Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Ugly Carrot

Okay, so I've been in a haze of Tylenol and Sudafed for the past three and a half days, so I only have the energy and mental stamina for a very brief review.  This weekend I saw Bridesmaids, directed by Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig, and written by star Kristen Wiig and her writing partner Annie Mumolo.  Even though I found the trailers and commercials to be less than promising, Bridesmaids was eagerly awaited by myself and most of my friends, hoping to prove to observers that not only do women watch comedies, but they can carry them too.

While I enjoyed Bridesmaids, it was not as funny as comedies such as Dodgeball or Zoolander, but it was sweeter and smarter than both.  My mom called it "deeper" than she expected, as the story was certainly more about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and about female friendships, than it was a broad hijinks-vehicle.  Jon Hamm was excellent in a small role as a douchebag, basically a modern Don Draper if he were honest about being a jerk.  Chris O'Dowd as Wiig's love interest was very sweet and likeable, and he and Wiig played against each other well.  Melissa McCarthy was the highlight of the movie, playing both the bawdy scenes and the endearing scenes with a loveable honesty.  Her olive branch of friendship to Annie (Wiig) was more touching than any history between Wiig and Rudolph's characters.  Also, her flirtation with a character played by her real-life husband Ben Falcone was funnier to me than many of the other comedic set pieces.  Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey were underused.

You should see Bridesmaids.  It's a little too long but it's definitely worth watching.  I don't think it will crush institutionalized sexism in Hollywood.  The First Wives Club made nearly $200K in 1996, and here we are 15 years later hoping that another rare female comedy will change everything, while reviewers are criticizing the movie based on the attractiveness of its stars.

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