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Laramie Movie Scope:
Bridesmaids

A funny, raunchy comedy about passive-aggressive jealousy

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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March 21, 2012 -- I was putting some reviews online today and suddenly discovered I had forgotten to write a review of this movie when I saw it last year. At the time I saw it, it didn't seem to be a big deal. Who knew there would be so many Academy Award nominations? Sure, it is a funny movie and there are some terrific performances, but usually comedies are ignored at Oscar time.

First of all, I'm pointing out that this is an extremely vulgar movie with a lot of scatological humor. It is dirty, but very funny. It also deals in the dark side of people to a surprising extent for a comedy. It isn't exactly a black comedy or a dark comedy, but it does explore the way that friends can sometimes become jealous and sabotage each other.

This very thing happens when Lillian (played by Maya Rudolph of “MacGruber”) tells her best friend, Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the screenplay, previously starred in “Friends With Kids”) that she is getting married to her boyfriend, Doug (Tim Heidecker). Annie, of course, offers to handle the wedding arrangements, which are elaborate, given that most of Lillian's other friends are from the upper economic classes and Annie is not doing so well.

Annie, Lillian's maid of honor, gets into a heated rivalry with another bridesmaid, Helen (Rose Byrne of “X-Men: First Class”), who is the wife of Doug's boss. Helen is not only rich, but fancies herself a great wedding planner. Annie's plans, on the other hand, often go awry, such as her choice of restaurants for a party, which results in a mass attack of diarrhea, and one of the raunchiest extended comedy scenes in the movie. So many of Annie's arrangements go so wrong that Lillian begins to suspect her best friend is trying to sabotage her wedding.

Annie also begins to become emotionally unglued. Not only does she sabotage her own relationship with Lillian, but she begins to sabotage her own life, engaging in self-destructive acts and wallowing in self pity. She finally hits bottom and has to work her way back into everyone's good graces. This is a great performance by Kristen Wiig, who displays a dizzying array of emotions. Wiig deserved the Oscar for this performance, but comedy is seldom recognized by the Academy.

Melissa McCarthy, who plays the wackiest of the Bridesmaids, Megan, did get a well-deserved Academy nomination for this film. She plays a strange, but irrepressible woman who has plenty of self-confidence to go with her odd behavior.

In addition to her fine performance in this film. Wiig was also in another of my favorite films from last year, “Paul,” playing a character almost the exact opposite of the one she plays in “Bridesmaids.” This is a real breakthrough film which will, unfortunately, probably spawn a slew of inferior copies. This film was produced by Judd Apatow, who does have a gift for making funny vulgar comedies, such as “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)