Bridesmaids Movie Review; Girl Grossout In Taffeta

A pre-matrimonial meltdown movie involving the tying and untying of various knots – of both the conjugal and platonic same sex variety – Bridesmaids is the usual guy humor grossout, parading around in ceremonial taffeta. And accessorized with pretty in pink but otherwise typical barf, belch and bowel jokes. Along with trotting out a tired premise that while men may be controlled by their crotches, women are incapable of being extricated from their nutty emotions.

And though the plot may have been hatched by two women – Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo – it seems that the men are still in charge and calling the shots. Counting second time helmer Paul Feig (Unaccompanied Minors) and famously notorious producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Add that all up, and what you get is basically girls will be boys – even if relieving oneself on the road in the middle of traffic, when in full bridal regalia.

Pre-nuptial love triangles abound in Bridesmaids, but far from the usual kind. It seems that Annie (Kristen Wiig) is about to lose the most valuable relationship in her life. No, not her own fear of commitment sex buddy, who prefers that she’s always out of there before dawn. Rather, longtime best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) who’s about to get married and well, leave her for a man. Even if Annie is her chosen maid of honor.

But dormant frustrations are inflamed when Annie encounters fellow bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne). Who not only is a bit of a fanatical jealousy freak herself with her sights set on Lillian as her own exclusive best friend, but she’s – gasp! – prettier and thinner than skinny Annie. And which also tends to be the repetitive theme throughout the mandatory, even more monotonous, impossibly affluent premarital rituals of engagement toasts, dress fittings, and bridal shower. Interrupted on occasion by those inevitable fat female jokes targeting good-natured, self-deprecating plus size fellow bridesmaid Megan (Melissa McCarthy). Enough already.

Which is not to say that Bridesmaids is without detours into fabulously funny. The way Wiig pulls off Annie’s lethal lack of self-esteem and poisonous pessimism, when driving away happy couples from the jewelry store where she works as a saleswoman, is priceless. Or her failed, beyond creative bids to get some romantic attention from an unimpressed traffic cop by trying out every motor vehicle offense on the books – and when by the way can’t even get herself arrested. While on the other hand, fleeting scenes with the late Jill Clayburgh as just another Mom from hell onscreen, are sadly wasted.

Universal Pictures

Rated R

2 stars

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.