I can’t remember how I first found out about the movie Bridesmaids. From the title and the poster I initially assumed it would be a hideously bitchy ‘bridezilla’ movie or a saccharine chick-flick, but all the comments I read suggested it was neither. A film about women that’s genuine and, heaven forbid, rather funny? This had to be seen to be believed, so I quickly suggested it to my sister as something to do with her own bridesmaids, including me. From all the pre-release hype, the movie sounded side-splittingly funny so when the ever lovely Poppy Dinsey invited me to a mini-preview screening for a handful of bloggers on Monday, I jumped at the chance to check it out before getting tickets for my sister and her friends.
The movie was almost everything I wanted it to be. The acting was great, the characters were realistic, the plot was dripping with opportunities for comedy gold. However, in my inexperienced reviewer brain, I had decided that my gauge of how good Bridesmaids was would be based on whether or not I wanted to see it again and… it failed me. Do you know why? Because I didn’t leave the cinema laughing, I left depressed. I engaged so much with the main character that all I could think of was how shitty her life was, and that made me rather sad indeed. Come on, the only good thing in her life was Chris O’Dowd (better known as Roy from The IT Crowd), who is great when he gets a chance to be funny, but decidedly bland when he doesn’t get the opportunity to flex his comedy muscles. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” – perhaps rebooting the cinema system would have worked and we could have watched something else instead.
There were many scenes of utter embarrassment – the speeches at the engagement party, the flight to the bachelorette party, the entire bridal shower – which isn’t my type of humour at all, and the one gross-out part seemed to have been thrown in for the hell of it because it stuck out like a sore thumb. Maybe it was the type of comedy employed, maybe it was the utter waste of time and money that was the wedding and preparations (WTF is a bridal shower anyway?)… whatever the reason, I just wasn’t laughing enough. It was a movie about friendship, and a comment on the hell that can be unleashed upon friends and family once a marriage proposal has been accepted, and it did both of these things very well. But because I didn’t laugh much and am still wondering how on earth Annie is going to get her life back together, I really can’t recommend it. Unless you are a magazines-and-girls-nights-out kinda woman, I reckon there are much more fun ways to spend two hours. Me? I’d rather go to a decent pub with my friends and chat over drinks instead.
Aw I really liked it and have read raving reviews from other feminists such as Amanda Marcotte. I think with Annie it was demonstrating that although a lot of bad things have happened to her, she still had her friends. Its important to support a movie like this because rarely do we see a movie for women when we actually makeup the largest segment of movie goers. Giving “Bridesmaids” big box office dollars will hopefully push the movie industry to make more like it (and maybe one better for your taste).
You're right, it is important to support a movie like this and I'm sure there are many women out there who will absolutely love it. However, I don't think that me saying I enjoyed it when I didn't would be the right thing to do. I will encourage anyone who I think will like it to go and see Bridesmaids, and do hope that Kristen Wiig makes more movies, but it really didn't do much for me at all.
I'm not sure giving a film that's aimed at women 'big box office dollars' just because it's aimed at women helps anything. I haven't seen the film, but surely if it's missing the mark, that's the very worst thing to do? It doesn't encourage the film industry to do anything different – it does quite the opposite.
Not sure there's a point to supporting something for the sake of supporting it.
“Rarely do we see a movie for women”? You're obviously looking at different cinema schedules to me.
Hm. Thanks for this review, Lori. I'd been wondering about the film because of the rave reviews it's received, but I rather suspect I'd have the same issues you have with it.
Anonymous – I certainly rarely see a movie for the type of woman I am and the type of woman my friends are.
As a friend of mine put it the other day: “I just somehow end up feeling so…homogenised after watching chick flicks.”.
I was hoping for something different from Bridesmaids after all the hype, but… well, it's still weddingy isn't it?
I have to agree on this movie. I'd had my hopes built so high by the media saying it was “the female Hangover” but I was disappointed and left not even remembering some of the scenes that were supposed to be 'iconically funny'.