Reporting Eric Henderson
I wanted to come out of Bridesmaids wishing I could be a bridesmaid. Instead, I felt like I’d attended a wedding whose guest list got way out of control. But that’s in a good way … mostly.
In what would justifiably be her star-making transition to movies, Kristen Wiig plays a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown who tries to be thrilled for her childhood best friend’s engagement and her upcoming role as the maid of honor. Unfortunately, her own series of misfortunes and awareness of an insidious class gap between herself and the bride-to-be’s new, other best friend send her off the deep end.
It’s a bit like the Book of Job in the form of Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” (a song utilized in the movie to perfect effect, especially the refrain, “You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness”), only gene-spliced with the likes of The Hangover.
You can click the video above to see my chat about the movie with Natalie Kane, but there are a few more points I’d like to make.
I can’t stress enough just how many awesome comedians and comediennes they have managed to stuff into this movie. Not just Wiig and Maya Rudolph (who, almost by default, assumes the “dramatic” role as the bride-to-be), but the entire sextet that comprises the bridal party.
The Office‘s Ellie Kemper doesn’t get much screen time as a too-chipper Bride of Disney-stein, but she plays off amazingly against Reno 911‘s Wendi McLendon-Covey, playing a disillusioned, platinum-blonde Mrs. Robinson in the making. Even Rose Byrne (typically a near-invisible actress) manages to her own as the aforementioned “new best friend” whose lavish pre-wedding festivities and gifts constantly fly in Wiig’s face.
But the entire clan take a back seat whenever Melissa McCarthy (almost unrecognizable here when held against her stint on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly) steps into the room. Playing the sister of the groom, she’s a jocular, vulgar force of nature with a wide stance wider libido. She tears through scenery and swallows every scene she’s in whole. Don’t mess with her.
There’s so much going on in this bridal party that there’s hardly any room for Jill Clayburgh or Melanie Hutsell, to say nothing of the many extremely funny men like Michael Hitchcock (Best in Show), Matt Lucas (Little Britain), John Hamm (Mad Men) or Tim Heidecker of Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show fame (who, as far as I could tell, didn’t even have a single line of dialogue).
It’s almost as if co-screenwriters Wiig and Annie Mumolo made a conscious decision to say, “Move over, boys. Us womenfolk can be just as raunchy and scatological as you.”
Point taken. And proven.