Bridesmaids ****

Running time: 124 mins  Certificate: 15

Synopsis:  Co-writer and SNL alumnus Kristen Wiig stars as struggling singleton Annie, who is manoeuvring her way through her late thirties without too much success.  Annie works in a jewellery store where she casts doubt on the romantic feelings the customers show for each other.  She has a fuck buddy called Ted (Jon Hamm), but he treats her with contempt.  Annie’s closest friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting hitched and entrusts her with bridesmaids duties alongside blousy posho Helen (Rose Byrne), burly security expert Megan (Melissa McCarthy), and harassed mother of teenage boys, “there’s semen everywhere,” Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey). 


  Much of the comedy in Paul Feig’s movie comes from the disasters that befall the women, but the screenplay by Wiig and her co-writer Annie Mumulo is wonderfully written.  The stand out sequence is a confrontation on a plane between a spaced-out Annie and an exasperated flight attendant.  Wiig makes the tirelessly self-destructive Annie sympathetic, even when she’s sabotaging a tentative new relationship with a charming Irish cop (Chris O’ Dowd), or abusing a thirteen year old girl who has the nerve to ask for ‘Friends Forever’ to be inscribed on a bracelet. 


‘Bridesmaids’ has been marketed as a female version of male buddy comedies like ‘The Hangover’ (Todd Philips 2009) but apart from a gross-out sequence in a bridal shop there is nothing particularly offensive about their behaviour.  Sure they drink too much and swear a lot but these girls are quite tame.  A film about the average British hen night would probably need Wes Craven and Katherine Bigelow co-directing to capture the full horror of events as they unfolded.  ‘Bridesmaids’ is actually rather sweet.  Essentially the message is having friends might be a pain in the ass, but they are worth the effort. 


Reviewed by Kevin Sturton  

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