Bridesmaids - 2011
Director(s): Paul Feig
Writer(s): Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
Cinematography by: Robert D. Yeoman
Editor(s): William Kerr and Michael L. Sale
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Rebel Wilson, Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm
Some movies mark the rise of a movie star, think Bruce Willis in Die Hard or Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. Bridesmaids managed a rare feat in marking the emergence of multiple actors in the cast; Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, and Melissa McCarthy. It is also one of the best comedies of the 2010s and a modern classic in my eyes. So, let's talk about it.
The story follows Annie (Wiig), a single woman in her mid-thirties going through a rough patch in her life. She recently lost her bakery, her boyfriend and all her savings and now works as a sales clerk at a jewelry store. The only stable thing in her life is her best friend, Lillian (Rudolph). When Lillian gets engaged and asks Annie to be her maid of honor, things start to fall apart. The pressure of organizing the bridal party events and the rivalry that forms with Lillian's new rich and "perfect" friend Helen (Byrne) sends Annie spiraling down testing the last anchor she had in Lillian. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo wrote this fantastic script, knowing that they would have room to expand and grow through the natural talents of improvisation from the cast. So what stands out to me, outside of the number of funny moments from start to finish, is the heart of the film that ties together all the gross and silly moments together. The film shows you Annie's rock bottom and how depressed she is with everything and everyone, except Lillian. So, despite your "frustrations" with her when she destroys the wedding shower, you understand why she reached that breaking point since her friendship is the only thing left from the "good ol' days." Making the resolution and the bond Annie forms with Helen and Megan (McCarthy) that more meaningful.
As for the comedic element, this film can go toe to toe with any of the "greatest of all-time" that carry the same ensemble spirit. The sheer amount of jokes combined with the variety of them is bound to make anyone laugh. From the quiet moments that feel like real friends goofing around - "You don’t want to look right at it. It’s too aggressive. " - to the over the top gut-busting moments - " Look away! What did we eat?! The sink’s a goner! It’s comin’ outta me like lava!" - I always find something new that makes me laugh. However, the best sequence bar none is when they put Annie on a plane despite her crippling fear of flying. Wiig's performance as the drug out annoying passenger, the conversation of drunk McLendon-Covey and Kemper, and McCarthy hitting on the suspected Federal Air Marshal always hit home for my wife and me.
I've already mentioned the cast multiple times, but this is one of the most talented cast ever assembled, as they each embrace their parts and fully commit to each bit. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph chemistry shine through every scene they are together in, and Rudolph slowly crouching down in the middle of the street to relieve herself is priceless. Rose Byrne is given a role, uptight millionaire, that has been done countless of times, and yet she brings a breath of fresh air to the role thanks to the vulnerability she gave to each plastic smile and fake laugh. And finally, Melissa McCarthy is just a tour de force as the loud, confident, bowling shirt enthusiast, side character of the main three, that manages to steal every scene she is part off, whether by a throwaway line or by using slapstick comedy.
Bridesmaids stand tall among the best of what the comedy genre has had to offer in the 2010s. Paul Feig directed an incredible script from Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo that benefited from an all-star cast. Comedies tend to have a low reply value, but when they are this smartly written, they stand the test of time. Go watch it!
Bridesmaids is Why I Love Movies.
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