Whip It!) comes close to grasping the comedy crown from her Saturday Night Live colleague Tina Fey with this hilarious reinvigoration of the chick flick. As co-writer and star, Wiig disposes of traditional schmaltzy predictability, replacing it with the kind of frank raunchiness that’s led to success for blokey comedies like The Hangover and I Love You, Man. With the added oversight of gold-plated comedy producer Judd Apatow, Wiig clearly has her sights set on similar box office glory.
Wiig plays Annie, a 30-something singleton who has settled for less than her ideal, working as a shop assistant since her self-run cake shop went bankrupt, and occasionally falling into bed with commitment-phobic sleaze-bag Ted (Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, stealing every scene he’s in). When her newly-engaged best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be chief bridesmaid Annie is delighted, until she meets Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s new best friend; a beautiful, rich bitch who seems intent on driving a stake between Annie and Lillian.
Bridesmaids has all the hallmarks that the association with Apatow suggests: the main characters act in a refreshingly realistic and believable manner, the cast list overflows with comedy talent – Brit Chris O’Dowd is a stand-out – and the jokes are very funny, unapologetically resisting the boundaries of taste and decency (you won’t quickly forget the dress-fitting scene). The only flaw is that the film is let down by weak storytelling; the script fails to connect Annie’s personal journey with the overarching wedding story and, more problematically, director Paul Feig allows scenes that should be moving the story forward to outstay their welcome for the sake of dragging out a joke. Like a drunk wedding guest, Bridesmaids is very funny, but someone should really have kept it under control.
General release from Weds 22nd Jun. This review first published in The List magazine.