Wednesday, 13 July 2011

REVIEW: Bridesmaids

Still, could have done without someone shitting in a sink. A fairly standard rule for any movie.

I've had a mixed response to Kristen Wiig in the past. I've seen her be both incredibly funny and incredibly annoying, although if I'm being brutally honest it probably skews more toward the latter for me. I've never much liked her on my few painful experiences with watching Saturday Night Live, and her varying movie roles have always been a hit and miss for me. And I have to say the trailer for Bridesmaids didn't do much for me either. Just looking like an excuse for Wiig to mug for the camera and do her best Jim Carrey impression. It looked like Melissa McCarthy was just going to exist to be a dartboard for a series of lazy fat jokes, it looked aimless. And yet. I fucking loved this movie.

I always thought I'd laugh, but I thought it would play out like a series of sketches and not really attempt to, you know, be a movie of any kind. But I think it's this aspect that was most impressive. There was a real effort to draw humor from narrative and character instead of leaning on Kristen Wiig being exaggerated. Which is not only great for the film but also for Wiig, who gives a performance that's not only hilarious but well-rounded and not just a series of ticks. It's the most impressed by Wiig I've ever been, and it deserves every bit of praise it gets. If Oscar wasn't terrified of comedy I'd say there's a real case for a nomination, but that's wishful thinking beyond the usual parameters of wishful thinking. Having said that, I think this film belongs to Melissa McCarthy, making what could have been a horrible one note character into just about the funniest performance I've seen in a cinema all year. There's another winning comedic turn by Rose Byrne, who continues to be as excellent in comedy as she is drab and bland in drama. As far as the men go, everyone will love Jon Hamm in this, but I was particularly impressed by Chris O' Dowd, given the straight man role of the movie and creating a really strong dynamic with Wiig.

The title is a bit of a misnomer though, as the film is very much about Wiig's character as opposed to an ensemble piece, and a couple of members of the Bridesmaids troop go underused and wasted, particularly The Office's Ellie Kemper. But this is a minor complaint in regards to a film that not only manages to be terrifically funny but also keep one foot in reality, and present characters that could conceivably exist in our dimension. Something studio comedies rarely are able to do. Just a fantastic movie, by any definition, not just a feminist one. And certainly one of the best comedies I've seen in a cinema in a long time.

Rating: 8/10

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