Movie Review: Bridesmaids (2011)

Title: Bridesmaids
Release Date: May 13, 2011
Director: Paul Feig
Production Company: Apatow Productions | Relativity Media

I’d heard of Bridesmaids being a well-regarded comedy but didn’t know much else about the movie going in beyond the premise of the title. So I was pleasantly surprised to see several comic actors I enjoy appear in the movie one-by-one: Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Chris O’Dowd, Rebel Wilson, Jon Hamm, and Wilson Phillips (okay, maybe Wilson Phillips don’t count as comic actors).

Kristen Wiig stars as Annie who is asked to be maid-of-honor in the wedding of her lifelong best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph).  Annie is not in a good place when the movie begins having had lost her bakery shop in the recession and a long-term boyfriend.  Over the course of the movie she also loses her job and apartment. The main tension of the movie is Annie’s rivalry with fellow bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne), the wealthy spouse of the groom-to-be’s boss who has only recently become friends with Lillian and is irritatingly perfect at everything she does.  O’Dowd plays Nathan, a police officer who becomes Annie’s love interest over the course of the film.  And McCarthy steals every she is in as Megan, the groom’s sister who is one of those people who have no filter between their thoughts and words.

The movie is known for it’s gross-out comedy, most notoriously when the bridesmaids go to a dress fitting while suffering from food poisoning.  But the humor boosts a thoughtful underlying story.  Bridesmaids skewers the wedding industrial complex but also the weird traditions that force together a bunch of people into a bridal party with nothing in common.  I also appreciate that it focuses on how big a challenge it is for adults to maintain and make friendships.

I’d wager that Bridesmaids is not for everyone but I laughed more than I have at any movie I’ve seen for several years.

Rating: ***1/2