5-Word 365 #361 – Bridesmaids

You know what? It’s really not easy writing these when there are two groovy infants and a very friendly spaniel in the house. And then there’s the Man Vs Food marathon to contend with as well. Never mind; onwards!


My sister called it dirty.

Thirtysomething Annie has seen better days. Her bakery business has gone under in the recession, her boyfriend left, her living situation is… awkward to say the least, and her love life involves being occasional fuck-buddies with a guy who won’t even let her sleep over. Just about the only good thing left is her best friend Lillian. But Lillian’s getting married, and it seems that Annie is being left behind.

Everybody knows from the trailers and the names involved that Bridesmaids is going to be just freaking hilarious, but I didn’t realise how heartfelt it was going to be too. Unfairly set up as a “female Hangover” by people too lazy to really look at what they’re watching, Bridesmaids is a film about friendship and growing up, and realising that life might not be as shiny as the dreams of youth would lead you to believe. It’s also a film about loneliness, a common theme affecting each of the eight main characters in different ways. It is these characters which is the film’s leading strength. I am not in the least bit surprised that Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s script got an Oscar nomination. I can’t remember the last film I saw with so many fully layered and relatable characters. It really is a refreshingly well-written movie.

The most important part of any wedding preparation: choosing the stripper.

The most important part of any wedding preparation: choosing the stripper.

But of course without eight actors up to the task, those eight characters would just be words on a page. One of the things Judd Apatow is known for is assembling very talented casts for his projects, going right back to the days of Freaks and Geeks. What a lot of people probably aren’t aware of is that while Apatow was the producer of Freaks, its creator and great unsung hero was Paul Feig, who directed Bridesmaids. Feig has a knack for bringing out the moments of humanity in even the most bizarre scenes. Just watch the bit where Annie is at work and questioning the “BFF” relationship of a teenage customer, which quickly becomes a monumentally filthy slanging match (I didn’t see the Oscars this year, but I’m fairly sure this wouldn’t be the clip they would have shown). In a Todd Phillips flick, this would just have been about an adult calling a teenager a cunt, and we all would have laughed, but in a Paul Feig flick it is informed by all the stress Annie has gone through and the recent crash-and-burn of her own BFF relationship, and while we are laughing at the scene we also feel hugely sorry for Annie and the shitstorm her life has turned into.

Yeah, not bad, but they're no Wilson Phillips...

Yeah, not bad, but they’re no Wilson Phillips…

I could go on for days about Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd and Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph and everybody else involved with this movie, but those leftovers aren’t going to eat themselves. Most of you have already seen Bridesmaids so I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but I’m annoyed at myself for waiting this long for the experience. And just for the record, I really liked the first Hangover, but I thought the second was mostly just a lazy retread. I do have an open mind about the third one though.


  1. CMrok93 · December 27, 2012

    Good review Ryan. I’ll admit it, I laughed a whole lot but it wasn’t freakin’, non-stop hilarious as everybody made it out to be. It was just a bunch of gals doing disgusting, raunchy things that the dudes would do. However, I still had fun with all of them, especially McCarthy who was a total joy to watch.

    • Ryan McNeely · December 28, 2012

      Thanks dude. Melissa McCarthy was amazing, wasn’t she?

  2. r361n4 · December 28, 2012

    I loved this movie and was very glad to see it succeeded at the box office as well. While I’m not exactly clamoring for a sequel, the box office success still guarantees that the people involved with this (namely feig) will be given more chances to give us similarly great movies

    • Ryan McNeely · December 28, 2012

      I’m not sure what direction a sequel could really go in without ending up as a rehash. I mean, just look at Hangover 2. But the more movies Paul Feig gets to make, the happier I will be.

  3. filmhipster · December 28, 2012

    It’s piss in your pants hilarious!

  4. sedatedtabloidreader · December 29, 2012

    Absolutly hated this movie. It was a good 20-40 minutes too long (rom-coms should not run to 2 hours 10 minutes!) and the only redeeming feature of the entire thing was a fantastic performance by Melissa McCarthy whose Oscar nomination was well deserved.

    • Ryan McNeely · December 31, 2012

      You hated it? Okay, fair enough. A longer running time doesn’t bother me in and off itself, as long as there’s enough story to justify it, and I thought this flick managed to sustain that well. You’re bang on about Melissa McCarthy though.

      • sedatedtabloidreader · December 31, 2012

        The issue with the run time was that there were jokes that could and should have been shorter. The whole bit on the plane went on far too long, for example.

  5. David · December 31, 2012

    Fantastic review ! I love it . Ryan I enjoy this weblog, excellent content material and I am going to bookmark this web site for future updates.

  6. mistylayne · January 6, 2013

    I avoided this for the longest because of the Hangover comparison (HATED The Hangover) but my bff called me up and told me it was hilarious and she and I have insanely different tastes in movies so that was pretty surprising coming from her and she convinced me to watch and I loved it. And that was a helluva run on sentence. 😉

    • Ryan McNeely · January 7, 2013

      Yeah, who needs punctuation anyway? 🙂
      I quite enjoyed The Hangover the first time, but it doesn’t really stand up to repeated viewing

      • mistylayne · January 7, 2013

        Punctuation is SO overrated. 😉 My roomie made me watch part of the second one with her and I finally just went, “I quit.” and marched angrily out of the room. 😉

      • Ryan McNeely · January 7, 2013

        Now that’s a forceful reaction!

      • mistylayne · January 10, 2013

        I am nothing if not melodramatic. 😉

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