BRIDESMAIDS Wednesday 04 January, 2012
Show stealing bit-part after show stealing bit-part finally leads to Kristen Wiig getting her own vehicle. Thankfully she doesn’t waste the opportunity.
Kristen Wiig is very funny. How funny is she? Er…very. You’ll have seen her pop up all over the place if you’ve been watching comedy films over the last few years. She’s never been the star although she’s always brilliant. I had absolutely no worries that she would be able to carry off a lead role and she emphatically rewards my trust with her turn in Bridesmaids.
Wiig plays Annie. Annie’s life is moving in a rapidly downward spiral. Unfortunately for Annie her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is going in the opposite direction. So it comes to pass that Annie is asked to be Lillian’s maid of honour. I’m a bloke and I therefore haven’t spent any percentage of my life obsessing about weddings so I had to guess what a maid of honour did. I guessed right. It seems that she is in charge of organising all of the crazy crap that a woman and her bridesmaids do before she gets married. Luckily for us Annie isn’t very good at it and much hilarity ensues.
Alongside her ineptitude as a maid of honour Annie is also pretty inept at relationships (but hey, who am I to talk!) and working. These factors also lead to some very funny moments. Look out for Matt Lucas (?) popping up in a slight cameo role.
So far, so expected. Bridesmaids comes off like 27 Dresses had a make-over done by Judd Apatow. Which is not that far from the truth, given that he is one of the producers of this film. Kristen Wiig is great and she heads an excellent cast. Maya Rudolph is typically brilliant and Chris O’Dowd is enjoyable as the cop who falls for Wiig’s Annie (that sounds rude). Also John Hamm is excellent as the skin-crawlingly vapid fuck-buddy. There are some brilliant gross out moments and a nicely executed c-bomb. As a movie it slots right in alongside the other members of the Apatow stable. This is because, like it stable mates, it manages to combine really funny moments with genuine poignancy and insight into the more difficult things in life.
What really impressed me was how well Kristen Wiig coped with the more serious moments of the film. It’s nice to see that she’s not just a comedy actor but a pretty decent all rounder. Her portrayal of the woman in meltdown is convincing and tenderly drawn.
I’m a big fan of the Apatow style and if you are too you’ll love this movie. I think there’s enough here to reward repeat viewings as well which is always a good sign…even if it does remind you of Wilson Phillips.