Judging by the previews before Bridesmaids, it seems that this is going to be the summer of the raunchy R-rated guy comedy. The success of The Hangover seems to have gotten every studio to try and make the next Hangover, so Bridesmaids had to do something to stand out. They decided on being the raunchy R-rated girl comedy.
Annie (Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the screenplay) plays the maid of honor when her best (and only) friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged. Of course, all of Annie’s attempts to do anything fail horribly, mainly because fellow bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne) gets into a huge passive-aggressive contest for being Lillian’s best friend. It provides the movie’s first big laugh when Annie and Helen keep trying to get the last, best toast in at Lillian’s engagement party.
And I say first big laugh because the first 10-ish minutes have nothing. There’s a few gags, but it seems like the movie stumbles over itself as it tries to set up Annie’s character. The movie theater was just dead silent for most of it, though. Once Lillian gets engaged and we meet the bridesmaids, the movie finally gets on with the plot and the jokes. The movie goes from scene to scene, slowly advancing the plot but mainly getting all the jokes they can out before moving on. The best scene takes place on an airplane, where Annie gets loopy from medicine and alcohol, and one of the bridesmaids is sure from the moment she sits down that the person next to her is an Air Marshal. It manages to just hit you with joke after joke, to the point where I was hoping that the plane would never land.
There’s also a subplot with Annie falling in love with Officer Rhodes, an Irish police officer. It slows down the movie some, but it doesn’t matter too much. There are plenty of scenes with them that are just enjoyable, and it also helps to show Annie’s character. She’s really a horrible person that wants life to get better, but it’ll only happen if she changes it herself. As she ruins scenes, it’s half because of comedic misunderstanding, half because she’s really just messing things up.
Bridesmaids is an enjoyable movie. I think that’s the best way to describe it. There’s a lot of laughs, some good heart thanks to the romance, and fun characters. It will have to be seen if it remains memorable after the huge swath of R-rated comedies we’re getting this summer, but at the very least, it seems to be the only one with a female-centric cast, and it really makes it work.