Does frat boy humour work with the ladies? (And if it does, should we term it frat girl humour?) In any case, I think it does if it’s on their turf. And with a movie like Bridesmaids, it’s pretty darn obvious that the women have home field advantage.
Judd Apatow, the rascal who has found such overwhelming success with features like Knocked Up by blending his special brand of raunch with sensitive flavour, focuses on the females in Bridesmaids, a welcome change-of-pace from the usual (albeit, rare) chick comedy. If the Sex and the City series is like a wine and cheese party, Bridesmaids is a kegger. And a good one, at that.
Produced by Apatow, directed by Paul Feig (who is, yes … a dude) and co-written by star Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids, like much of Mr. Producer’s stuff, does a decent job of pulling on the heartstrings. But par for the course, it just can’t ignore the nether regions on the way there.
Wiig, who has — on some weekends, anyway — all but carried Saturday Night Live on her very slight shoulders, finally gets top billing as Annie, a failed bake shop owner living in Milwaukee. In a nowhere relationship with a schmuck who is using her as a sex buddy (Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, who seems to relish playing an absolute tool), Annie’s self confidence gets nudged down a few additional notches when her best friend Lillian (SNL alumni Maya Rudolph) announces that she’s getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honor. Oh, she’s proud to get the gig — but it only reminds Annie that her life isn’t exactly going according to plan.
With Annie constantly jousting with Lillian’s rich and spoiled pal Helen (Rose Byrne), plus an aw-shucks sweet sideline romance of her own with a friendly cop (Chris O’Dowd), Bridesmaids swerves in every direction you expect it to; a bad case of food poisoning prior to the wedding gown fitting leads to an extended and awfully messy bathroom gag, etc., etc.
Yet, even with its penchant for adult playtime (just about all of it funny, by the way), Bridesmaids is a smart and insightful comedy. If this movie is a good indication of what its star can do on the big screen — well, it won’t be long before Saturday Night Live Wiig’s out.
Out of a possible five stars, I’ll give Bridesmaids a four. The feature is currently playing at the Pen-Mar Cinema Centre in Penticton.
Jason Armstrong is a movie reviewer living in the Okanagan.