Few events offer as much potential for comedic effect as a girl’s wedding day. Put a group of overbearing women (who don’t know one another) together with a bitchy, on-edge bride expecting the planets to align on her special day… barrels of laughs are sure to follow. And while no event has been depicted in film as often – and as one-dimensionally - as girls getting married, it’s fairly safe to say it’s never been seen like in Bridesmaids before.
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo, co-writers of the hilarious new comedy from producer Judd Apatow, have made sure to stay far, far away from the treacly rom-com wedding movie, and have instead created a ballsy, bawdy, and oftentimes downright filthy comedy that celebrates how women REALLY interact with one another leading up to the big day.
While comparisons to 2009’s raucous buddy-flick, The Hangover will undoubtedly be made, the two films actually share very little in common, save for the potential to put scores of butts in the seats and the fact that both films revolve around a bumbling wedding party. Sure, it’s equally chock full of potty-mouth parlance and hilarious situational site gags, but at Bridesmaids’ base level is the unmistakable trademark of Judd Apatow that builds with equal parts humor and genuine human heart. It’s not really about a wedding as much as it is about dealing with middle age, maintaining friendships, and finding one’s place in life.
Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life keeps coming up short. When she discovers her lifelong friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is engaged to be married, Annie plans something unique and memorable as the maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, she dives right in to the rituals and tries to get to know the other ladies in the bridal party, including one particular rival, Helen (Rose Byrne) who is perfectly poised to effortlessly fulfill all the duties that Annie struggles with.
So for the remainder of the movie, Annie drags Lillian’s bridesmaids along an escalating series of wedding party disasters, with Helen always there to clean it all up. It’s not long before Annie eventually realizes she’s introduced her BFF to a group of strangers who will shake up her life for good.
With plenty of comedy potential built in to any story about weddings and the myriad things that can go wrong, it’s easy think that all director Mike Feig would have to do is set up all the actors on the set, yell “action” and let them act out the script. After all, how can a director go wrong with such a huge and talented cast? Especially one from such fertile comedy playgrounds as The Groundlings improv troupe, SNL, and The Office, right?
But credit Wiig with infusing the proceedings with plenty of laugh-out-loud physical humor while displaying tremendous dramatic acting chops as she’s completely believable as someone who fears life is passing her by. She possesses that inimitable ability to act with her face as well as take a drunken pratfall for the sake of an appreciative audience.
Wiig is also never reluctant to share the film’s more outrageous moments with her supporting cast, including Gilmore Girls’ Melissa McCarthy, who nearly steals the entire show as Lillian’s fight club-loving/nuclear-engineer wild-card future sister-in-law. Wendi McLendon-Covey also stands out as Lillian’s married cousin who fires non-stop zingers describing married life and the trials of raising foul-mouthed teenage sons. And The Office‘s Ellie Kemper is memorable as the sweet, wide-eyed ingénue, Becca who counters all the misery with a fresh-faced innocence.
It’s a bit odd that a man should rise above all the estrogen-laced pomp and circumstance, but Chris O’Dowd stands out as Annie’s Irish-born suitor, Officer Rhodes, the first man in a long time to accept Annie as she is. He wants to have a grown-up relationship with her, and that initially scares Annie and makes her run for the hills. But as she gets to know him, she starts to see a side of Rhodes she adores.
Bridesmaids is not a movie for those looking for a pleasant, uneventful night out at the movies. Yes, it’s touching. And yes, it resonates with a heart of gold. But it’s also awkward, raunchy, and disgusting. Just like real life.
MPAA Rating: R for some strong sexuality, and language throughout.
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Kristen Wiig; Annie Mumulo
Cast: Kristen Wiig; Maya Rudolph; Wendi McLendon-Covey; Melissa McCarthy; Chris O'Dowd; Ellie Kemper
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's called civil rights. This is the '90s.
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Official Site: www.bridesmaidsmovie.com
Release Date: May 13, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date: September 20, 2011
Plot Synopsis: Annie’s life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian’s maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she’ll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you’ll go for someone you love.
Available on Blu-ray - September 20, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (as download); DVD copy; BD-Live; Mobile features
Playback: Region Free
Universal’s continuing dedication to their blu-ray handling continues with this radiant transfer of Bridesmaids. The AVC encoded 1080p transfer, presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1, is a virtual (and colorful) knockout. The colors are fine and detailed with a warm touch and fabulous depth. Clothes are detailed and even the tiniest of hair follicles are noticeable. The image has a fine layer of grain and shadows are consistent throughout. Some of the night scenes are blasted with a bit of a crush to the image, but the rest of the movie is a pure delight. The dynamic lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is wonderfully verbose and provides an exciting bit of drama to the comedy happening on-screen.
- Providing more gut-busting laughs then information, Bridesmaids commentary, provided by director Paul Feig, co-writer Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper, is a lot of fun to listen to…just don’t expect much information about the making of the film.
Once again, Universal unloads the vaults for its comedy. Filled with fantastic deleted scenes and a hysterical gag reel, Bridesmaids is loaded with alternate scenes, additional moments with Paul Rudd, a decent making of and Wilson Philips ‘Hold On’. There are copious amounts of outtakes from the tennis match to drug-fueled dialogue on the airplane. With two versions of the film and a hilarious slew of outtakes from Wiig and her improv gang, this is a completer’s best dream come true.
- Gag Reel (10 min)
- Line-O-Rama (13 min)
- Made of Honor: Behind the Scenes of ‘Bridesmaids’ (32 min)
- Blind Date With Dave (5 min)
- Dave-O-Rama (2 min)
- Deleted Scenes (9 min)
- Extended and Alternate Scenes (50 min)
- Roommates: Welcome Home (2 min)
- Roommates: Deleted Scenes (6 min)
- Roommates: Extended and Alternate Scenes (10 min)
- Oo-laka Juice Commerical (1 min)
- Deleted Scenes (5 min)
- Extended and Alternate Scenes (15 min)
- Commercials (2 min)
- Drunk-O-Rama (4 min)
- Pep Talk (3 min)