Film Review: Bridesmaids

Thirty-something Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) is in a bit of a pickle. Her baking business has gone bust, her boyfriend’s left her, she’s having terrible sex with a handsome but selfish man-child, she lives with two tasteless, thieving Brits (the wonderfully repellent Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson) and she’s constantly in trouble with her boss and with the law. Her mother believes Annie’s hit rock bottom. But things really start to unravel when Annie’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces she’s engaged, and asks Annie to be her Maid of Honour.

Attempting to fulfil her duties on a budget, Annie is constantly needled by her nemesis Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s gorgeous and wealthy new BFFL. Helen seems intent on muscling in on Annie and Lillian’s relationship, and engages in games of one-upmanship where she flaunts her wealth and connections, steals Annie’s ideas, and even drugs Annie during an airplane scene reminiscent of Flying High.

Bridesmaids intelligently and humourously depicts power struggles and relationship breakdowns between friends. The film has been described as a ‘chick flick’ and a story about ‘ladettes’, but it is neither of these things. Rather, it is a sharp and sparky comedy about friendship, self-determination and other things that matter. Written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids feels revolutionary in its depiction of female characters, who are as fun, fickle, complicated, sweet and stinky as women are in real life.

The film is also groundbreaking in managing to make Madmen’s Jon Hamm seriously and deliriously unattractive, particularly when he tries to exert his powers of seduction over Annie by kneading her breast like a demented fifteen year old.

There are even some hilarious poo jokes – as one would expect from a film produced by Judd Apatow, who is also responsible for bring the world Step Brothers, Knocked Up, and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

There are moments where Bridesmaids fails. Some gags fall a little flat, and the pacing is stilted at times. But regardless of whether or not weddings are your thing there is plenty to enjoy here. Wedding-philes will enjoy the chocolate fountains, gorgeous dresses and outlandish party favours… and wedding-phobes will enjoy the spectacular mockery of them all. Bridesmaids is one of Judd Apatow’s finest offerings thanks in no small part to the nuanced writing and comedic chops of rising star Kristen Wiig.

Kathryn van Beek