Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures, R)

Like Tina Fey circa 2004, Kristen Wiig is getting exponentially more popular by the day as a female comedian (and rightfully so), so it was only a matter of time before she got a screenplay produced.

 

Like Tina Fey circa 2004, Kristen Wiig is getting exponentially more popular by the day as a female comedian (and rightfully so), so it was only a matter of time before she got a screenplay produced. The film to take that honor is the new film Bridesmaids, which is being billed as some kind of “Judd Apatow does The Hangover with girls” type of thing (Apatow’s the producer), but it’s really Kristin’s show all the way—aside from writing it (with Annie Mumolo), she’s the star and in pretty much every scene.

The good news is that both the script and Wiig’s lead performance live up to her talent. The film follows Annie (Wiig), a down-on-her-luck thirtysomething stuck in a dead-end job with a failed bakery behind her (and no money in the bank because of it) and whose only prospect in the love department is a dickheaded goofball named Ted (an uncredited and very funny Jon Hamm) who she has sex with frequently but hates herself for in the morning. Her partner in wallowing is her childhood best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph, Wiig’s comedic equal in every capacity), but as you can guess by the title, not too long into the movie we find out the Lillian’s getting married and her life is turning around as a result, leaving Annie to wallow by herself, constantly finding new and interesting ways to make her own life worse (a running joke in the movie—her mom, played by Jill Clayburgh in her final role, is a member of AA despite never having been an alcoholic, so there’s lots of talk of ‘hitting bottom’). On top of everything else, Lillian seems to be abandoning Annie for a newer friend who maybe better suits her new life, Helen (Rose Byrne), whom Annie of course doesn’t like from the start. When Lillian names Annie her maid of honor, much fighting ensues between Annie and Helen for control of the maid of honor duties, while the rest of the bridesmaids (Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper) do their best to encourage one or the other, pick sides, or plain old stay out of the way.

And while Bridesmaids on the whole is a lot of fun and worth your time, it does have its share of flaws. The big one is that it is just too long—its runtime comes in at 2 hours and 5 minutes, and the ending is the weakest part of the movie, so by the time it finally lets out you’ll be good and ready to go. Feeding into the film’s length is that fact that there are a few scenes that go on way too long, most especially a scene where Annie and Helen have dueling toasts and also a scene that involves trying on gowns while afflicted with food poisoning. Both scenes are funny at first, but they wear out their welcome, just like how the movie itself does in the long run. | Pete Timmermann

Official Site: http://www.bridesmaidsmovie.com/home.html

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