I’m going to save my blathering about the LA Film Festival for a future post. Instead, I thought I’d blog about the recently-released film Bridesmaids. I saw it this past weekend with much anticipation. The film has received a lot of buzz. Some have dubbed it the female version of The Hangover. A few study it as a critical litmus test on whether female-centered comedies can make money at the box office. Others see it as a renewed lightening rod for the inane “Are Women Funny?” debate. (Good God, you’d think after Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and countless other successful funny ladies that talking point would be meaningless now. But I have ovaries so what do I know?)
I must admit that I was leery about the ad campaign for Bridesmaids. Frankly, I didn’t want it to be a Hangover for women. More specifically, I didn’t want it to rely solely on stupid, scatological humor to prove that it could play in the same sand box as the boys. To me, the best comedies (whether they feature a male or female protagonist) provide a healthy dose of intelligence and heart along with physical humor and sight gags. I think that’s why Tootsie is considered one of the greatest comedies on film – and rightly so!
Fortunately, Bridesmaids was not a raunch-fest estrogen style. In fact, I wonder if some film goers will feel the ad campaign served up a bait & switch on them since a few of the bawdier moments shown in the trailer don’t even appear in the final product. Rather, the film does a surprisingly effective job of capturing adult female friendships and the unique intimacy and occasional insecurities that can define them. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, playing two best friends, interact like real women. They’re funny and insightful and petty and insecure. The supporting cast is just as well-rounded – especially the amazing Melissa McCarthy as the sister of the groom. Every scene she was in was better because of her.
And the other refreshing thing about the talented cast is that they also look like real women. What a rarity to see a few lines on the face versus the over-botoxed masks that adorn most movie screens these days. Hey, if manchildren like Seth Rogen and Jason Segel can be accepted as leading men, then why not these smart, attractive ladies?
I’m not saying the film is perfect. A few scenes overstay their welcome (in the name of comedy, I presume) which makes for uneven pacing throughout. And like most movies within the Judd Apatow wheelhouse at least fifteen minutes could have been trimmed out of it. But overall I applaud Bridesmaids for representing women in a genuine, highly entertaining way – flaws and funniness and all. I’d take this movie any day over 27 Ugly Borrowed No Strings Love! Or Sex and the City 2.
NEXT UP: Still thinking about it…