…and the quest to see everything

Help Me I’m Poor: Bridesmaids

Despite protagonist Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) misfortunes, Paul Feig‘s Bridesmaids, however, gets us to crush on Chris O’Dowd, who plays Officer Rhodes, the guy who stops Annie on the highway because she’s talking to herself while driving. Eventually warming up romantically to Annie, he has a few things going against him. First, he’s ‘schlub perfect,’ but we won’t take that against him. Second, he tries to fix her. He wants her to bake again even if she’s not ready to, and it’s totally his fault why she runs away. Lastly, his competition is Jon Hamm, playing Annie’s eff buddy Ted, an irresistible figure despite the funny sex faces and the rich boy narcissism.

Bridesmaids also shows how the longest relationships are the ones that are hardest to keep. Annie has a picture of her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) when they were still younger and more awkward but now they’re older, more beautiful and changing too quickly for the former. It’s always the childhood friend who moves to a different, ‘better’ city – Lillian moves from Milwaukee to Chicago, closer to her fiancée’s work, which means oh my god she’s getting married and Annie’s the de facto maid of honour! Lillian also or gets richer, better friends. And of course, when the screenwriter gods (Wiig and Annie Mumolo) giveth they also taketh away, the fortunate new best friend becoming a target of jealousy by Annie whose relationships etc. start slipping away. Which make it, especially the pacing, feel like the first scenes of Kingpin, one misery dryly piled on top of another, but it’s a bit depressing this time around.

Critics have compared Bridesmaids to producer Judd Apatow‘s work, but there are closer similarities to recent Saturday Night Live sketches, those scenes making Anne question her long friendship with Lillian. Annie and Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s new rich best friend, have a contest on who gets the last, most heartfelt word in Lillian’s engagement party like that sketch  that spawned Will Forte’s racist character. Annie and Helen playing tennis together reminds me of the women’s sports events sketch. Their competition and enmity also reminded me of the Wiig-Poehler sketch with the little hats.  The girls literally messing up Lillian’s Lady Juju dress? Jamie Lee Curtis. For some reason, Wiig’s changing voice at certain times within the movie is more digestible than when she does in on her show. It made me and everyone else in the theatre laugh. Maybe it’s the costumes, or how she acts human for 51% of the time. And it’s actually a relief to hear her say the f-word or the c-word that really get Annie in trouble, as it would if it came out of anyone.

There’s also a lot of implied money talk in the film. Unless you do it in a courthouse, marriages are never cheap, and the disasters that occur in Lillian’s wedding have some gravity because the things that her dad pays for might get gloriously ruined mostly by Annie. She takes the bridesmaids to a hole in the wall Brazilian joint before the dress fittings. She gets drunk and drugged on the women’s way to a planned bachelorette party in Vegas. Helen’s lavish, Parisian-themed real bachelorette party for Lillian intimidates Annie, in which we all become her, screaming our lungs out especially because everyone else encourages and praises Helen’s excesses. ‘This is the best bridal shower I’ve ever been to.’ Really?

Which is strange because I don’t recall what the main female characters do for a living. Three of the bridesmaids (Byrne, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey) are housewives suffering under husbands and mostly male children, Lillian on her way to becoming the fourth housewife in that new circle of friends. Annie open a bake shop and goes bankrupt – her shop ‘Cake Baby’ repeatedly vandalised as ‘C-ke Baby’ and ‘C-ck Baby’ as a male rape of female-initiated capitalism, and I’m the douche who though about and wrote that. And for scenes in the movie, she’s stuck behind the jewellery counter, a precarious job for her because her cynicism scares couples and teenagers away. The bridesmaids (Melissa McCarthy) look at this wedding as a way to escape, while Annie disagrees with this viewpoint. It’s one of the latent disconnects that she finds between her and Lillian. As comedies go, she has to patch up things with Helen first before fixing things with Lillian, which includes the latter’s wedding, even if the characters themselves aren’t fully mended.

All in all, a great supporting cast including Matt Lucas as Annie’s one of annoying roommates. 3.5/5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s