Thursday, July 14, 2011


With our wedding coming up next month my fiancee took advantage of the one time in our lives when she could get me to go see a movie called Bridesmaids. Ok so it wasn't much of a fight since I'd heard great reviews of the movie saying it wasn't really a chick flick and some had said it was the best comedy in ages. Now perhaps I went into this with high expectations but I was very disappointed.

[Warning spoilers ahead]
First of all it's not original. I'm pretty sure I've seen exactly the same plot many times before. Girl has bad love life but a best friends shoulder to cry on, best friend gets engaged, girl is worried about being left behind, has mad cap freak outs and adventures, big fight occurs at some stage and all is wrapped up with girl saving the wedding day and being there for her friend in the end. Throw in the required nice guy sub plot along with some strange side characters and you have the basis of every rom-com ever made.

I've nothing against that, some rom-coms can be quite funny and even have original ideas within the standard framework. Just 2 weeks ago I watched and liked Gnomeo and Juliet for the novelty of the setting despite it being very predictable. I failed to see anything like that in Bridesmaids. The movie seems to want to start off as Father of the Bride/American Pie the Wedding style story but then before it got going they changed into a female version of The Hangover. Just as it seemed that idea had potential they dump it to fall back on the standard X loves Y but Y is angry at X rom-com, and we finish with the traditional save the wedding panic.

The filmmakers "we don't know what we want" dilemma is also reflected in the characters. There's a father of the bride who only shows up a couple of times to say "I'm not paying for that" but then goes away while the spending goes on unabated. There are two bridesmaids who seem to be there just to start a lesbian joke and then vanish. There are the flatmates played by Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson who appear every now and then to explain they did something nasty off camera but seem to be reading from a different script to everyone else on the set. There is Chris O'Dowd, who I like as a comic actor in the IT crowd, but who seems to start off trying to put on a slight American twang over his Irish accent (even my Canadian fiancee thought this) but then just gives up when Kristen Wiig comments once about him not being American so he can settle into being Irish which we can assume he is from a pint of what appears to be Guinness that he drinks later on. He then spends most of the rest of the movie looking annoyed.

It's as if the writers went into a room, brainstormed on a whiteboard and didn't want to upset anyone by dumping their idea so they wrote a script that contains a reference to all the ideas many of which then come across like some kind of an in-joke between the cast and crew leaving the audience feeling like the stranger at a table of friends when someone says "Remember when... " and everyone else starts laughing.

One scene stands out as funny. The dress shop food poisoning scene was hilarious and got my hopes up for a movie that would take the old standard wedding comedy plots and trash them. It doesn't. That's the high point of the movie. An engagement party joke goes on several minutes too long, moving from funny to cringe worthy to tiresome. The airplane scenes appear to be the moment when most of the cast decided to stop trying to act anymore and just read straight from the script pages.

I came out of the movie thinking I'd give it 3 stars out of 5, now with more consideration I think I'll give it 2. It disappointed, didn't live up to the hype and seemed to be a mess of a movie that starts off promising to be funny, then cant decide where it wants to go and ends up falling into generic predictability.

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