Pop-Culture | Posted by Liz P on 05/11/2011

Bridesmaids: Not Your Average Wedding Movie

Kristen Wiig is at it again

Kristen Wiig is at it again

One of the benefits of going to a college at large, urban campus is that we fairly often get cool free previews of things. My freshman year I went to a free advanced screening of Role Models (hilarious) and last year I went to a one for She’s Out of my League (waste of time). And I recently got to see Bridesmaids! Since it doesn’t come out until Friday (May 13), this was pretty exciting.

I was su-huper excited to see Bridesmaids; I do usually enjoy Judd Apatow movies and all the lead actresses are some of my faves. And honestly I was interested in seeing how the Judd Apatow formula would work with an all-female cast. I mean, this is the director/producer who basically invented the current bro-comedy that seems to rule the big screen these days, and those often leave women out of really funny roles. The first trailer I saw for it was not super promising, it had a lot of gross-out comedy in it and while sometimes I think that’s really funny (the Tracey Morgan bathroom scene in Death at a Funeral had me dying of laughter), in general I think that stuff is done for cheap laughs. I’m a dialogue girl. Anyway, the second trailer was a lot better, and so four of my comedy-loving friends and I went to see what Bridesmaids had to offer.

Real quick plot: Annie (Kirsten Wiig)’s life really sucks. Nothing is going right for her and she lacks the self-confidence to do anything about it. And then her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), gets engaged! All of a sudden Annie is in charge of maid of honor duties, anan eclectic mix of bridesmaids, and cannot do anything right. Which is all exacerbated by one of the other bridesmaids, Helen (Annie Byrne), who is rich and pretty and perfect and obviously trying to steal Lillian’s friendship from Annie. Hijinks ensue.

Unlike other wedding-themed chick flicks (27 Dresses, You Again, Bride Wars), Bridesmaids avoids a lot of the clichéd traps that make those movies suck. (And they really do suck.) Whereas most chick flicks exaggerate one or two characteristics of the protagonist so much so that they are basically unlikeable and un-relateable, Bridesmaids exaggerates the characters in a likeable, funny, and humanizing way. Some things are over the top, sure. It is Judd Apatow. That’s what he does with all of his male characters in his bro-comedies. I was unsure of how that would translate into a female-led comedy because so much of what I’m used to with women in movies is in rom-coms and chick flicks, and that format is really different than what Judd Apatow usually does, but it really worked. And Kirstin Wiig might be crazy, but I love that crazy and I think she wears it well. While you really want to slap Annie in the face a few times for being dumb and wimpy and whiny, it’s believable and I still felt like the types of conversations I was seeing on-screen were the sorts of weird conversations I have with my friends.

It was also a really fun atmosphere to watch the movie in. I’d say the male-to-female ratio in the audience was maybe 40-60, so fairly even for a movie with only a few male characters. And I think male audience members liked it just as much as the female ones did. Because ladiez iz funny too. Everyone was laughing and ooh-ing and clapping – the movie really engaged the audience. It was great; if y’all want a fun May movie, go see Bridesmaids.

Liz P blogs about feminism, current events, pop culture, and teens at her blog Our Turn.

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