"The perfect antidote for anyone about to embark on their fifth or even fifteenth wedding this summer..."
After years of films like Role Models, Wedding Crashers and The Hangover, it's so refreshing to have a film like Bridesmaids, with practically an all star girl cast, come sweeping in this summer and just blow all the other 'guys gone wild' type films out of the water.
I'll be honest, not knowing a lot about Saturday Night Live American actress Kristin Wiig, I didn't know what to expect from Bridesmaids, but what I got was a laugh out loud, intelligent and heartfelt comedy that manages to cover very familiar ground but avoid so many cliche's that we've come to expect from wedding comedies.
Kristin Wiig stars as a Bridget Jones style lovable loser, Annie who isn't having the best year after losing her cake business and her boyfriend. Annie's self esteem is in the toilet and not helped by the fact she is sleeping with an unapologetic cad played brilliantly by Jon Hamm.
Now, to make matters worse, her one all, soul mate and best friend Lillian, (Maya Rudolph) has suddenly broken their unspoken single pact and is getting married. Naturally Annie is the maid of honour, but her plans for a simple, fun, affordable hen do get thwarted by Lillian's new friend, her fiance's boss' bitchy wife, not to mention wealthy busybody Helen played by Rose Byrne.
What I loved about these women's performances, the storyline and the script, was that it perfected the feeling of every woman's worst nightmare. Not only is Annie's life one more bad 'sleepover' from tragic, but her obvious dismay at the feeling that nothing she does is good enough and that she is competing for the love of her best friend during the most important few weeks of her life, is heartwarming and appealing. Not only can women everywhere empathise with Annie's dire situation, and one wedding planning blunder after another, but the build up to the wedding and the increasing tension between the two friends is hilarious and awful all at the same time. The chemistry between the two is also extremely believable, helped by the fact that they are friends in real life, adding to the poignancy of their characters.
Kristen and Maya's performances are supported by a fantastic cast of girls, who each represent a different kind of married woman, adding to films theme of matrimony. From the stressed out Mum who just wants a manicure to the wide eyed newly wed, and perhaps the most winning of all is the butch ladette played by Gilmore Girl's comedy vet Melissa McCarthy, who almost steels the show in her fearlessly unattractive, fight club loving sister in law with a heart of gold and a penchant for stealing puppies. The humour and dynamic between the girls is spot on as they bond in a familiar tale of very different women brought together for the sometimes painful ritual, the hen do.
Also adding to the mix is a wonderful performance from Irish actor Chris O’Dowd who plays Annie's nice guy. In a very real and down to earth performance, O'Dowd adds to the films originality and is yet another reason why Bridesmaids feels like a very different, intelligent comedy.
Wiig herself is simply genius in her role, her physical comedy is as brilliant as any performance from her male counterparts and you can read her character's mind in a simple frown or sarcastic, dead pan laugh. Her frustration and desperation is not only palpable but perhaps more importantly, bloody hilarious, making Bridemaids my favourite comedy of the year and a perfect antidote for anyone about to embark on perhaps their fifth or fifteenth wedding this summer.