Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Bridesmaids

Well, Hell. I’ve found a chick flick that I loved and my wife would no doubt hate. Go figure.

That should be your first hint that Bridesmaids is most certainly not for everyone – but if you’re a fan of really out there, vulgar Apatow-style comedies this movie should satisfy your funny bone big time.

Right from the opening line (which without a doubt tops any first line of dialog I’ve ever heard in a movie) it is clear what you’re in for. Bridesmaids is the story of Annie (Kristen Wiig), an attractive woman in her mid-30s who’s been through a business failure and can’t seem to find a man who will appreciate her and treat her right. She seems to be on a self-defeating path – attracted to men (well, in the movie, ONE man) who totally uses her just as a sex object. She tries mightily to rationalize the relationship but in her heart she knows the guy (John Hamm) is just a rich jerk and a user.

Meanwhile, Annie’s best friend since childhood, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) has just gotten engaged. Lillian wants Annie to be her maid of honor, which includes planning the shower and bachelorette party. Annie is of course happy for her friend, but the situation only serves to highlight her own currently poor life situation.

The fly in the ointment here is the very attractive, rich and poised Helen (Rose Byrne) who has taken the express route to being Lillian’s new bestest friend ever. The driving story is Annie’s attempts to stay in control of the pre-wedding festivities while Helen tries to be “helpful” – while undermining Annie’s plans.

Along for the ride are a group of ladies that each have their own personality quirks and issues – one is a frustrated mother and wife who describes her foul-mouthed, back-talking teenage boys in excruciating “overshare” detail. Another is a naive, wide-eyed newlywed (of course, these two are paired up for an in-depth heart to heart later in the film). But the woman who runs away with the movie is Megan, the gruff, overweight member of the group. She is played hilariously by Melissa McCarthy with a down to earth earnestness that somehow works even when she is doing and saying outrageous things.

Melissa McCarthy in a scene from 'Bridesmaids'

Kristin Wiig (who I’ve never seen in an episode of Saturday Night Live) conveyed more with her facial expressions than some better known actresses seem to be able to manage with a paragraph of dialog. She’s so endearing – and even though you know things won’t work out for her until the end of the film (come on, you knew that, right?) you’re cheering for her throughout the entire journey. The “nice guy” that is trying to get through to her is played by Chris O’Dowd who I recognized from the British television show The IT Crowd (hysterically funny show, especially if you’re any sort of computer geek).

Bridesmaids has a combination of Hangover-type comedy, female buddy flick, and yes, heart, that I can’t say I’ve seen combined this way before. Is it vulgar, gross and crass – oh, yeah. The post-restaurant scene where the troupe gets food poisoning is something you’d expect to see in a college road-trip movie – but it’s so shockingly outrageous that you’ll laugh out of nervousness if nothing else (that or you’ll be completely grossed out and offended).

The thing about this movie is that most of the characters are just so damned likable. Me, I like that in a move – people I can root for that are funny and have a good heart. It’s not for everyone, but Bridesmaids is just full of awkward goodness that had me laughing out loud throughout the movie, and the audience laughing so much that sometimes it was hard to make out dialog during the film. I don’t think I’ve laughed this loud and this much during a comedy since last year’s The Hangover.

Check out a very tame trailer for Bridesmaids:

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Our Rating:

4 out of 5