Sep 12, 2011

[Movies] Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids (2011)Movies are not often universal in appeal. What is appealing to one can be totally boring for another. It just goes on and on and on. And thus the goal of each reviewer is to try and figure out some relatively objective criteria upon one can base his or her reviews to have some sort of consistency.

I find this most true in comedies. After all, comedy is highly relative to one's experiences and interests, one's tastes and quirks. Thus comedies hit people in different ways. Sometimes the humor is almost immediate for a large group of people. Sometimes it just leaves people scratching their heads and blinking repeatedly in the gloom of the theater.

This movie has gotten a lot of good buzz and a significant degree of appeal among many people around the web. And yet as I watched the movie, I didn't quite get the same reaction as a lot of other people seemed to have as based on other reviews. In this regard it seems that I'm really not necessarily the same as most others, but a a geek I've often felt this in a variety of situations.

Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy movie directed by Paul Feig and written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig. The movie currently has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has managed a few nominations in the few awards groups that have started issuing such things.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is your strong yet still single 30-something year old woman. She once had a promising career as a pastry baker however she lost that business together with her boyfriend. And now she's just a clerk in a jewelry store. She currently has a purely sexual relationship with a man named Ted (Jon Hamm), although it's strictly that alone. Apart from that, her sad little life also has her sharing a flat with Gil (Matt Lucas) and Brynn (Rebel Wilson), who have no sense of privacy and don't to well in terms of supporting the rent.

WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 28:  L-R) Director/execut...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBut then her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) finally becomes engaged to a banker, naturally she is asked to become the maid of honor. But her fellow bridesmaids are an interesting bunch - the rather cynical and jaded Rita (Wendy McLendon-Covey), the sexually forward Megan (Melissa McCarthy), the idealistic Becca (Ellie Kemper) and the beautiful and rather successful Helen (Rose Byrne), who is the wife of Lillian's future boss. Annie and Helen immediately enter an odd rivalry as they compete for Lillian's friendship and constantly try to one-up one another as the wedding preparations continue.

The movie's initial buzz had called this movie many things, including the female version of The Hangover, which was another comedy that I didn't quite get. I suppose my challenge with these movies is that I've never really gotten into the particular brand of gross-out humor that has been on the rise ever since There's Something About Mary. I guess it just bothers me that we've gone away from good writing of comedic, witty lines. Instead we've resorted to increasingly disturbing and uncomfortable situations presented as an alternative to more intelligent comedy.

To be fair, I really appreciated Kristen Wiig's performance here for the most part. On Saturday Night Live, she's often placed in very weird sketches involving her having a strange baby hand instead of a normal hand and other such shenanigans. Thus initially I was worried we'd have more of that sort of humor, which would have made the movie a major pain. While there were a few moments like that. But what was surprising is that Kristen's character was a lot more intelligent and well thought-out than I had feared. I could totally see her in more romantic comedy roles that should break the mold of the genre. I certainly see a greater potential for her in the future.

The story felt a little confused to me. It's mainly just a lot of gross-out one-ups-manship , so to speak. And I really, REALLY didn't need the whole scene at the dress shop most of all. That just totally ruined things for me and made me want to stop watching the movie entirely. It just didn't serve any true purpose other than to have a big gross-out moments at the center of the movie in order to get laughs, like the whole hair-removal scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin.

I suppose it's a helpful reminded that when a comedy needs to release an "Unrated Edition" as part of its home video offerings, then it means it's probably not my kind of comedy. Unrated almost always translates to really bad gross-out humor that I can live without.

I'm sure Bridesmaids is a good movie for most and one that a lot of folks found funny. But I felt it lacked true focus and better plot development which is compromised in the name cheap laughs through unusual and uncomfortable situations. Still, the movie gets 3 crazy things Annie does to get the attention of a cop out of a possible 5.

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