Bridesmaids is a 2011 American comedy movie directed by Paul Feig, best known for movies such as Spy and Ghostbusters. It centres on Annie (Kristen Wiig) and her life of misfortunes after being asked to serve as the maid of honour for her best friend in Lilian (Maya Rudolph) when she gets engaged.
I have a lot of respect for Kristen Wiig; the dedication she puts in her work is extraordinary and this film is a testament to it. She plays the character of Annie on here who has hit rock bottom and somehow has to get herself out of her misery despite the odds being against her; at least that’s the way she sees it. Whether it’s the fact that she has financial problems i.e. struggling to pay rent in time or being a killjoy at her workplace i.e. spoiling the excitement of a newly engaged couple who came to shop for wedding rings, Annie is a downright mess.
Wiig is superb in this particular portrayal; her acting speaks for itself. I loved how she sold the hopelessness and misery of her character in a manner that I was compelled by. Additionally, I understood and empathized with Annie and her emotional journey especially when Helen (Rose Byrne) comes into the fray and begins to rock the life-long friendship she had with Lilian. Both Helen and Annie get into a serious competition for Lilian’s affection and attention which is vividly brought out during the engagement party scene.
More often, Annie does come out bearing more bruises than her competitor and given that she already has her own personal problems elsewhere to deal with, the blonde is pushed over the edge. She goes on a full-fledged rampage during a certain gathering and as an audience member, it was bittersweet to witness that scene. Bitter in the sense that I felt sorry for how she came off as that friend who just wasn’t good enough but sweet in that Wiig’s character did shower me with some good comedy.
Other characters that I really liked were Megan Price, played by Melissa McCarthy and Brynn, played by Rebel Wilson; they cracked me up a lot in this flick. They both have an awkward vibe to them; saying stuff for the sake of saying it and doing stuff simply because they can. That said, if I was to take a pick between the two, I’d say I enjoyed McCarthy’s character more. There was a certain side to Megan’s persona that came out in the 3rd Act when she rushes to Annie’s aid and gives her a serious girl-to-girl pep talk; something I admittedly wasn’t expecting but I am glad it showed up when it did.
The Premise, Merits and Demerits.
Surprisingly, despite the 7 year gap, this so happens to be the first time I am watching this film, at least in its entirety. I remember the first time I tried watching it, I was put off by that opening scene with John Hamm’s character and Annie ‘doing it’. I thought such scenes would plague a better part of the film’s runtime and my roughly 14-year-old self wasn’t ready for that, so I bailed. I think you are smart enough to put 2 and 2 together to know why and while you are at it, you ought to consider that I had unwanted company.
Anyway, watching that scene again as a much older Thomas felt different in that I saw through the erotic nature of it and focused on the story of Annie and how that scene set the tone for a narrative that I could find relatability in.
I loved how the director Paul Feig incorporated certain classic themes which eventually interwove seamlessly with the overall plot. First off, we have the ‘own worst enemy’ theme where we see Annie’s tragic personality flaw and the ups and downs of it. Moreover, there is ‘coming of age’ theme where we see Annie overcome the sense of self-worthlessness that she feels with the apparent circumstances driving her to become a better individual. Lastly, we get the ‘love conquers all’; here, the gripe between Wiig’s character and Helen ends and there is reconciliation. Also, Annie is a more mature person now and can fix her car as she had been repeatedly told by a police officer, whom she eventually falls in love with and in the end, there is a lovely wedding to cap it all off. A celebration of love if you will.
The relationship between Annie and Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) made for a great subplot as well. The genesis of it all with the main character caught breaking the law but not facing the consequences of it as well as the romantic conversations they had later after that rendezvous felt so authentic. The conflict they ultimately end up in made me admire their relationship even more. I hoped the separate paths they take would culminate in them realizing that they shouldn’t have parted ways in the first place given their connection and chemistry and hence I found satisfaction when my hope came to fruition.
My praise for this movie doesn’t end there, we just can’t leave out the comedy aspect, can we? The explicit jokes were cringe-worthy in some instances but in the grand scheme of things, I liked them. In addition, the scene where the bridesmaids-to-be start vomiting and shitting wherever they can after getting food-poisoning was very humorous; one of them misses the toilet narrowly and pukes on top of the bowel, Megan goes in the sink since there wasn’t any other toilet in sight and lastly, Lilian does it in the middle of the street while still in her wedding dress. There’s also that bizarre conversation on here between Annie and her date’s son; it was thoroughly amusing in so many levels.
Notwithstanding, I didn’t like that the story of the film wasn’t as inclusive with Ted, John Hamm’s character, as it should have been. John is an experienced and fantastic actor who I respect a lot and for his pedigree, I think he deserved more skin in the game. Secondly, the legit funny scenes where I broke into laughter were there certainly but they are few and far between, which was a letdown. Also, this there is a lot of predictability with the plot; it’s a good plot, I’ll give it that, but it’s predictable.
I had an unforgettable experience watching Bridesmaids, for sure. It is stuffed with everything a good comedy should have despite the faults it bears. Most of the elements to the motion-picture more so the acting and directing worked well together to perfectly serve us this grass to grace story of Annie Walker and honestly, I would want it any other way.