Kristen Wiig and her writing partner, Annie Mumolo, channeled years of bridesmaid experiences and perfectly capture the humor, heartache and hysteria that is that iconic wedding role of supporting the bride as seen in Bridesmaids.
Wiig plays Annie, best friend for life with Maya Rudolph's Lillian. When Lillian gets engaged, she immediately asks her BFF to be her maid of honor. Annie quickly meets the rest of Lillian's bridesmaids at an engagement party. There's trouble right off the bat in the form of Helen (Rose Byrne, Get Him to the Greek), Lillian's friend from work who -- we learn early on -- believes she should be maid of honor.
Annie also meets Megan (Melissa McCarthy of Mike and Molly), Lillian's future sister-in-law -- much more of a handful for Annie in very different ways than Helen. Megan possesses a confidence that is as big as her sexual appetite. Then, there are two more, the wife and the new wife. Ellie Kemper (The Office) does the innocent newlywed thing to perfection while Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911) plays Rita, the married mother of boys who cannot wait until the bachelorette party to let loose!
What's so fascinating about Wiig and Mumolo's Bridesmaids world that they've created is the capturing of the unique social circle that is combining a group of great friends who hardly know each other and how each of those individuals responds to the unique challenges of "getting along" for the sake of the bride.
Particularly powerful are Wiig and Byrne's back and forth that lies at the heart of Bridesmaids. Each has their own opinion as to what Rudolph's Lillian wants for her big day and its accompanying events. Byrne and Wiig could have a movie spin-off based on their characters' self-created chaos, all while doing what they do, supposedly for the sake of the bride.
There are so many hilarious scenes -- one doesn't even know where to start. There's the food poisoning in the high-end bridal shop where the entire group gets sick, except for the holier than thou Byrne. The airplane scene where they are off to the bachelorette party is pure Wiig wizardry. If Bridesmaids doesn't make Kristen Wiig a full-fledged movie star, it is a high crime. And then there is every scene that features McCarthy. She may be the funniest of the bunch.
The bridal shower segment is pure hilarity and allows the entire cast to flex their comedic muscles while showcasing their years of improv training. Much of the cast trained at the iconic L.A. comedy troupe, the Groundlings, and their expertise shines. When Wiig flips out over Byrne's controlling nature, the audience gets a study in how to brilliantly stage a scripted comedy with improv actors who are the best at what they do.
Director Paul Feig has masterfully handled his cast of female comic greats and a few who are new to the process. The Freaks and Geeks creator and frequent Judd Apatow collaborator is at his best orchestrating the symphony of silliness that is Bridesmaids.
Humor is a difficult thing to master, especially on screen. There are thousands of failed comedies as opposed to successes. It is through the mastery of Wiig and her writing partner Mumolo that Bridesmaids achieves the latter. We've said it before and will say it again: Bridesmaids is comic perfection embodied.
Out of five stars...
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