Review in a Hurry: Saturday Night Live‘s Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph deliver one of the best comedies of the year, starring as BFFs pushed to the limit when one decides to get married and the other falls apart as her maid of honor. Surrounded by a hilarious cast, Wiig has definitely found her breakout role.
The Bigger Picture: Annie (Wiig) is thrilled when her best friend Lillian (Rudolph) gets engaged. But how can Annie handle her honorary duties when her own life is on a massive downward spiral? Her baker’s bankrupt, she’s only No. 3 on a hunky dude’s (nice Jon Hamm cameo) speed dial and she’s got no real income!
The more obvious, and sane, choice for the maid of honor job would have been Lillian’s new pal, Helen (the usually more dramatic Rose Byrne), an expert organizer and socialite who never misses the opportunity to kill everyone with kindness. But Lillian trusts Annie to Girl Up and get it done. We won’t spoil the fun of experiencing every one of Annie’s bad decisions, but let’s say she fails spectacularly, and must overcome the chaos while making nice with women she barely knows.
Produced by Judd Apatow, Bridesmaids definitely has his familiar brand of Knocked Up-style raunch. The script (by longtime collaborators Wiig and Annie Mumolo) doesn’t wallow in yet another story of stunted adults, though, and is packed with terrific hilarious lady roles: Wendi McLendon-Covey as a foul-mouthed stay-at-home mom; Ellie Kemper, doing a version of her Erin character from The Office; and standout Melissa McCarthy .
Director Paul Feig (The Office and Parks and Recreations) knows how to get jokes from a seemingly mundane world. Wiig has been fine tuning her special brand of low volume awkward humor for years now, but beyond the gags, she makes Annie relatable and sells her desperation with a deft touch, so it’s never too dark.
Bridesmaids triumphs with characters that prove what we’ve known all along, that someone else’s big day is a laugh riot for the rest of us.
The 180—a Second Opinion: Both Wiig and Mumolo are alums from the famous L.A. improv troupe The Groundlings, and a few times the let’s-just-try-a-bunch-of-gags-until-one-sticks schtick hurts the pacing of the film. Why go with seven gags when three would have done the trick?
OUT 24 June