Chicks rule in Bridesmaids
Some people say that women aren’t funny. In fact, in the grand history of comedy, women have been mostly relegated to playing girlfriends and wives of the leading men. Even today, many of comedy’s female stars are considered hot chicks first and comediennes second. If Hollywood does make a movie with a predominately female cast, it’s a “chick flick” and and the laughs are sparse. Thankfully, Bridesmaids throws click flick conventions out the window and gives us a female version of Wedding Crashers or The Hangover.
Kirsten Wiig and Maya Rudolph are long-time BFFs Annie and Lillian. When single gal Annie (Wiig) finds out that Lillian’s (Rudolph) boyfriend just proposed, her life takes a bit of a weird turn. She’s happy for her friend and panicked for herself, realizing her life hasn’t panned out the way she wanted. To make matters worse, she finds herself fighting for Lillian’s attention when Lillian’s new best buddy, Helen (Rose Byrne) comes into the picture. Helen is gorgeous, wealthy and has tons of experience planning weddings, showers and bachelorette parties, making her competition for Maid of Honor. Like a high school clique, the other bridesmaids (Wendy McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Melissa McCarthy tend to go with whomever is in power.
Annie’s life continues to fall apart. She gets kicked out of the apartment she shares with her creepy roommates (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson) and gets pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. But there’s a silver lining when the the cop who pulls her over turns out to be cool and flirty. Annie and Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) hit it off and things start looking up for our heroine.
We know that Wiig and Rudolph can be funny. They’ve both been stand-outs on SNL and both have impressed in feature films as well. Equally, McLendon-Covey was phenomenal in Reno 911! and Kemper caught our eye in The Office. Even Byrne, who has had success as a serious actress, was fantastic as Jackie Q in Get Him to the Greek.
Still, no one can possibly outshine McCarthy, who absolutely makes the film. In a room full of comedy heavyweights, she comes through with a breakout performance reminiscent of Zach Galifianakis’ turn in The Hangover. One memorable scene with her on a plane flirting with a man she suspects is a Federal Air Marshall is purely incredible. In another, she proposes a fight club themed bachelorette party. Her delivery is impeccable and this career-making performance will probably mean that she’ll be keeping us laughing for years to come.
It’s wonderful to see that other women, beyond superstars like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, can achieve success and acclaim in comedy. There’s certainly enough room for all of them.