Watching your friends get married is an experience fraught with potential disaster. You might be thrilled with the dress but hate the groom. Or allergic to the hors d’oeuvres and related to the groom. Or even jealous of the bride and have slept with the groom. No matter what the circumstances are, you know it’s going to be complicated, time-consuming and expensive.
Most people have been involved in this rite of passage in some way, and that’s why movies about weddings are so popular. Bridesmaids is the latest film to walk down this aisle, and certainly the best reviewed. Critics are raving about how what could have been another stupid Katherine Heigel/Kate Hudson jealous-bitch-in-a-wedding-dress movie has become the must-see comedy of the summer. There seems to be surprise around Hollywood that people are going to see this movie, that men will actually pay money to see something that is clearly meant for girls. I am so sick of Hollywood. The fact that the film is smart, realistic and hilarious should be enough to finally get the message to them that maybe they should stop categorizing films with women in them as chick films, and let us all just go and enjoy ourselves. (And whomever greenlighted Sex and the City 2 because they thought that was what women wanted should have his heart eaten by seals.)
The film is very funny but also deals with the darker side of being in a wedding. Maid of honor Annie (played by Kristen Wiig, who also wrote the script) is happy for her engaged friend, but soon realizes that fantasy weddings involve awkward relationships with people you’ve just met, extra money you don’t have, and the emergence of your insecurities that erupt like boils on your neck. Wiig is terrific, with hardly a trace of her signature characters from SNL creeping in. All of the bridesmaids are funny, but Melissa McCarthy steals the movie with her unapologetic, overtly sexual and bizarre take as the groom’s sister. Jon Hamm proves that being fabulously good-looking is not enough of a reason to date a man who openly refers to you as his “fuck-buddy.”
My reviews usually mention the amount of potential vomiting the film may provoke. In this case, all of the puking is happening right up there on the screen and the only way you’ll be joining in is if your gag reflex is a little loose. The bridesmaids have dinner at a sketchy Brazilian restraunt, and the ensuing food poisoning hits them just as they are admiring their expensive couture gowns in an all-white wedding salon. The scene that follows is exactly what I always hope will happen on the show Say Yes to the Dress.
Participating in a wedding is one of those womanly rights of passage that everyone should experience at least once, as this movie made me remember. My own maid of honor stint involved trying to get a wedding cake out of the back seat of a two-door Toyota Corolla without destroying it. I was unsuccessful, but you’d be amazed what you can repair with a butter knife and some fresh flowers.
Barf Bag rating: ONE BAG Not really nausea-inducing at all, but I have to give it one bag just for the sight of Maya Rudolph in a wedding gown as she slowly sinks to the pavement and mutters “I’m shitting in the street.”