Paul Feig, Universal Pictures, 2011. Starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy.
Question: Have you had that time in your life (I suppose I am speaking to all the women now) and your best friend has acquired some new friends and you just aren't that happy about it? We all have -- admit it! Well, that is what Bridesmaids is basically about. Yes, we women can do some strange things when we feel threatened by new, beautiful girls. However, someone forgot to tell the storytellers of this film: don't take the joke so far and so long or you will lose your audience (well, you will lose me). We can take funny even if it is a bit on the vulgar side but please don't patronize us with tons of awkwardly dramatic parts just so you think we will keep watching.
I have basically been alive a few years shorter than Saturday Night Live has been on the air. For decades that show has showcased some of the most brilliant comedic minds on the planet, but in the last few years something has happened on that program that basically keeps me away from watching it: telling a joke for too long. And with Bridesmaids, co-written by Kristen Wiig, I should have had some sort of inkling that could happen here.
I was so looking forward to this movie. Lots of great reviews popped up on Twitter and other movie sources, so when my friend asked me to go again to the movies with her I was game. The first thirty minutes or so I will admit I laughed and I laughed out-loud. Then the story took a turn. My first clue that the rest of the movie wasn't going to work happened during a scene where giving speeches turned into a competition. It went on too long and it lost me.
Then the title threw me because I realized the mood of the film wasn't so much about the bridesmaids but the maid of honor, played by Kristen Wiig, who was having the worst time of her life during her best friend's happiest time. No real problem with that but the story went on the dramatic side, which I was not expecting. And again, no problem with that except that someone forgot to edit the scenes and either the funny or awkwardly dramatic ones went on forever. I got bored.
From time to time some moments looked like the movie was on an upswing but then took too long to get there and I was lost yet again. I did actually see two people walk out of the theater, which was mostly filled with men and us two women. (I found that ratio odd.) Perhaps Bridesmaids was going for The Office and Parks & Recreation type of awkward comedy, which I like a lot, but I don't think it worked well here. I did have some Oh-My-God moments where I put my hand to my mouth and thought: 'They didn't just go there.' Yes, those are the moments of hilarity where it can border on offensive. I didn't mind those moments, at all.
From the previews I thought we, gals, were going to finally have our Hangover or Wedding Crashers movie (it tried) but it is not a film that I liked right off the bat. However, this is just one reviewer's point-of-view. (I should tell you that my friend felt the same way I did about Bridesmaids.)
I do think Kristen Wiig can play funny or dramatic (and I can't wait to see her in something else) but I just didn't think Bridesmaids is all that or what people think it is. I did enjoy Melissa McCarthy's character and she could be one of the funniest actresses not many know about. Her character in Bridesmaids was a little over-the-top but at least one character was a treat to watch throughout. Although during the credits there is a bonus scene you might want to divert your eyes -- that attempt at humor was short but very powerful -- whoa!
I am usually not way off from a lot of other reviewers but this time we don't see eye to eye. Perhaps they need to really think about the film in its entirety, and maybe I need to see it again to see if I missed something. It can happen. I remember seeing Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and not liking it the first time and now I find it one of the funniest movies of that decade.
My favorite part: The scene with the bridesmaids trying on dresses was pretty darn hysterical.
My least favorite: The airplane scene -- too long and not humorous.
Did the previews ruin it? No, but they did show a much funnier movie than what I saw.
Random thought: Regarding Melissa McCarthy: Back in 1999, I saw her in Go and had a feeling she would do well -- just from that giggle in a very short scene. I even enjoyed her in Gilmore Girls.
Length: 125 minutes
Review: 5 out of 10