This weekend, Kristen Wiig and her band of merry (not so) gentlewomen/Bridesmaids roll into theaters and metaphorically fight-club the life out of every trite, tired, hollow, empty, two-dimensional rom-com "chick-flick" that has tried (and failed) to revive the genre over the last several years. (There is a pun in that Fight Club reference that you'll appreciate when you see the film).
Perhaps the reason that this film genuinely appeals to both women and men, is that it is not attempting to lure either segment of the population with some focus group idea of what audiences "desire." It is simply (as co-star Maya Rudolph says) "funny, because it's funny." As we mentioned in our interview with Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo, this is a universally appealing film - for those with a tolerance for R-rated comedy. You can read our official Bridesmaids review HERE where our very own Vic Holtreman will tell you that this is a his and hers comedypalooza that your friends and co-workers will be talking about, and quoting, for days to come.
We had the chance to speak with the cast and creators of Bridesmaids during select roundtable interviews at the Los Angeles press day for the film. The talent present included: Producer Judd Apatow; director Paul Feig; co-writer/star Kristen Wiig; co-writer Annie Mumolo; and castmembers Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Melissa McCarthy.
During the course of our conversation we discussed "bridesmaidszillas" - the gut-busting scenes you will not see in the movie, and the fine male actors and comedians that rounded out this incredible cast. Much of the emphasis of the current discourse on Bridesmaids has (understandably) been on the ladies. Lest we forget the handsome, um, humor that Jon Hamm brings to the film and the charm and heart that Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd) provides, let us take a moment to sing the praises of the boys of Bridesmaids.
First we take a moment to witness the palpable charisma of one Jon Hamm. The man is so unshakably, impossibly likable that even when he is being (as Maya Rudolph's character Lillian so succinctly puts it) a complete a**hole, you can not help but smile with the scoundrel he portrays.
Take a look at the trailer below which so entertainingly introduces the nature of "F-buddy" Ted, the character that Hamm plays.
On Jon Hamm's, er, performance, Kristen Wigg lauded his... skills by saying:
"He's just a dream to work with, he's a good freind of mine and he's up for anything from SNL to this he's just like 'I don't care, whatever, I'll do whatever you want me to do' (laughing) so we made him to do a sex scene with me."
Director Paul Feig elaborated, recalling the day they shot said scene:
"It was very fun putting that together. Because, I'm uncomfortable with sex scenes (though I've shot a number of them) but with them (Wiig and Hamm) it was like, 'Okay!' We so got into it, so it was like, 'Okay, throw her over there!' and I'm yelling, 'Pound her harder!'"
In the midst of room-wide uproarious laughter, writer Annie Mumolo chimed in with:
"I felt so dirty after that day... I felt so like I needed to go and wash myself."
To which Paul Feig replied simply, "Yes, it was fun."
Ah, Mumolo may protest, but the lady did confess in our interview that her favorite outtake of the project was during the ADR session for the "love" scene between Hamm and Wiig, when they had the actor "sing" his climax - where an original (and in our imagination soon-to-be classic) R&B work was created.
If Hamm is the "sour" in Annie's (Kristen Wiig's) life, then Chris O'Dowd (of the Britisth hit comedy The IT Crowd) is most certainly the sweet. The cop-with-a-heart-of-gold, O'Dowd is the guy were all pulling for to convince the girl to get her head out of her rear, and see the light.
O'Dowd came to the project via a recommendation from manager Dave Becky, who producer Judd Apatow knew:
"...when he was the manager of the San Diego improve when I did stand up like 20 yrs ago, and now he's the manager of all these great people like Kevin Hart and Maya Rudolph. He's the guy I always call when I want to go, 'Who should I be using, who don't I know?' He said, 'Chris O'Dowd is coming to town and you will love this guy.' He (O'Dowd) is just so funny," Apatow continued, "because he brought so much of his own personality to the role, I think that's why it played so well."
"I had been such a huge "IT Crowd" fan," Paul Feig added, "and I didn't know he was coming in, and when he walked into the room I almost had a heart attack. Everybody else was like 'who's that?'"
The film nearly missed the opportunity to enjoy O'Dowd's Irish infusion.
"He came in doing this American accent (which he was really good at)," Feig continued, "but I was like, 'be Irish!' And it became this thing of like, 'Oh, it's going to be the Irish cop.' We did a table read," Feig laughingly recalled, "and Chris wasn't there and so people were like 'Oh it's so cliche, why are you making the cop Irish?' and we were like, 'Because he's Irish!'"
Eventually the filmmakers chose to make O'Dowd's Irishness an opportunity for a very funny self-reflexive moment in the film, which I will not ruin for you here.
Feig concluded the man-from-the-Emerald-Isle discussion by saying:
"All I know is that Judd and I had soo much fun trying to come up with jokes for him, and doing two of the worst Irish accents that you've ever heard."
Be they handsome or Irish, or handsomely Irish, the men of Bridesmaids (including the director and producer) are just as outrageously funny and engaging as the ladies. As a little added bonus, a series of dates that Kristen Wiig's character Annie went on were cut from the film, but may appear in the DVD extras. The "date night" sequence (as I am calling it) included a scene featuring fan-favorite, and king of the bromance, Paul Rudd.
Stay tuned for our follow up piece on Bridesmaids in which we discuss the hilarious sequence that never made it off of the page (hint: it includes a cameo from an enormously famous male actor, and what is now this reporter's favorite line of dialog in history).
If you'd like some further evidence of just how made for the boys and the girls this film is, take a look at this trailer mock-up featuring our very own boys of Screen Rant.
Bridesmaids is now playing in theaters.
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