If my review of Bridesmaids were to begin as crassly as the film began itself, most readers would turn away – exactly what many of the white-haired patrons did at this afternoon’s showing. Even though Bridesmaids’ opening sex scene doesn’t rise to meet the occasion of Kristin Wiig’s debut as a producer and writer, Bridesmaids does have noteworthy moments deserving praise.
One of the film’s highlights comes in the strength of Maya Rudolph’s portrayal of Lillian, the 30-something bride-to-be ecstatic to have her childhood friend, Annie (Wiig) plan her wedding as the Maid of Honor. Rudolph is convincing in both her comedic and her serious scenes, helping to save her dialogue with Wiig when the latter falls flat.
Bridesmaids is additionally aided by Melissa McCarthy, a relatively-unknown television actress who portrays Megan, Lillian’s future sister in law. While her lines aren’t particularly creative, McCarthy’s total embodiment of the constantly perspiring firecracker yields many of the film’s laughs. The charm of Chris O’Dowd as Annie’s love interest, police officer Nathan Rhodes, is particularly endearing, and makes most female audience members sigh each time he attempts to win the heart of unappreciative Annie (check out O’Dowd in Pirate Radio for an equally adorable performance).
Interestingly, the main flaw of Bridesmaids runs parallel to Wiig’s weaker performances on Saturday Night Live (she’s been a cast member for six years). While Wiig’s gags are creative, she often overworks jokes, creating variations of the same premise over and over again to eventually ruin entire scenes. From interminable congratulatory speeches to the bride to uncontrolled, turbulent, bodily excretions at a posh bridal store after a Brazilian meal, the film contains agonizing scenes that disintegrate the comedy and put a damper on the entire film.
Wiig’s writing needs work, a fault that may be directly linked to the rough and simple scripts that are turned into 90-minute SNL episodes every week. Bridesmaids scenes pander to low-brow audiences in a time when sharp wit is vital to restore intelligence to comedy. Wiig has the brainpower needed; she just needs the confidence to pursue a dangerously intelligent script.
Until next time… B-
– Michela Smith, MUSE Staff