Oh hey, look! It's "Bridesmaids"! The courageous feminist movie manifesto! The one that was boldly going to establish a woman's equal rights to shitting on screen!
Kristen Wiig is the "quirky if you're feeling kind/ irredeemable selfish if you're feeling mean" Annie. Annie's bakery business has crumbled and she's feeling less than appreciated by her sex-buddy (a breezy cad played by Jon Hamm, in a role that I swear must have been written for Paul Rudd.) To top off her misfortunes, her best friend Lillian, (Maya Rudolph) is getting HAPPILY MARRIED leaving her alone to singledom! Lillian has even gotten a new biffle in hyper-perfect Helen (Rose Byrne, purty as usual). Naturally, Annie can barely contain her need to murder Helen and Lillian and take a dump on top of the wedding cake. Instead she lets her self-involvement subtly sabotage her relationships, (including a love affair with a cop played by Chris O'Dowd from "The IT Crowd.")
Paul Feig's (and Judd Apatow's, I suppose) "Bridesmaids" is the answer to years of people complaining their movies never passed the Bechdel Test, (you know, the one that says that movies were written by rapists unless they contain two women attending a lesbian film festival without male accompaniment.)*
"Bridesmaids" passes the test in that the cast is heavily female and the male characters are unimportant at best, and at worst reduced to the male version of the Madonna/Whore complex (which I hereby baptize as either the Eunuch/Stud Complex, the Harmless Puppy/Rabid Dog Complex, or the Long-Suffering-Borderline-Gay-Guy/The-Asshole-who-Gets-All-the-Girls Complex. You pick the catchiest one.)
Unfortunately, it fails the test in that the leads are STILL largely basing their happiness on how a MAN makes them feel, and being absolute c-words to each other. It's about bitchy bridesmaids at a WEDDING! This is NOT "The Hangover" for women. It's "27 Dresses" for women who appreciate a good vomit joke.
So now that I said all that boring "social significance" bull Universal Studios paid me to say: was "Bridesmaids" funny? I sure thought so, particularly for Melissa McCarthy's movie-stealing performance.
It was about 40 minutes too long, though. It used to be comedies knew their place: barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and lasting no longer than an hour and a half. Two hours was for serious dramas. Anything longer than that had better be a historical epic described with the words "lavish" and "sprawling." "Bridesmaids" is nearly 2 hours and a half and yet it is not, as far as I can tell, about the Holocaust or the Fall of the Roman Empire. Faux pas.
*KIDDING, KIDDING, menstruating monsters! Put the claws away! I love Alison Bechdel! I was a huge fan of "Dykes to Watch Out For" even before I realized I wasn't technically a dyke! "Fun Home" is one of my top 10 graphic novels all time! Ok, fine, top 50.
Here's a cute picture of Rose Byrne because why not?