No one can take a tennis ball to the tit quite like comedienne Kristen Wiig. Her threshold for pain is only one of many admirable traits she possesses in Bridesmaids, a bold and bawdy comedy that proves having balls isn’t just for boys anymore.
While the movie’s generic title might scream Kate Hudson rom-com horror, those looking for more than the usual cliché girls-night-out fare will find plenty of genuinely side-splitting scenes in this raunchy Judd Apatow-produced chick flick, as they did in the Apatow-directed Knocked Up. Personal favor: When recommending it to your friends, please don’t refer to Bridesmaids as the female version of The Hangover. It deserves better.
In Bridesmaids, director Paul Feig (TV’s The Office) puts Wiig in charge of her own sinking ship as the whip-smart albeit insecure (and very single) heroine Annie, a failed thirty-something entrepreneur stuck in a rut. Despite the occasional roll in the sack with sleazy tool Ted (Jon Hamm), Annie doesn’t have any real relationship prospects nor does she care much about her depressing job (peddling jewelry to happy couples) and equally depressing home life (her roommates are ungrateful sibling albinos).
Annie is forced to suck it up when her lifelong BFF Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be her maid of honor, a role in movie world aching to basically be dragged through the mud while everyone else enjoys the pre-wedding festivities. She’s pitted against Lillian’s newest gal pal Helen (Rose Byrne), a character so perfectly annoying she rivals Cameron Diaz’s bubbly Kimberly Wallace in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
The claws come out with hilarious result as Annie and Lillian — along with the three other bridesmaids Becca, Rita, and Megan (underwritten Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey and scene-stealing Melissa McCarthy) — try and get through the coming weeks without gouging anyone’s pretty little eyes out.
Sharply written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids veers into overly traveled territory at times but never replaces wit with kitschy humor (aside from a well-executed diarrhea gag that feels misplaced in the grand scheme of things). She may just be a glorified bridesmaid, but this is Wiig’s big day. The Saturday Night Live alumna has written a lead role for herself with some great awkward moments usually regulated for fools of the male variety. It’s nice to see women can be just as boneheaded when the situation calls for it.
Dir. Paul Feig; writ. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo; feat. Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris O’Dowd. (R)