Film Review: Bridesmaids (2011)

on Wednesday, July 06, 2011
'Bridesmaids' (UK Release: 24 June '11) // Words: Saam Das

We already have had one too many version of 'The Hangover' (and I thought the first film wasn't too bad actually) but do we need a "female version of 'The Hangover'"? No, we don't. But then again, it's somewhat unfair and reductive to compare 'Bridesmaids' to that film. It's a farcical romantic comedy that demonstrates that successful films don't need big name acting talent but wit and heart can go a long way.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) are best pals from their childhood so when Lillian unexpectedly gets engaged, she asks Annie to be her maid of honour. With an already crumbling personal life, Annie doesn't quite realise what she's let herself in for - particularly when she comes up against Helen (Rose Byrne), a richer and more beautiful bridesmaid who not-so-secretly wishes she were in Annie's role.

The confusing part is that Wiig's character isn't actually that sympathetic - she's self-centred, terrible at her job, pushes away those who support her, as well as being a poor friend and a worse bridesmaid. Okay, so she redeems herself in the end but director Paul Feig's triumph is making a largely likeable comedy with such a crappy lead character.

The ensemble cast of bridesmaids rescue the situation through their "banter" and "antics" but also with their burgeoning friendship. Excepting the Helen vs Annie ruckus, which bizarrely metamorphoses towards the end of 'Bridesmaids'. Undoubtedly, the highlight of 'Bridesmaids' is Megan, the bridesmaid played by the perpetually scene-stealing Melissa McCarthy - hilarious, tough but most of all, wonderfully amiable.

The consistent laughs throughout the film make up for what ends up being a weak resolution to the film as Annie's character gets her Hollywood ending thanks to a set of increasingly contrived issues. The simplistic characterisation of the male romantic leads - Jon Hamm's womanising twat contrasts Chris O'Dowd's perfect gentleman - also make Bridesmaids more appealing as a buddy-comedy than a romantic-comedy.

The important thing for 'Bridesmaids' is that there is comedy, and lots of it. Even if much of the comedy resorts to gross-out gags and obvious contrivances sneak in, 'Bridesmaids' is a raucous offering that can be enjoyed by all audiences.


'Bridesmaids' is out now on wide release throughout UK cinemas.

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