SXSW 2011 played host to the brand new Paul Feig movie, Bridesmaids, a couple of nights ago and this review comes somewhat late after I ended up tripping down the stairs at the Paramount in an attempt to break my ankle but you can read more about that here!
The movie is due for release in the UK on the 24th of June and stars Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, and two people you may recognise from British TV, Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd) and Matt Lucas from all things Little Britain. O’Dowd has been appearing in other big US movies recently including Dinner for Schmucks with Paul Rudd and Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black. He’s probably someone to keep an eye on as his profile rises, something his turn in this movie will no doubt help.
Here’s the synopsis,
This spring, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad) and director Paul Feig (creator of Freaks and Geeks) invite you to experience Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony. Annie’s life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian’s maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she’ll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you’ll go for someone you love.
Before I saw the movie I had heard that this was going to be the female version of The Hangover, tapping into a section of the market that we’ve not seen before. I’d say the latter is true but the former most definitely isn’t. This is no Hangover equivalent, this is a very funny and very silly movie where you can go and laugh for the 100 odd minutes that it ran for. We were told that this movie was the ‘work in progress’ version but Feig was on stage to introduce the movie with Kristen Wiig (who was also there for the Paul premiere), told us that it’s just the sound mix which wasn’t complete and what we were seeing was the final version.
I’m not sure that is completely true as there were quite a few times when an extra beat at the end of a scene before cutting to the next would have made me laugh a few more times and it had me wondering if there were a few extra shots which might be added to the movie. Either that or just a split second or two more to pause on the comedy which just happened.
Kristen Wiig is awesome in this movie and is cast perfectly. Her comedy timing and dry humour is perfect and you really want her to succeed in the way she lives life and to overcome all the hurdles which get in her way. Equally, Rose Byrne who plays the unintentional (?) antagonist in the movie, is unlikable yet funny with it and Feig has got the perfect balance between comedy and a really funny dramatic story.
I had a hard time adjusting to O’Dowd as the main love interest in the movie as I just couldn’t see past his roles in the IT Crowd but for a US audience, I don’t think that it will cause too much problem as very few people here (as I write this!) will know who he is. It did seem odd having an Irish policeman in the film but it kind of works! Equally, seeing British fav, Matt Lucas play the role of the landlord (and I can’t confirm it but I think another character in the movie which I won’t spoil) was brilliant. The man can do anything and plays both parts (if he is indeed in two – IMDb only has him listed as one but with no name attached), perfectly.
In this movie there are three scenes which will have you in stitches. I shall give no spoilers other than prepare for the Bridal Dress shop, the flight to a certain party state and the Bridal shower. The audience were all completely creasing up and bear in mind that a lot of these guys are movie critics, it was great to see everyone enjoying such a great comedy, something which these days is a rare thing!
Universal Studios may have tapped into a market which they thought might work well with The Hangover fans out there but this is my no means the same film in female form. It’s a brilliantly funny comedy which possibly could have been a little bit funnier with a few minor adjustments. Saying that, the run time was rather long but I did very much enjoy the movie from start to finish and will be recommending it to all my friends!