66- Bridesmaids [4.5]

Annie’s life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian’s maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she’ll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you’ll go for someone you love.

I guess I’m really in the minority on Bridesmaids. Running about twenty minutes too long, lacking storyline coherency and believable characters are just some of the many issues this film suffers. The male characters are so vastly underdeveloped that Bridesmaids falls into the lump of gender-specific comedies that write the opposite sex as simpletons with no depth. Chris O’Dowd’s lead turn as a cop is not only one of the more uncharismatic performances I’ve seen in a while, but his character is written increasingly unrealistic and makes nonsensical choices all the way up to the easily telegraphed ending.

And that is perhaps my biggest problem with Bridesmaids— the film squanders so many talents. Director Kevin Feig of Freaks and Geeks fame gets a decent enough performance from Kristen Wiig, and yet she still goes into her SNL-esque character moments. Ellie Kemper is either typecast as the mousy, socially inept girl, or lacks range to do anything substantial with her roles. Maya Rudolph plays it pretty well in a largely straight role, but is one of the many characters who has to clumsily deliver awkward exposition.

The best thing to come from Bridesmaids doesn’t actually take place in the film– it’s the financial success of the movie that will lead to more R-rated female comedies, a sub-genre that’s practically nonexistent. Hopefully next time around they do more with a talented cast.

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