Bridesmaids is arguably the funniest movie of 2011. Directed by the brilliant Paul Feig and written by Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig and her Groundlings pal Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids is outrageous in all the right ways. Wiig delivers as a first time leading lady while recent Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy steals scenes so efficiently that some have floated the notion of an Oscar nomination.
In Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig stars as Annie, a failed bakery owner whose life is thrown into chaos by her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. Annie is the Maid of Honor and with this distinction come responsibilities that may be more than Annie can handle.
Making things difficult for Annie is Lillian’s new friend and bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne), a wealthy perfectionist who immediately begins competing with Annie to be Lillian’s best friend. Annie is ill equipped to keep up with Helen, whose expensive ideas for the wedding shower and bachelorette party are beyond Annie’s means.
As for the rest of the bridesmaids, there is Lillian’s cousin Rita (Wendy McClendon Covey), a mother of three boys desperate for time away from home. Becca (Ellie Kemper), a nervous newlywed and Megan (Melissa McCarthy), the groom’s sister, a fully possessed human being with little or no filter.
This disparate group will attempt a modest dinner before a dress fitting and a trip to Las Vegas in the course of Bridesmaids and each is a spectacular disaster.
I thought that the trip to Las Vegas scenes with Kristen Wiig’s drunken attempts to move up to first class and Ms. McCarthy’s wonderfully aggressive flirting with an air marshall, played by McCarthy’s real life husband Ben Falcone, were fantastic and easily highlights.
The dress fitting scenes? I will leave that for you to discover. I will however, suggest that you not eat dinner while watching these scenes in Bridesmaids. Just trust me on that. One of the things many critics have praised about the film is the willingness that this female cast has to roll around in the muck where the guy comedies play.
There is also Annie’s love life, a wonderfully funny disaster. Our introduction to Annie takes place while she is hooking up with Ted, the brilliantly self-effacing Jon Hamm, a pig of a man who seems irritated that Annie spent the night without permission. Hamm’s delivery of the line “This is awkward. I really want you to leave, but I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a dick” is pitch perfect.
On the other side of the spectrum is nice guy cop, Officer Rhodes, played by I.T Crowd star Chris O’Dowd. Rhodes pulls Annie over late one night and the two hit it off. Sadly, Annie thinks all guys are like Ted and she eventually screws up her chances with Rhodes. Genre conventions tell you that these two will make up but it’s a fun few scenes, and a few good gags before we get to that perfunctory moment.
Overall, Bridesmaids is truly hysterical. Director Paul Feig’s timing is impeccable and the chemistry of the cast is top notch. Melissa McCarthy runs away with the movie with her wildly quirky Megan and that talk of an Oscar nomination is not as far-fetched as you think; she’s really that good.
Bridesmaids as a Blu-Ray experience is not the kind of movie that is going to blow your mind visually. It’s not a richly dense visual palette that these filmmakers were crafting. The picture clarity is solid and the high definition picture doesn’t reveal any damning flaws in the production design, makeup or costuming. The same could be said of the enhanced audio, nothing that will blow your mind but nothing that will harm your experience of the movie.
The Unrated Blu-Ray includes the theatrical cut of the film and an uncut version with six extra minutes that really don’t offer much more than what you get with the rated version. The cut scenes added back for the unrated version of Bridesmaids are hardly noticeable but, on the bright side, they don’t get in the way of the fun of the theatrical cut, as is often the case when extraneous cut scenes are forced back into movies.
The special features on the Bridesmaids Blu-Ray are as follows:
Deleted Scenes: Nearly nine minutes of deleted scenes that, as with most deleted scenes, you can sense why they were deleted.
Gag Reel: Of course there is a gag reel; no comedy this outrageous can happen without the cast breaking out in laughter regularly.
Paul Rudd: Did you know that Paul Rudd was in Bridesmaids? His character, Dave, a hoarder counselor, was cut out of the theatrical version. In Rudd’s honor, the filmmakers have cut together a feature called ‘Blind Date’ in which we see Wiig’s Annie on a blind date with Dave. And then there is Dave-o-Rama, a series of outtakes from Wiig and Rudd breaking each other up. You can sense there wasn’t a narrative need for Dave in the film but as funny as he is, you really do wish he could have made it into the final cut.
Extended and Alternate Scenes: These give us a glimpse of the improvising skill of the terrific cast. Each of the leading actresses has an improv background, save Rose Byrne, and you can sense that in editing the film there must have been quite a battle over which improv to use and which to cut.
The Bridesmaids Blu-Ray also offers reels dedicated to different characters including Annie’s awful British brother and sister roommates, played by the brilliant Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas. This highly disturbing pair are a terrific comic team and the Blu-Ray feature gives them a little room to roam around and gross you out.
Featurette: Made of Honor: Behind the Scenes of Bridesmaids is a 30 minute, in depth look at the making of the movie from the conceiving of the script all the way through production of Bridesmaids.
Cholodeckies takes you inside Annie’s job at the jewelry store with more of her failed interactions with customers and some very funny commercials for the store.
Drunk-o-Rama is dedicated to Kristen Wiig’s various comic drunken rants on the failed plane ride to Las Vegas while Annie vs. Helen and Pep Talk are devoted to Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne’s comic rivalry including more from their bruising tennis showdown.
Hold On Video: Fans of Wilson Phillips will be happy to hear that the Blu Ray features a full 4 minute, 30 second rendition of Hold On.
Feature Commentary: And finally, there is feature commentary with director Paul Feig, co-writer Annie Mumolo and the Bridesmaids.
Overall, Universal has put together a great package for one of the funniest releases of 2011. Any fan of comedy owes it to themselves to check out Bridesmaids. Unless you don’t enjoy laughing, you won’t be disappointed.
Bridesmaids is truly hysterical. Director Paul Feig’s timing is impeccable and the chemistry of the cast is top notch