I really wanted to like Bridesmaids.
I looked forward to it for months. A big female comedy, “The Girl Hangover,” a terrific cast – it had so much potential.
I went to the movie theatre so excited to see what had been widely touted as a huge step for women in comedy.
I could not have been more disappointed.
Realizing that I’m in the .02% of people on the planet who didn’t enjoy it, I gave it another chance this week, hoping I’d like it more the second time.
It was worse.
Now, I’m fine with not liking a movie, or being disappointed, but I have bigger issues with this movie than just being another in a string of bad comedies.
I resent Bridesmaids for being considered such a “huge step” forward for women, because not only do I think they relied on some pretty old and used material, but I also think it highlighted a lot of really negative feminine stereotypes.
Throughout the movie, Kristin Wiig’s protagonist Annie Walker displays a huge amount of negative conventions about women. She is petty and jealous, she melts down because she isn’t in a relationship, she allows a man to treat her horribly simply because he is attractive, she is insecure, she is competitive with other women, she is catty, vein, and overly self-absorbed. If this movie is supposed to be so much about female bonds and friendships, why does the main character ruin every major event leading up to her best friend’s wedding due to her own self-involvement? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
And speaking of girlfriends, the other female characters are categorized into obvious archetypes as well – the rich and beautiful country club wife, the chaste and naive newlywed, the jaded raunchy housewife, the butch chubby sister, they all cater to some form of cliche. I’m all for playing up certain archetypal elements to contribute to comedy, but if that’s all the characters do, it leaves them no room to go anywhere.
Aside from any feminist disgruntlement I feel about the film, I also think it was lacking in general comedic attributes.
It was too long – especially many of the “funny” scenes. Obviously Kristin Wiig was just given the green light to go on as long as possible in every scene.
This is just me, but I don’t think we ever need to see a woman defecating in a wedding gown in the middle of the street…
I am THRILLED that women are becoming more dominant in the film industry, especially in comedy. But there are so many funnier and classier ways of doing things. Lucille Ball produced her own show 50 years ago and every episode was hilarious. She took the same female issues of friendship and relationships and kept them likable and hilarious. Tina Fey tackled the same stereotypes of catty women in Mean Girls but handled it beautifully.
I’m not some ignorant prude – I understand that comedy involves some element of crudeness or bite or shock value, etc. It just has to be done well, and I think for women to continue in the drivers seat there needs to be a little more out of the box thinking. Maybe I’m irritated because I think the movie had so much potential and I don’t feel it delivered.
But – so you don’t think I’m a total hater, I thought I’d end by sharing some parts of the movie that I did think were enjoyable.
Things I liked:
– The British room mates, specifically Rebel Wilson
– The scene between Kristin Wiig and the teenage girl in the jewelry store
– Melissa McCarthy’s performance (Any of you who know her as Sookie will appreciate the diversity of her skills)
– Looking at Jon Hamm (not his character, just looking at his face)