Bridesmaids (2011)






THE SCOOP
Director:  Paul Feig
Cast:  Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne
Plot:  Picked as her best friend's maid of honor, lovelorn and broke Annie looks to bluff her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals with an oddball group of bridesmaids.

Genre:  Comedy / Romance
Awards:  Nom. for 2 Oscars - Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.
Runtime:  125min
Rating:  M18 for some strong sexuality, and language throughout

IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
Look at the credits and you won’t be at the slightest bit surprised at a familiar name.  That name is Judd Apatow.  And that name has been responsible for launching a whole new sub-genre of raunchy adult romantic comedies that started with his feature-length directorial debut The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), which is later topped by what I feel is the sub-genre’s most exceptional film, Knocked Up (2007).  In the last six years, Apatow also had a hand in the success of films such as Superbad (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Step Brothers (2008), and Pineapple Express (2008).

It is with irony to note that Apatow was not involved in The Hangover (2009), that year’s most successful and critically acclaimed R-rated comedy.  But he has staged a comeback of sorts after the poor showing of his last feature Funny People (2009) as producer for Bridesmaids, a film that has been, albeit inaccurately, called “The Hangover for women”. 

Director Paul Feig calls the shots in this entertainingly hilarious film about Annie (Kristen Wiig), who has been asked to be maid of honor for her close friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph).  But little does she know what is in stored for her…

It is a guarantee that you will be rewarded with laughs aplenty.  This is a feel-good, women-centered comedy about friendship and love.  But men do not have to worry as they would be entertained too. The comic set pieces are expertly developed and so is the dialogue, which apart from its more heartfelt moments of reconciliation, is filled with vulgar talk about sex and toilet humor. 

Joined by four more oddball women who are friends of Lillian, Annie finds it a nightmarish struggle to hold her ground and to make things work.  Her past failure in a bakery business and a stagnant sexual fling with a man only add to her woes.

While Bridesmaids is fun to watch, its plot is cliché and predictable.  Hence, do not expect a fresh and original take on the subject, though I must say that efforts have been made to ensure that the story remains engaging, though it lags a bit towards the end of its second act.  The acting by the ensemble cast is generally strong for a film of this nature. 

Perhaps the most effective strategy the filmmakers have taken to engage viewers is to portray Annie, right from the first scene, as a woman whom we would root for till the very end.  In a nutshell, Bridesmaids is conventional but two hours well-spent in the company of like-minded friends who wouldn’t mind some vulgar screen fun.

GRADE: B





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