Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Melissa McCarthy is the reason to watch Bridesmaids (dir. Paul Feig; 2011), just as Josh Galifinakis is the reason to watch The Hangover (2009). There are other reasons to watch both films, of course. This film about women in their mid-30s and 40s preparing for a wedding, written by Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo, offers an array of women comedians and actors opportunities to play to their talents. But in its plot it is like any number of films about friends drawn apart by circumstances and then drawn back together. What we learn of course is the importance of friendship and of remembering your roots. There are numerous funny moments, along with some unfunny ones. But McCarthy’s portrayal of Megan is the center of the film. That she plays a plain and goofy overweight character who visually contrasts with the mostly thin and attractive cast is not the point. The point is that she plays a whacky, off-beat, perverse, hilariously unpredictable character who surprises in every scene. Unfortunately, Megan succumbs to sentimentality when she is the person who appears to force Annie (Kristin Wiig) out of her self-centeredness and depression by recounting her own problems. McCarthy plays the sort of quirky character that Wiig herself often portrays on Saturday Night Live. Wiig’s character Annie in the film is relatively conventional and bland. To show that women can compete with men for grossness, the film offers a food poisoning scene with vomiting and diarrhea. It culminates in a wedding dress in the middle of a Milwaukee, WI, street. This film is intermittently entertaining. I also enjoyed Maya Rudolph as Lillian, Annie’s friend.

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