If you’ve figured out producer Judd Apatow’s recipe for R-rated comedies (one part drama, two parts bathroom jokes), a hit like “Bridesmaids” might come across as formulaic – even for an affair as ambitious as this. Then again, there’s no denying the comedic brilliance of Kristen Wiig, who does double duty by getting acting and screenwriting credits here. (Screenwriter Annie Mumolo worked on the script, too.) Though Wiig follows Apatow’s lead by infusing as many dirty jokes as possible into the action, she comes up with a comedy that’s distinct enough to function without the usual suspects from team Apatow. Besides, the fact that it lets the girls have a go at it levels out the playing field a little.
Although the cast has lots of funny women in it, the film has the most affection for Wiig, who plays a single white female named Annie. Actually, she’s having a fling with Ted (Jon Hamm), a hunk who likes to keep it casual – a fact he’s all too eager to call attention to by kicking her out after they make love. It’s a relationship that’s less meaningful than the one between best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and her fiancé Dougie (Tim Heidecker), whose wedding day’s approaching. Considering that she’s chosen Annie as her maid of honor, it’s only logical that the whole thing would become as hectic for her as it is for Lillian.
Well, almost. Annie’s got other issues, too, including a heated contest with Lillian’s friend Helen (Rose Byrne) to find out whose friendship she cares about more. Annie’s also going out of her way to impress Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Becca (Ellie Kemper) and Megan (Melissa McCarthy), who Lillian called upon to join Annie and Helen as her bridesmaids. Annie’s even more concerned about getting a cop named Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) to like her, though he’s already a fan of the desserts she used to sell at her defunct bakery. She can’t believe anyone besides her liked that old joint.
“Bridesmaids” finds comedy in almost everything here, although it invests a great deal of energy in a showstopper involving the aftermath of a diseased meal, one that happens to hit our girls just after they put on dresses at a bridal retailer. The film doesn’t always go to such extremes, though, which explains the lulls when it heads into some Act-2 trauma.
Still, it brings enough humor to the table to earn its right to be in the Apatow anthology. Heck, he might even enlist more leading ladies for his future projects – a woman’s work is never done, after all.
This article was originally published on AllMediaNY.com