Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 9:40PM
Matthew Kopelke in Film

I think that I am starting to turn into a bit of a grumpy old man, really. For weeks now I’ve been hearing about this amazingly funny movie, Bridesmaids, and was very eager to go and see it. I’d heard about how many great jokes were in it, and how wonderful the characters and central plot was. Having now seen the movie, I honestly don’t feel as though the hype matched the reality. While there were certainly some good jokes in it, they were few and far between - the film focussed on the wrong aspects of “nervous comedy”, and not enough on the more interesting dramatic material that the central character was going through. So am I right or wrong? Have a read on to find out my reasons for feeling the way that I do about this movie.

One of the big positives about this movie was lead actress and co-author of the film’s script, Kristen Wiig. It’s clear to see she had a lot invested in this film, for her performance as Annie, the maid of honour struggling to find happiness within her own life, is simply wonderful. It’s a very believable performance, despite some of the absurdity around her. It’s a compelling performance, for sure. In fact, right across the board the acting within Bridesmaids is very good, with everyone putting in stellar performances. It was great to see Ellie Kemper (Erin in NBC’s The Office) in a film role, but the surprise appearance was Chris O’Dowd as the Irish police officer. His developing rapport with Kristen’s character was really quite charming to watch.

The problem I had with Bridesmaids really came in the script, and the way in which some of the gags felt forced for duration, or attempting to play the awkwardness card too often. A good example of both of these happening at the same time was during the scene where both Annie and Helen (Rose Byrne) attempt to outdo each other on the quality of their respective speeches early on in the film. The gag repeated itself a few too many times, and with each new iteration became just a bit more awkward - and I would say too awkward. This film really seemed to rely on awkward humour a bit too much, and this sadly buried some of what I felt were the more worthier items present within the script, such as the dramatic elements.

Overall, there was a lot to like about Bridesmaids. The casting was uniformly excellent, and the dramatic core of the script was lovely. But layered over the top of this interesting script investigating Annie’s attempts to find a happy life were one too many awkward or overlong gags that ruined what could have been such a charming and delightful film. Now, I suspect my view on this film isn’t going to be the same as a lot of other people, but I guess that’s fine - we each have differing views on things, and while I did enjoy quite a lot of what made Bridesmaids a good film, this particular type of humour didn’t work within this context. It might work in a show like The Office, but here - it lacked the finesse a good wedding deserved.


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