a down-on-her luck woman in her mid-30s. Her best friend is Lilian, played with a cute sincerity by Maya Rudolph (very nice to see Rudolph in a quality role, by the way). When Lillian gets engaged, Annie’s already miserable life continues to plummet after she takes on the role of maid of honor. Throughout the film she deals with a power struggle in the form of Rose Byrne’s Helen, the quirky weirdness of Melissa McCarthy’s Megan (in the Zach Galifianakis role here, and probably the funniest person in the film), and her on-again off-again relationship with Irish cop Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd).
Wiig’s charm helps elevate the film, and her comedic talents are obvious. Scenes like the airplane ride to Vegas, an unfortunate dress-fitting shopping trip in an upscale boutique, and a complete breakdown at an engagement party are some of the comic highlights of the film featuring Wiig’s unique talents (eating a Jordan Almond has never and will never be funnier than it is here).
Unfortunately, the film seems to peak a bit too soon. And at 125 minutes, it might be a half hour too long as well. Certain scenes seem to drag on just a bit too much for my liking. Supporting characters, like Wiig’s roommates, are funny but unnecessary. Jon Hamm’s character is delightfully pigheaded (perhaps a sly take on the Bradley Cooper character in The Hangover?) but ultimately serves little purpose. As a summer comedy, this movie is definitely better than the average fair however. Chalk this up as another Apatow production worth checking out.