3 Movies Crammed In One Dress

On Screen review May 12

A good comedy is like a speedboat, it is quick, nimble and a whole lot of fun. The new movie “Bridesmaids” is more like an oil tanker as it chugs along barely able to maneuver under its tremendous mass.

The problem is that “Bridesmaids” isn’t really one movie; it is instead three potentially very entertaining movies crammed under a single title.

Kristen Wiig plays Annie, a woman struggling through a mid-midlife crisis of underemployment and bad relationships.
Movie 1 is the story of Annie and her lifelong best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) who asks Annie to be the maid of honor in her wedding. Complications arise when Lillian’s new beautiful and wealthy friend Helen (Rose Byrne) attempts to usurp Annie’s position as best friend as both women revel in their insecurities while battling over the duties of maid of honor.

This could have been a good movie, especially thanks to the chemistry between Wiig and Rudolph, likely forged during their days on “Saturday Night Live.” Alas, we have to make space for two more movies.

Movie 2 is your standard romantic comedy. Annie’s only “relationship” comes in the form of bootie calls from epically pompous jerk Ted (Jon Hamm). Things begin to look up though after Annie has a meet-cute with Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), a police officer who pulls her over for a busted taillight. Ups and downs progress from there in standard romantic comedy fashion.

This could have been a good movie, especially thanks to the performances of Hamm (who is great as the thoroughly awful Ted) and O’Dowd (as few have nailed the perfect balance of goofy and charming like he does here). Alas we still have to squeeze in one more movie.

Movie 3 is a zany and raunchy ensemble where a quirky collection of women endure a hilariously crazy set of misadventures. Joining Annie, Lillian, and Helen are Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey of “Reno 911”), the ticking time-bomb mother of three, Becca (Ellie Kemper of “The Office”) the mousy and prudish newlywed and Megan (Mellisa McCarthy of “Mike and Molly”) who is nothing short of a scene-stealing force of nature.


This could have been a good movie, especially thanks to the strength of the actresses and because no one has ever pulled off a wild, outrageous R-rated comedy with a cast of strong female comediennes. This could have been the movie that did it, if it weren’t so busy cramming in the other two movies.

“Bridesmaids” was directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow who helped revolutionize the R-rated comedy with a string of hits like “40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Superbad.” Unfortunately, “Bridesmaids” bears the hallmark of Apatow’s more recent, less successful efforts by being overlong (two hours and five minutes is way, way too long for a comedy like this) and having an uneven tone.

There is no question that this movie has its moments and earns more than its share of laughs, but what is most disappointing about “Bridesmaids” is that had it just focused on one of its three options, all the ingredients were in place for a fantastic, lively little comedy.

Instead we are left with this behemoth of a movie that lumbers for the finish line as it attempts to tie up all three storylines. Much like actual bridesmaids who often get saddled with gaudy, oddly colored dresses, “Bridesmaids” deserved better.

“Bridesmaids” is rated R for some strong sexuality, and language throughout.

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