Bridesmaids succeeds where others have failed in portraying the necessary evil of being a bridesmaid, and does it on comedic steroids. There's one thing anyone who has ever been a bridesmaid can tell you, but would never tell the bride: being a bridesmaid is a certain kind of punishment saved only for the kind of friends who will forgive you for it later.
In Bridesmaids, Annie (Saturday Night Live's Kristen Wiig), a broke victim of the recession just trying to get by, becomes her best friend Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) maid of honor. Annie, along with four other colorful bridesmaids, rounds out the "stone cold pack of weirdos" Lillian has selected to be part of her bridal party.
Annie opened her own cake shop in the midst of the recession, which eventually closed and left her penniless and living with a strange British brother and sister. As many can relate, being chosen as someone's bridesmaid when you're struggling to make ends meet isn't ideal. Annie makes the most of it, suggesting inexpensive alternatives, which are always shot down by Lillian's new wealthy friend Helen (Rose Byrne). Bridesmaids fairly depicts Annie's financial struggle, while also trying to be there for her best friend. Unlike the Sex and the City movies, which completely ignore the financial struggles faced by real people these days, Bridesmaids creates a sincere and sympathetic representation while also keeping the movie light and funny.
Wiig, who also co-wrote Bridesmaids, has never been better. Over the past few years, Wiig has grown both as a comic and as an actress, moving from obscure bit player to bonafide leading lady. Wiig brings not only her trademark wit to Annie, but also makes her sincere and human, creating an everywoman type of multidimensional character.
Melissa McCarthy steals the show as one of Lillian's bridesmaids, and the groom's sister, Megan. She provides some of the most over-the-top humor, suggesting a female Fight Club for the bachelorette party, taking nine dogs from the bridal shower and telling the story of how she telepathically connected with a dolphin. While Megan's character could have been left as just a super oddball, the writers did her justice in making her confident and real. One of my favorite scenes comes when Megan goes to Annie's house to try to pull her out of her self-loathing and becomes more than just a sideshow joke and wins over the audience with her compassion.
I don't mean to get your hopes up too high, but it must be said: Bridesmaids is hilarious. Also, it combines disaster with heartfelt sincerity to create a comedic powerhouse you'll be giggling about days after viewing.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Bryne and Melissa McCarthy
Directed by Paul Feig