i went to the cinema and i saw: bridesmaids

Don’t let the name fool you – Bridesmaids is only masquerading as a chick flick.  It may feature a cast of mostly women and is centred around a wedding, but that’s where the similarities to My Big Fat Cinderella Story in 10 Days (PS I Love You) end. Critics are calling it The Hangover for women, which may give you a bit of an idea, but in reality it’s so much more than that.

When down-at-the-heel Annie (played by Kristen Wiig) is asked by her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) to be the maid of honour at her wedding, Annie is delighted. What she doesn’t expect is to come up against the primped, polished form of Helen, Lillian’s super-rich new BFF. The two take an immediate disliking to each other. To tell the truth, dislike is putting it mildly. What ensues is riotous fun from start to finish, with hilarious support from the rest of the oddball bunch of bridesmaids, as well as Jon Hamm as Annie’s sleazebag “fuckbuddy” and Matt Lucas as her creepy roommate.

What’s so special about Bridesmaids is that, unlike most chick flicks, it is not about getting the man. Sure, there is a love interest in the form of the unbearably cute Chris O’Dowd, who literally drew a chorus of “AWW!”s from the female contingent of the audience every time he appeared on screen. But he gets his day after Annie sorts her life out – she refuses to let him “fix” her, despite his best efforts. Bridesmaids is mostly a celebration of friendship and all its ups and downs. How marvellous.

It’s also a big up-yours to anyone who thinks women can’t be funny. Written by and starring Kristen Wiig, famed for strutting her comedic stuff on Saturday Night Live in the US, the film has laughs by the bucketload. There are understated one-liners and hilarious sight gags as well as a scene that defines “toilet humour” (ta, Judd Apatow). Here’s a little clip of the plane scene, where Annie gets hyped up on sleeping pills and scotch Helen gives her:

“You doooo?” Oh, what lolz.

Everyone should see Bridesmaids. Yes, it may be a film about and mostly starring women, but you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy it. It’s a smart, actually comedic comedy (!) – a welcome change from what was fast becoming a tired, repetitive genre. Will it be heading up there with Anchorman and Mean Girls as one of the modern classic comedies? Definitely.

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