Director: Paul Feig
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: Universal Pictures
SNL’s Kristen Wiig finally gets to run rampant in Bridesmaids, the crude, rude, touching and hilarious new comedy that’s been lazily described as a female Hangover. It isn’t, nor does it have to be, because it’s a sharp, smart standalone. The movie, co-written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, centers on single, 30-something Wiig’s desperate attempts to keep up appearances while her professional and personal life are crashing down around her. She begins to lose it and keeps disastrously messing up maid-of-honor duties for lifelong best bud Maya Rudolph, whose tightly wound, rich new bestie Rose Byrne wants to run the whole show.
Plot and setting aside, Bridesmaids parts company with contrived, shriek-y fluff starring, say, a Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Garner. Instead, the movie provides at least one oh-no-they-didn’t bodily function sequence that ought to set the R-rating bar for the season, and whip-smart comic performances from members of the wedding party that include Reno 911’s Wendi McLendon-Covey, The Office’s Ellie Kemper and Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy, let alone from Jon Hamm as Wiig’s tool of an F-buddy and Chris O’Dowd in a star-making turn as Wiig’s Irish charmer highway cop boyfriend.
The movie is directed by Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks) and, although it meanders and rambles on for way too long, Wiig, who’s been underused in the past in movies like MacGruber and Paul, proves she’s as good with a withering dialogue as she is with oddball characters and physical humor. She dishes up the standout comic performance of the year so far and—believe it—she’s got serious competition from a couple of her castmates, particularly from McCarthy, who is a fearless, terrifying hoot as a plus-sized woman with a libido to match.
About the Author
Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written dozens of Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features for the magazine. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2011. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.