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Movie Review: Bridesmaids

May 13, 2011

Bridesmaids – A Universal Pictures’ Release

http://www.bridesmaidsmovie.com/

Release Date: May 13th, 2011

Rated 14A for coarse language, sexual content and crude content

Running time: 125 minutes

Paul Feig (dir.)

Kristen Wiig (writer)

Annie Mumolo (writer)

Michael Andrews (music)

Kristen Wiig as Annie

Maya Rudolph as Lillian

Rose Byrne as Helen

Melissa McCarthy as Megan

Chris O’Dowd as Rhodes

Wendi McLendon-Covey as Rita

Ellie Kemper as Becca

Jill Clayburgh as Annie’s Mom

Tim Heidecker as Dougie

Jon Hamm as Ted

©Universal Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

Megan (Melissa McCarthy), Becca (Ellie Kemper), Helen (Rose Byrne), Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and Annie (Kristen Wiig) in the comedy Bridesmaids.

Our reviews below:

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Bridesmaids Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

The most predictable way to describe Bridesmaids, the wedding-themed comedy from producer Judd Apatow, would be The Hangover with women.  This refreshingly female-centric comedy isn’t nearly as good as that infamous instant-classic of 2009, but the talented actresses here still manage to deliver their own share of outrageous and inspired laughs along with a few more expected and needless gags.

When chosen as the maid of honour at her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding, Annie (Kristen Wiig) hits a serious crossroads in her 30-year-old life.  Some of her nights are spent with shallow sex partner Ted (Jon Hamm), and the gorgeous but manipulative bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne) is threatening to tear apart her close friendship with Lillian.  But just as everything starts to go hilariously wrong before the wedding, Annie starts falling for a kind police officer, Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd).

A needlessly disgusting and vile scene of depicted bodily functions at a bridal shop that plays as pure shock value should have been removed completely.  Wendy McLendon-Covey plays the cousin of the bride, and it’s a whiny and obnoxious role that adds nothing to the story and should have been left out.  Ellie Kemper fares better as the sweet-natured fourth bridesmaid, but only serves to add a needless extra character for the audience to keep track of.

But these flaws are mostly forgiven for the sheer amount of outrageously funny and inspired stuff here.  The comedic brilliance of Kristen Wiig shines through in most scenes, as she displays her deft touch at sharp verbal and physical humour in a much-deserved leading role.  Her drunken interlude on an airplane is easily one of the funniest sequences in the film.  Melissa McCarthy provides the funniest supporting work as Megan, the tough and motormouthed sister of the groom who is refreshingly unafraid of sharing her unbiased thoughts on the situation.  Watch out for a cameo from some adorable puppies.

Like the best of films under the Apatow banner, Bridesmaids also has a real heart beneath the raunchy humour.  There are a few scenes that feel painfully honest, displaying one of the best depictions of female friendship in recent memory.  Raw confessions and in-jokes between characters are sharp and convincing allusions to believable interactions between friends.  The women fortunately fare better here than they did in the trite and contrived Something Borrowed of last week.

There certainly were things I didn’t like about Bridesmaids and at a whopping 125-minutes, it would have also benefited from a little editing.  But there are enough scenes that had me laughing out loud as well as a few standout sequences of comedic gold that prove Bridesmaids as an early contender for the funniest movie of the summer.  Even with The Hangover: Part 2 opening in less than two weeks, some of these laughs just can’t be beat.

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Bridesmaids Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

When Annie’s (Kristin Wiig) best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married, Annie starts to reexamine her own life and feel jealous of her friend.  But she is placed in the position of Maid of Honor and with the other Bridesmaids must help to plan the wedding.  The only problem is, her own attitude is hindering her in helping to make Lillians’ wedding her best day ever.

I’ll admit – from the trailers, I thought I’d be cringing throughout this one.  Surprisingly, overall I liked it.  At its worst (fitting room scene anyone?), it is completely disgusting – I really don’t get the appeal of vomit jokes which are never funny – although at its best, it provides plenty of laughs with its comic timing and witty dialogue exchanges.  Overall, I liked the cast of characters and the storyline kept its pace well, although I’d say shave this one down by 10-15 minutes for a more well-rounded flick.

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Bridesmaids Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

There have been a lot of good buddy movies about men.  Bridesmaids is one of the few female buddy movies where the characters are well-developed and likable.  Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) have been best friends since childhood.  So when Lillian gets engaged to her boyfriend, Dougie (Tim Heidecker), it is only fitting that Annie becomes her maid of honour.

Lillian gets together a group of bridesmaids, including Dougie’s hilarious and tomboyish sister, Megan (Melissa McCarthy), and his boss’s wife, Helen (Rose Byrne).  Problem is, Helen is too perfect and overshadowing Annie, which makes her jealous.  She gets bitter, arguing with everyone about all kinds of things.  But just as things seem their worst, Annie’s life starts to get better.  In the end, she is able to rediscover the value of friendship.

Bridesmaids isn’t perfect.  There is one nauseating scene of pure crude “humour” at a bridal shop that should have been removed.  While, in my opinion, that scene knocks off a half-star, the rest of the movie is funny, with mostly dialogue-driven humour.  I especially liked the sweet romance between Annie and a police officer, Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd).  Megan also adds a lot of quirky humour herself.  Overall, this is a funny movie that is perfect for wedding season.  Bring the whole wedding party.

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Bridesmaids Review by Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Being a member of the bridal party can sometimes bring out the best and worst in people.  Judd Apatow’s Bridesmaids displays some of the funniest comedic scenes in a movie this year as well as some of the worst attempts at comedy.

For the most part, Bridesmaids is an intelligently written and well-acted, hilarious movie.  Kristen Wiig is simply brilliant as the down-on-her-luck maid of honour, Annie.  Wiig’s comic timing is impeccable and her character completely believable despite the many stupid and unlikable things she does in the name of jealousy.  No matter what happens, Annie loves her childhood best friend, the bride Lillian (Maya Rudolph).  The problem is that Lillian’s new best friend, Helen (Rose Byrne), an overacheiving and perfect in every way thorn in Annie’s side.

The bridal party is made up of an interesting mix of ordinary women whose only bond is their mutual connection to the bride.  When the ladies get together for the usual pre-wedding events (fittings, showers, etc.) the results are hilarious.  The funniest segment for me has to be the bridal party’s attempt at a plane trip to Las Vegas.  Wiig is at her best in these scenes.

The worst segment in Bridesmaids has to be the scenes at the bridal salon.  While trying on expensive dresses the ladies are hit one-by-one with a nasty case of food poisoning.  Those of us who are easily nauseated have no choice but to look away during what feels like an eternity of projectile vomiting.  Bridesmaids would have been just as funny without this vile segment and the running time would have been shorter.  At 125-minutes, it’s also a little long.

Despite its flaws, Bridesmaids is one funny movie.  The bond of friendship feels real between the main characters and some secondary characters are also fun to watch.  I especially enjoyed the groom’s sister, bridesmaid Megan (Melissa McCarthy).  Her scenes are over-the-top funny.  Also nice is the blossoming friendship between Annie and States patrol officer Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd).  The scenes with her trying to get Officer Rhodes’ attention with her crazy driving stunts are some of the funniest.

All the bridal party build-up has to end with a spectacular wedding and that’s what we get in Bridesmaids.  All the stuff, good and bad no longer matters once the ‘I do’s’ are said and done.  If you are a bride-to-be or have ever been in a bridal party then you’ll find Bridesmaids to be a fun night out.  Enjoy the party.

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Bridesmaids Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

The opening scene of Bridesmaids sets the tone of this typical Judd Apatow production, this time with women in the principal roles. Annie (Kristin Wiig) is going through the (varied) motions in bed with a playboy with no expectations of commitment, having lost her partner and the bakery business they had shared. She is happy to be the maid of honour at the wedding of her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) to Dougie, but meeting the other bridesmaids, Annie feels overshadowed by Helen (Rose Byrne), the beautiful and wealthy trophy wife of Dougie’s boss.

Among the other bridesmaids, Dougie’s sister Megan (Melissa McCarthy) is eccentric but proves loyal in the end. Annie has other problems. Her two crazy British flatmates kick her out, forcing her to move in with her mother (Jill Clayburgh in her last role). She can’t help turning off customers in the jewellery shop where she works. Hitting rock bottom, she can’t even hang onto the one good thing that is happening–a budding relationship with a sweet Irish cop (Chris O’Dowd). But this is a comedy after all, so things do work out in the end.

Like other Apatow films, I found Bridesmaids a bit too vulgar for my taste, and long at two hours, with about two bridesmaids too many and at least one disgusting scene featuring the purgative effects of food poisoning. However, the film is brilliantly carried by Kristin Wiig, with enough strong comedic bits to recommend it, particularly the airplane scene and Helen’s extravagant pre-wedding party.

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Consensus: Fronted by the comedic brilliance of Kristen Wiig and a mostly strong supporting cast, Bridesmaids has its share of outrageously funny sequences.  Despite an overlong running time and a needless gross-out scene, this female-centric comedy will entertain both men and women alike.  **3/4 (Out of 4)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2011 12:22 am

    I am really excited to see this film! Kristen Wiig is a comedic genius in my opinion! Thanks for the reviews!
    -Jason McNeely
    jasondmcneely.wordpress.com

    Like

    • May 13, 2011 10:09 am

      You’re welcome! Although Bridesmaids could have used a little editing and the removal of a now-infamous scene, it solidly provides a lot of huge laughs with refreshingly believable characters, offering an overall good time at the movies for men and women alike. Agreed – Kristen Wiig is a comedic genius.

      Thanks for reading!

      -John C.

      Like

  2. Don C permalink
    October 11, 2011 1:18 am

    This was possibly one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I feel betrayed by friends and reviewers who recommended that I see it. 40 Minutes in was when I had my first laugh so I checked my watch and took note of it. If everyone else in the theatre had been busting a gut, I would have assumed it was me. But I would say less than 10% of the ppl in the audience were laughing.
    And to compare it to “the Hangover” is a joke.

    Like

    • October 11, 2011 9:11 am

      I understand your disappointment. Audiences have as much right as the critics to share their opinion on a film, and for every movie there will always be those who don’t get the appeal or misjudge what someone else might think. Sometimes this is especially true of a comedy like Bridesmaids.

      At the end of the day, it should be remembered that film criticism also comes down to personal opinion.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts,

      -John C.

      Like

  3. Beth permalink
    November 5, 2011 3:33 pm

    I loved this film! My daughter and I watched last night and never laughed so hard. Annie is played by a brilliant actress Kristen Wiig. While Megan Melissa McCarthy left me wanting to see more. The airplane scene is side splitting! Annie’s drunken confrontation with Steve the flight attendant was unforgettable. Would love to see a baby shower with these amazingly funny women!

    Like

    • November 5, 2011 4:09 pm

      We all agree – the airplane scene is one of the funniest sequences in Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig handles it all so brilliantly that it never stops being funny.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      -John C.

      Like

  4. louiseforster permalink
    March 27, 2012 10:05 pm

    I love the opening scene. Such a refreshing surprise to start with an ‘hilarious’ sex scene. All the women in my immediate family watched this movie and we all thought it was the funniest romantic comedy we’d seen in a while.

    Like

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