I finally got around to watching “Bridesmaids” over the holiday break. Despite all its box office success, critical acclaim and awards chatter, I wasn’t expecting much. The trailers didn’t impress me and I’m not a big fan of crude, R-rated comedy.
Still, I try to go into these things with an open mind. After all, I’ve been surprised by these types of movies in the past. I didn’t have much hope for “The Hangover” or the “South Park” movie, and I found them both very entertaining. And hey, look at all that box office success, critical acclaim and awards talk — it must be great, right?
Well, while I wasn’t expecting much neither was I expecting to hate it.
A brief synopsis for the ‘Bridesmaids’-impaired: Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) are BFF. Lillian is getting married, Annie is her maid of honor. Annie gets into a pointless competition with bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne) for Lillian’s affection. Wacky hijinks ensue.
Here’s my problem with “Bridesmaids” — I guess I’m supposed to feel sympathy for down-on-her-luck Annie and I’m supposed to be rooting for her, but I found Annie to be petty, unlikable, rude, obnoxious and did I mention petty and unlikable? Yes, Helen was too perfect and throwing her wealth around and making Annie look bad, but Annie was such a pathetic sad sack it was impossible to care.
As for the rest of it — the other bridesmaids were various stereotypes going through the motions as they go from one uninspired bit to the next such as everyone getting food poisoning (thanks to Annie) and then getting sick while trying on dresses. I will never understand the appeal of toilet — or in this case sink — humor.
And the film goes not once, but twice, to the old “Slideshow Bob Hits His Face With A Rake Over and Over and Over and Over” school of comedy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this instance it didn’t. The competing-toasts and the attempts-to-get-the-cop’s-attention bits went on long after they stopped being funny.
I could get past these minor comedy infractions but the heart of the problem is still Annie. In fact, the best part of the entire film is when bridesmaid Megan (Melissa McCarthy) goes to Annie’s house to beat some sense into her. How I was cheering her on. (McCarthy was certainly the film’s saving grace, along with Chris O’Dowd as Officer Nathan, Annie’s love interest. Run Away, Nathan! Run Far Away!)
And then, once Megan has tried to beat some sense into Annie, it’s for naught — despite a music montage that makes it appear otherwise. Helen shows up with news that Lillian has disappeared. Not only does Annie continue to be a jerk to Helen despite Helen’s apologies, but she doesn’t even figure out where her BFF has gone! Annie’s big moment to prove why she’s Lillian’s best friend, and she’s as clueless as Helen in locating the missing bride. Instead, Annie harasses her love interest into finding Lillian.
Sigh. And people think this movie should get an Academy Award nomination.