It’s quite rare that in today’s movie market you’ll find a film that appeals to the male and female demographic so vehemently, but “Bridesmaids” manages to accomplish being a film for the men and the women simultaneously. And it took an SNL alum to conquer such an impossible feat. Possibly the funniest movie all year, “Bridesmaids” is that coming of age romance dramedy that never takes itself seriously, but knows when its time to act like an adult. And that’s due to Kristen Wiig’s ability to play the most unlikely movie heroine you can imagine.
As this blossoming young woman entering in to middle age, she finds that her life is not all as cracked up as used to be and in the process of trying to figure out where she belongs, discovers that change of life has brought upon her the loss of a great friend. I’m not the biggest fan of Kristen Wiig as I thought her work in “MacGruber” was awful, but “Bridesmaids” actually manages to be a very personal passion project that has garnered some good coin in the theaters and for good reason. This is a damn good film. And it’s one I never felt alienated from in spite of its all female cast whom deal with their own change of lives and dead end marriages on their own terms. All the while clashing with Wiig whose own lack of identity and impotence has rendered her a shell of a woman who has frozen in place and does nothing but sleep around and indulge in pity parties for herself.
When the party is over and her best friend Lillian decides on marrying the man of her dreams, Wiig’s character Annie discovers an entirely new world filled with people who have experienced marriage in some form that may ultimately contribute to her downfall as the bridesmaid to Lillian, if scheming new potential sister in law Helen has her way. There’s a very line between drama and comedy and what “Bridesmaids” possesses is the thin line that makes it feel like a comedy that’s both very funny and very sad. There’s an undertone of tragedy at play here with character Annie whose entire life has been filled with hope that has been dashed by failure and misery, and her meeting with fate is what keeps her constantly a character you’ll either empathize for or hate. Wiig is at her best here as Annie while comedy veterans like Maya Rudolph, Matt Lucas, and Ellie Kemper keep up with her character’s dilemma who watches her worlds collide and inevitably fade away.
What’s focused on is the loss of Lillian as she’s embroiled in a whole new world that comes with marriage, while Annie has to decide if she wants to give up her best friend easily, or fight for her lifelong companion ship. Every character present a shade of humanity within them, particularly Chris O’Dowd who is charming as Annie’s potential love interest who offers a glimmer of hope in an endless stream of hilarious incidents that may or may not be caused by Annie. There’s also Melissa McCarthy who is a stand out as the straight forward often smarter than she appears Megan, a truly great balance among these comedians who quite often competes with Wiig for the scenes. “Bridesmaids” is the surprise comedy drama of the year, and it’s one I intend to re-visit over and over if only to bask in [star] Wiig’s understated sexual appeal.