Bridesmaids has many moments of absurdity, real emotion, and almost every other thing you can think of. It seems to have it all. Too much in fact. The film just throws everything at the viewer with a "let's see what sticks" attitude. While box office receipts and audience enthusiasm seem to suggest this approach is working, in reality it does not. What results is a film with memorable moments that is glued together by complete nonsense.
The "let's see what sticks" approach to this film results heavily in the off-paced nature of the film that is so typical of a Judd Apatow production. Almost all of Apatow's films seem to be at least thirty minutes too long. At over 2 hours, Bridesmaids is no exception. Many of the attempts at comedy in the first half of the film could have easily been cut down or completely scrapped (in the case of a scene set around a dress fitting that results in non-stop potty humor). The only segment that belonged in this film was the expertly executed airplane sequence which just kept on ramping up the comedy for about ten minutes straight. As the film continued into the second half, the film spent way too much time on a feud you knew was going to be resolved. It resulted in the loss of screen time and character development of the supporting characters (and there is nothing wrong with the likes of Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper who show themselves to be great comedic actors on other shows and films).
Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live fame co-wrote the screenplay (in addition to starring in the lead role) with Annie Mumolo. On Saturday Night Live, she is known for being the only woman that they use in any sort of lead capacity (in terms of screen time) and for playing quirky characters. The problem is that quirkiness and a lot of screentime do not mix. The big problem with her roles on Bridesmaids is that her work is just a continuation from Saturday Night Live. Sure she gets to do some dramatic acting at points during the film but she is let done by her screenwriting that can only manage to use cliches to bring about the drama.
I do have to give credit to Wiig though (and Mumolo and director Paul Feig) for effectively tying in some of the side storylines of the film. Wiig has great chemistry with her love interest (played by Chris O'Dowd). That storyline comes off as very cute (and not in the overdone way). Another storyline involving a rivalry between Wiig's character and Rose Byrne's character (who steals many of the scenes in the film) comes across as one of the few genuinely funny portions of the film. It is actually odd to see Byrne getting such little credit while Melissa McCarthy gets so much. McCarthy isn't bad by any means, but she is being credited as a great actress when all she is doing is trying to be as obnoxious as possible.
The final blow to this film is the chemistry Between Wiig and Maya Rudolph. While they are friends in real life, it doesn't show on the screen. They never give the viewer a reason to root for that friendship so when it inevitably all goes to hell and becomes the main conflict of the film, there is no rooting interest.
Bridesmaids has some hilarious scenes, but that is about it as the rest of it is just held together by cliched developments.
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