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Bridesmaids - DVD Review

Bridesmaids

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

IS Bridesmaids the funniest film of the year? Quite possibly, yes. But it also has plenty more to recommend it.

Paul Feig’s comedy, produced by Judd Apatow and co-written by Kirsten Wiig (with Annie Mumolo), is that rare beast among mainstream comedies: a film that will have you laughing hysterically at it’s vulgarity one minute, yet genuinely rooting for it’s characters throughout.

What’s more, it’s a film that plays equally well to both sexes.

The story follows single former cake shop owner Annie (Wiig) as she’s asked to become the maid of honour at the forthcoming wedding of best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph).

But what begins as a daunting task is made all the more taxing by the presence of rival friend Helen (Rose Byrne), a well to do business woman who seems to be able to do everything right.

Hence, as Lillian’s big day draws ever nearer, the rivalry between Annie and Helen intensifies, while Annie also has to choose between the two men in her life: an egotistical f**k buddy (played by Jon Hamm) who doesn’t really care for her, or a kindly cop (Chris O’Dowd) who only wants to see her happy once again.

Bridesmaids was conceived by Wiig after she was encouraged to put pen to paper after appearing in scene stealing form in Apatow’s Knocked Up and it’s easy to see why he would do so given the shared sensibilities between the two films.

Both aren’t afraid to fall back on gross out humour for some big laughs, both rely on razor-sharp, semi-improvised scripts and both deliver a fully rounded set of characters you’ll love hanging out with.

What’s more, with former Apatow Freaks & Geeks co-conspirator Paul Feig (now doing sterling TV work with Nurse Jackie and the US Office) behind the camera, the film boasts a formidably talented comedy trio.

Feig works hard to maintain the right balance even if – like Apatow – he does allow things to run a little overlong. And he delivers some side-splitting set pieces, the most outrageous and genius of which involves an extended sequence in a wedding dress boutique while the women have food poisoning.

But the undoubted star of the show is Wiig whose original idea and endearing central performance really give Bridesmaids its heart and soul. Her Annie is a flawed but all too human character: someone desperate to do the right thing but who can be let down by her wayward emotions.

It’s rare to find a leading character as prone to error and bad decision making as her, especially as it could – in the wrong hands – have made her difficult to like. Wiig, though, avoids doing that effortlessly well.

She’s ably supported, too, by a great ensemble cast, including Rose Byrne (outstanding as the bitch of the piece), Melinda McCarthy (utterly outrageous) and O’Dowd (as the charming, and suitably unlikely romantic hero).

In fact, it’s fair to say that Bridesmaids does very little wrong, right down to making you want to see it again the moment it’s over. It is a genuinely class act that deserves all the praise being showered upon it. And yes, it probably is the funniest film of the year.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 2hrs 5mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: November 14, 2011