‘Bridesmaids’: A Type of Manly Chick Flick

(From left to right) Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig are hysterical in the comedy 'Bridesmaids'

“Chick flicks don’t have to suck!” one reviewer writes. Bridesmaids (2011) is one of those “chick flicks” that exceeds expectations for the average “girls night” movie. In fact, this Judd Apatow-produced film will leave you laughing from beginning to end and can be considered the female version of The Hangover. Its clever and witty dialogue never once strays, and our main characters – though each character depicts a certain female stereotype – are smart, sassy, and far from perfect – making them likeable, believable, and outrageously charismatic. Personalities continuously clash as the women plan soon-to-be bride Lilian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. But unfortunately, about less than an hour into the film, we focus more on Maid of Honor Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) hell hole of a life, and the film somewhat forgets about the bridesmaids, Lilian, and the wedding – making you wonder why it wasn’t called “Maid of Dishonor”, “BFFs”, or even “Annie” instead. However, the comedy presents a fresh, genuine, and hilarious story that chick flicks rarely give.

Clichés of wedding flicks are nowhere to be seen in the movie; Bridesmaids plays against what’s expected. Rather, this film is not lady-like at all (fair warning) and embraces casual sex, fart jokes, vulgarity, and female dominance (sorta). Crude humor is heavily relied on that, after a while, you may forget you’re out with the girls. As well, the words that come out of the characters’ mouths may get some jaws dropping (I’m not sure how many obscene jokes and dirty one-liners Melissa McCarthy cracked); that’s what makes this film work – the fact that the female characters are so real and portray the modern everyday woman that’s it’s hard for any woman not to relate to at least one of the bridesmaids.

On the contrary, these bridesmaids are rather visibly dysfunctional that it could raise issues of being another sexist Judd Apatow-produced film. The film opens up with Annie hooking up with her friends-with-benefits buddy Ted (Jon Hamm). Although she knows that nothing serious will ever happen between them, she consistently pursues and allows him to physically use and mentally degrade her to his liking. We are also introduced to Helen Harris (Rose Byrne) – the wife of Lilian’s boss. She is described and seen as a beautiful, fashionable, classy, and sophisticated woman who has a knack for event planning. Both Annie and Helen’s demeanor and personality are similar to the many Apatow female characters in several known films including Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) in Knocked Up (2007) and Nicky (Leslie Mann)  The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005). However, with the 2.5 hours you spend getting to know the women, they grow on you and makes you feel like you’re hanging with the boys.  To sum it up, the bridesmaids, the bride, and the maid of honor are not lighthearted, classy, selfless women but wild, independent, and over-the-top personable individuals.

Overall, the film is by far one of the better comedies in 2011. I wouldn’t technically describe it as a chick flick, though. The guys out there (who may be dragged to see this film) will most likely get a kick out of it whether they admit or not (hey, my date secretly enjoyed the film and surprisingly found himself laughing from the beginning until the end). The women are intelligent and quirky as they can possibly get in some of the most awkward situations, and the dialogue is witty and will keep you laughing.

This film runs 125 minutes and is Rated R.

Grade: B+

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