A long time ago, when I was still in film school, I used to be a huge film snob. I hated anything that anyone else liked, I had a massive thing for Kieślowski and I despised mainstream Hollywood. Then a funny thing happened, and I got the fuck over myself, stopped hiding my secret love affair with all things Bruckheimer (oh The Culture of Excess how I love you!) and lightened up. To the point where I began to love Appatow movies (once I got over other people liking him, of course) and thats how we arrive at me, dragging Josh along to see a PREVIEW (I couldn’t even wait another 2 days) of Bridesmaids.
Billed as a female version of The Hangover (although, it’s really not, they don’t even make it to Vegas) it treads the awkward territory of the Gross Out Chick Flick. A territory that hasn’t been explored much at all. I’m not sure how much of this was because the two genres mesh seamlessly and how much was based on trying to make an “intelligent chick flick” bankable (Baby Mama and Spring Breakdown both having been box office failures despite casts)
Regardless of the reasoning, it works. And not in a Geordie Shore way either. It’s really well written and full of conversations that actually happen between women, in real life. The dynamics and complexities of female relationships are explored here, and it’s done pretty well, all alongside drunken girl on girl make outs, cock-in-face jokes and spontaneous vomiting in hair. I’d argue that it’s exactly what female audiences need.
The story is is no way complicated. The film centres around 2 childhood friends in what I can only assume are their mid thirties. One of them (Annie) is recovering from a failed business and relationship, playing fuck buddies with the terrifically terrible Jon Hamm, living in a house share and working a shitty job. The other one (Lily) has just got engaged and is moving up the social ranks and living in another city. Lily asks Annie to be her maid of honour et voila. Movie.
One of my favourite things about the movie, is that when Annie finds out that Lillian is engaged although she does the fake happy thing, she doesn’t do it all that well. It’s refreshing to see an honest female character, jealousy and self pity are central themes for Annie’s character, and quite dangerous things for a female protagonist to exhibit in Hollywood.
I don’t mean to make the movie sound dour, it’s the opposite of that, it’s laugh out loud awesome a lot of the time, and even the schmaltzy elements aren’t that sickening. It’s the kind of girl based movie I wouldn’t resign for just viewing on PMS days.
It’s beautifully played by a stellar cast. Everyone is funny and pitch perfect. Jon Hamm plays a fuckable douche SO WELL (not in a Draper way) Chris O Dowd from the IT Crowd is an odd choice for a nerdy love interest, but he’s great. Melissa McCarthy (who I’ve loved since Gilmore Girls) is amazing and takes the token fat chick role to a whole new level.
So, if you’re looking for a movie that appeals to your sentimental side that talks about letting people change, accepting responsibility for your actions, realising your dreams and watching your adult friendships evolve while simultaneously showing a myriad of meltdowns, misbehaviour and a room full of women in Wedding attire getting food poisoning in graphic detail then I’d give this a go.
I really liked it, and think it’s a triumph as far as movies made specifically for girls go.