Spoiler alert: I loathed the movie Bridesmaids. Some people have asked me why, so I’m going to talk about that here. I will mention specifics from the movie. If you are impressionable, I may flavo(u)r your opinion against the movie. If you want to avoid this rant, you could go read a favo(u)rable review, or any of the numerous favo(u)rable reviews, or go fly kites. You have been warned!
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 91, my morbid curiosity got the better of me and I went, with three friends, to see Bridesmaids. Two of them enjoyed the movie well enough. Poor Jim Jim sat next to me, so he never really had a chance to like it because I checked out thirty seconds in to it (and kept him well informed of my attitude by making snarky comments for the duration of the movie). I had a bad feeling about it going in since I had watched the preview and been mystified as to what the draw could possibly be, but Rotten Tomatoes, I trusted you! How could a democratically organized process go so horribly awry? It’s simply unprecedented.
Bridesmaids began with an inexplicably terrible sex scene, with Annie (Kristen Wiig) pandering to the proclivities of some machismo dude (who is not particularly attractive, but I guess he is rich, so perhaps that’s why she was into him). Then she goes out to breakfast with her token ethnic friend. They talk about sex. This from a supposedly female-centric movie that focuses on Real Issues that Real Women have. (Maybe they mean REAL women?) Don’t these people have jobs?!
Turns out not for long — Annie’s life is in shambles; her bakery closed, her boyfriend left her, she has a lot of debt, and her roommates are insane (but also some of the funniest characters who get very limited screen time). What does Annie do to cope with her current life situation and her new role as maid of honor in her friend’s wedding?
She gets fired from her job at a jewelry store for starting a fight with a teenager, she mistreats the only cute dude in the film (the Irish cop!), she whines and complains, she drinks and takes drugs (the drug part can be blamed on another character, but seriously, why would you take random medication from someone you think is evil and untrustworthy?), and she has casual sex (what’s formal sex?) with ick-o-McGee from the opening scenes.
Also, her friend is apparently marrying into money, being as she is now a member of some posh country club and her dad talks (exclusively) about being broke (which is one of the few times that a guy actually says anything in the movie – we barely see the husband-to-be, husband-wife interactions, or positive interactions between the two socially constructed genders… although you do have a token gay male flight attendant, in yet another astonishing moment of cutting social commentary, original humor, and oh wait I left at that part because the stupidity was hurting my head).
I’ve been told that this film is about female friendship. By a stretch of the imagination, I think there could be three moments of friendship in the movie:
1) When Megan, the best character by far, who turns out be fairly empowered and awesome, beats up Annie and tells Annie to get her act together, because whining and moping isn’t a good way to make friends, get a job, or catch the guy. This was the only moment of insight in the entire movie, but why everyone else put up with Annie’s garbage for so long remains a Mystery in this Mystery Chick Flick Buddy Comedy thriller. And after the credits roll, she has sandwich-and-bear-themed sex. That is a better example of friendship than anything else that happened in the movie. [UPDATE: I blocked this movie from my mind, so now I want to re-watch it to figure out if I am talking about Annie, Megan, or Annie and Megan with the sandwich-bear sex…]
2) When Annie actually acts like a maid of honor and talks her friend into getting married. The problems with this part of the movie are twofold: (a) her friend is worried that her dad can’t afford the fireworks and light show wedding, a concern that remains unresolved, and (b) her friend hates the wedding dress, which Annie promises and then fails to fix. So, that part was actually weird and stupid, like the rest of the movie.
3) When Annie promises Helen (the Evil Character) to go get sushi on Saturdays. Like… they’re friends now? But I don’t know why… And that’s the almost end! I think I only found this vaguely friendship related because I was so happy the movie was nearing its (loosey goosey) conclusion.
Annie winds up getting the Cute Irish Cop at the very end, but the plot holes were so numerous (and the slow pace of the film was so tiresome) that I have no idea how or why that happened. He ate the cake that she left for him that the raccoons had already eaten… and then picked her up in his cop car? What?! All was forgiven, but nobody learned anything!
Things that could have made this movie better:
1) Less whining, more guns. Okay, really, I just wanted to see a movie about Megan. I did not like any of the other characters. All they did was whine and complain, while Megan manned up (this is an appropriately [in an ironic sense, but not hipster ironic] gendered term because she was posited as the most “mannish” character in the movie).
2) Annie should have made a CREAM PUFF for the Cute Irish Cop. He SAID that he likes her cream puffs! He said that the first time they met! Annie so too busy being a self-absorbed whiny jerk that she can’t even keep track of that one tiny plot device from earlier in the movie.
3) Less whining, more Fight Club (per the character Megan’s suggestion).
4) Less poop jokes, more COOL STUFF HAPPENING. Nothing happened in this movie, then everyone got food poisoning, and nothing continued to happen.
5) Less whining. Jim Jim pointed out that the chicks in this film had incredibly First World problems. Someone else, who enjoyed the movie, said “Of course they did; it’s Hollywood!” But “Oh no, I have to sit in coach while everyone else flies to Vegas in First Class for a weekend of debauchery” is not a plot device that holds my attention for 20 minutes, although it seemed to work on the rest of the audience just fine. I heard much laughter in the theater and plenty of positive comments as we left.
6) Less whining. This movie was so filled with boring whining that I spent a good 15 minutes playing pinball during the airplane scene (I couldn’t leave because Jim Jim had the car keys) and much of the rest of the film staring at the theater wall or licking salt off of the popcorn bag just so I could feel feelings (salty!) again.
This rant whines a lot about how much whining there was in the movie, but what bothers me about all the whining from the various characters is that Bridesmaids is being touted as the woman’s (or womyn’s) answer to the Buddy Comedy. Supposedly, it’s finally a Chick Flick / Buddy Comedy crossover that makes women look… funny after all even though no one expects women to be funny? There’s only one problem: it’s not funny! That is the part I find nonsensical and infuriating.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot of work behind the production, acting, etc. that goes into a movie, I’m not saying that I could make a better movie, and I’m definitely not saying that you should hate it if you loved it. I’m just giving my opinion and lost as to what all the fuss is about. This isn’t intended to stoop to the level of Internet fights (since everybody’s a winner in those), but rather to express my contempt for something that is so inexplicably hyped up.
This movie was awful. I don’t like hearing people claim that it’s a new wave of anything for anyone, let alone a symbol of women in comedy. It’s just a bad movie that has lots of ladies in it. There are bad movies with lots of dudes in them. There are bad movies. This one, though, may take the raccoon-desecrated carrot-shaped nonsensical cake for worst movie ever.