Review: Bridesmaids (2011)

Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

It’s hard to come across a comedy this day and age that’s mature enough to balance gratuitous vulgarity with something a bit more tasteful. Although Paul Feig’s latest effort Bridesmaids can easily be perceived as a wildly entertaining, raucous and mostly raunchy entry into this summer’s lineup, the narrative itself carries with it a sense of poise that helps separate it from the pack in the best possible way. Over-the-top as some moments may be, it’s hard to deny both Wiig’s charm and the efforts of her equally admirable costars that make Bridesmaids as enjoyable as it is.

To be frank, I haven’t come across anything this consistently and genuinely funny in quite some time. Sure, I’ve laughed sporadically during first, second and even third viewings of some of my favorite comedies from recent years, yet not as hard or as long as I did during my screening of Bridesmaids. From start to finish, the film is essentially a balls-out showcase for Wiig’s talent, allowing her character to flourish amidst all of her insecurities and slightly more obvious character flaws, providing for many a hilarious altercation between her and her fellow bridesmaids in spite of some narrative simplicity.

Simple as it may be, Bridesmaids does happen to suffer from an inexplicably overblown run time. Seeing as how the film as a whole is as entertaining as can be, such a flaw can easily be overlooked thanks to its ability to deftly blend the overly crass with several examples of a more refined, sensitive take on Wiig’s Annie’s current struggle to make something of herself amidst our nation’s growing economic turmoil. Buttons are pushed and friendships are tested as Annie and unassuming trophy wife Helen compete to give bride-to-be Lillian what they think is best for her, and while hilarity ensues, it’s always refreshing to see a film of this type take itself if but a bit seriously in adding an appreciated twinge of sentimentality to an otherwise off-the-wall script.

Depending on one’s general opinion of Wiig as an actress, you’ll either hate this film based on principle or love both it and her as the female lead. Proving from start to finish that she most certainly has the chops to assume roles of this type, her performance here is extraordinary. At once showcasing both her expertise as an above par comedienne and a versatile actress willing to stray from the beaten path, her efforts here compliment those of the supporting cast wonderfully, even if she may or may not steal the show here and there. Rudolph, Byrne and even Chris O’Dowd in a surprising turn as Officer Rhodes provide for an altogether likable bunch that help round out a stellar cast and further aid Bridesmaids in being as sidesplittingly hilarious as it aims to be.

As a slice of contemporary comedic bliss, Bridesmaids fits the bill. Loaded with laughs both subtle and brash, Paul Feig’s feminine take on a formula of this type succeeds wherever it counts. Not once relenting in its quest for comic glory, Bridesmaids also admirably pumps the brakes in an effort to incorporate some humanity in relation to Annie’s personal struggles and budding aspirations. With a fantastic supporting cast to beef up the better qualities the film has to offer, the film in question rarely falters in its quest to provide audiences with a straightforward raunchy comedy with a heart that shines brightly as one of the summer’s best, if a little overlong, cinematic offerings.

Rating: 8/10

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