Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bridesmaids - Review

My very belated review for Bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids has been called "everything The Hangover II should have been", which is fitting enough and intended as a compliment, but overlooks the fact that Bridesmaids is miles better than The Hangover. Every bit as crass, shocking and hilarious, Bridesmaids wins because it has characters - although more than mildly screwed up - you can believe in and root for.

Kristen Wiig leads the pack as epic loser Annie; single, poor, cupcake business failed, best friend getting married and not taking it quietly at all. Acting out in subtle, and not so subtle, ways, Wiig (who co-wrote the script) is relentless in sending trouble and bad decisions Annie's way, but the more she can't get ahead, the more she becomes a beacon for anyone who ever couldn't stop screwing up. Hilarious, of course, she also shows real depth and sadness as Annie struggles to stop being her own worst enemy.

After Wiig, recent Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy gives an inspired, surreal comic performance which takes a page from Zach Galifianakis's socially inappropriate and unpredictable Alan (the best part of The Hangover), and takes it to another level. She nails every one of her scenes with such insane comic intensity and, thanks to a more meaty scene where she helpfully, and physically, illustrates the need to fight back when life is beating you up, she really could stand a chance as an awards contender.

Maya Rudolph has an authentic, off-the-wall best friend chemistry with Wiig - and is likable despite being the only stable woman in the film - and Rose Byrne gets to show off her rare comic talents as over-achieving, wealthy snob, Helen. Byrne really nails her character's peculiar psychology, but never compromises the humour. Annie: "This is the first time I've seen you look ugly and it makes me happy!" Helen: (laughing) "No, I don't...".

The rest of the cast supports well, while Mad Men's Jon Hamm excels as complete dick, Ted, and IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd is of course the perfect sweet, dorky and honest love interest for Annie.

Director Paul Feig has created a fearlessly hilarious ("It's coming out of me like a volcano!") and heartfelt comedy centered almost entirely around women being honest about everything they're not supposed to let us see. Brilliant.