Movie Review Monday: Bridesmaids

Mike Finkelstein was the Best Man at his cousin’s wedding a few months back.  Everything was awesome and the bachelor party in Vegas was absolutely ridiculous (heh…).  Why on earth would anyone ever think doing all that would be hard?  And then he saw a little movie with Kristen Wiig and found out why.  Here is his review for “Bridesmaids”

PLOT: When Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged, she is asked to be the Maid of Honor at the wedding.  However, with that comes the bonus of leading the Bridesmaids, including the desperate housewife (Wendi McLendon-Covey), the naïve newlywed (Ellie Kemper), the Groom’s crazy sister (Melissa McCarthy), and the Type-A perfect girl (Rose Byrne) who may steal Lillian away from her.  A load of hijinks ensue.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW: People have been branding BRIDESMAIDS as the female HANGOVER.  From the previews, it seems like that’s a pretty legitimate take: a gross out comedy leading up to a wedding with an ensemble cast of women replacing the men.  But oh, no…it is not the female HANGOVER.  It is so much more than that…

Flat out, I’ll say right now: BRIDESMAIDS is hilarious.   And with the cast names involved and the previews, would you really expect any less?  Let’s count down the moments…Awkwardly meeting all the other bridesmaids?  Check.  Trying on dresses, only for everyone to get massive (and dirty) food poisoning?  Check. Getting high on an airplane off of your relaxation pills and a Scotch?  Check.  Montage of anything and everything you could do wrong in front of a roadside cop?  Check.  Those are only a few of the moments.  I kid you not.  This is one of those rare times where there are more laughs than what is just shown in the trailer.

Kristin Wiig plays Annie, a very down-on-her-luck girl looking for some structure and love in her life.  Her cake shop closed down in the recession, she’s treated horribly by both her boss/coworkers at a jewelry store and her very strange roommate and his sister, and the guy she keeps crawling back to (played by Jon Hamm) is a slimeball who only wants crazy sex.  And then, her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) wants her to be her Maid of Honor.  Oh, the breakdown to come…

There has been a plethora of female comediennes taking the comedy world by storm these past few years.  Kristin Wiig is going to be one of those names very, very soon.  The woman has brought very average episodes of “Saturday Night Live” to a completely different level, and has done the same in any film where she had a supporting role.  Now, she deservedly gets her first leading role, and knocks it out of the park.  Wiig (who also co-wrote the script) plays awkward so naturally, and she brings that uncomfortable reality to Annie.  You could feel her cracking under the pressure of life, so much that even when it gets to the big climaxes, nothing that happens seems forced or out of left field.  It is all a natural build up for her because of everything she has been going through, and we appreciate it so much more when it happens.

Helping her with that build up is the crazy group known as the Bridesmaids.  All of them had their moments to stand out and shine (they spent two weeks improvising together before filming, and the chemistry is definitely seen), and Maya Rudolph does a great job playing the straight-woman bride.  The two that took the movie, though, were Melissa McCarthy and Rose Bryne.  I would have never imagined from seeing “Mike and Molly” that McCarthy could be this rude and disgusting.  She steals every scene she is in, and yet, is still able to show how genuine Megan is at heart.  This woman needs to be in more comedies, and quick.  As for Rose Byrne, I know she’s been around for a while in dramas and “Damages”, but this is the first time I’ve seen her in an all out comedy, and she does a great job of being hated.  Oh, did I just want her to fall off a roof…

Switching from the women to the romance (because you got to have the romance), first, I’ll say that Jon Hamm has officially solidified his comic brilliance as Wiig’s wannabe f*** buddy.  Hamm has turned into the go-to funny/mature guy for SNL players, and you could see why.  He just has so much damn fun with everything he’s doing (maybe because it’s so against anything in “Mad Men”), and we love having fun with him.  But the real gold is Chris O’Dowd as Officer Rhodes.  Too many times in movies, you see a romantic couple that seems fake (Adam Sandler…I’m looking at you, dude).  Here, Rhodes and Annie are so damn cute together that you can’t help but root for them.  He may not be the most attractive guy, but with his genuine kindness and heartwarming gestures, I’d choose him over Hamm any day.

One thing that has to be mentioned as well is the late, great Jill Clayburgh as Annie’s mother.  Sadly, this was Ms. Clayburgh’s final movie before passing away.  As the crazy mother who goes to AA meeting to meet guys, she couldn’t have been funnier.  She had some of the best lines in the film, and it was sad when watching her scenes that we knew we wouldn’t get a chance to see her again.

People can see the poster or trailer for BRIDESMAIDS and think that it’s just a chick-flick or a girl’s movie.  But I guarantee you, everyone will enjoy.  It may have been compared to THE HANGOVER, but with all its heart at the core of the crude and gross laughs, I’d compare it more to a KNOCKED UP or THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (fitting, since Judd Apatow produced it).  Especially after the disaster that was THE HANGOVER PART II, BRIDESMAIDS is a welcome addition to this decade’s comedy classics.

GRADE: A

Mike’s LIKES:

1) KRISTEN WIIG: The woman takes “Saturday Night Live” and any movie she is in to a whole other level.  This is her first leading role, and it is about time.  I think we have another female comedic genius on our hands, and we’re going to see a lot of greatness to come from Ms. Wiig.

2) FOOD POISONING: I did not stop laughing this entire scene.  It’s disgusting, nauseating, crude, and absolutely hysterical.  And Maya Rudolph is the icing on the cake (you’ll see).

3) AIRPLANE: If I had to pick the two best scenes in the movie (trust me, it’s hard), it would be the FOOD POISONING and on the airplane.  Everyone has a moment here, especially Melissa McCarthy, who will have you in stitches (or tape) with her trying to seduce the “Air Marshall”.  Which brings me to:

4) MELISSA MCCARTHY: Holy crap!  I never would have imagined from “Mike and Molly” that McCarthy had this in her.  She steals every scene she is in.  This woman needs more comedic parts.

5) ROMANCE: A realistic, cute romance for Kristen Wiig.  The two are so cute together and have such a great dynamic, that you can’t help but go ‘aww’

6) JON HAMM: I think Jon Hamm has solidified his comic genius.  He may have come up through “Mad Men”, but through SNL, “30 Rock”, The Ambiguously Gay Duo Live-Action Short, and now this, he’s the go-to guy along with Justin Timberlake.  Don’t believe me?  Just watch his facial expressions in the first five minutes…

 

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) CAN’T THINK OF ONE: Seriously, this movie is absolutely hysterical from beginning to end.  I guess if I could change one thing, it would be the opening sex scene, which is the only reason why I’m not recommending this movie to my old fashioned grandmother.  But even that was too funny to cut!  Damn you, mixed emotions!

EXTRA FACTS:

1) This marks the final film of actress Jill Clayburgh, who passed away from leukemia in November 2010.

2) The cast spent about 2 weeks improvising with each other, much of which was added into the script.