With all the good press for this film, I was expecting something relatively incisive – along the lines of “Mean Girls” pre-wedding. Instead we got a narcissistic, self-destructive main character; a pandering, enabling supporting cast; and gross-out slapstick for the chuckles.
Like movies such as Bring It On (guilty pleasure) and Kick-Ass, Bridesmaids attempts to both revel in and poke fun at its topic: in this case wedding organisation. Unfortunately the movie didn’t display enough of the wedding rituals to properly satirise them: while the engagement party had plenty of the awkward first impressions and “he’s not with me” moments that such a situation can involve, the latter set pieces were almost perfunctory. The dress-fitting started well, but was overtaken by the main character’s bickering with her rival, and cut short by group diarrhoea. I expected a lot from the bachelorette party given the marketing of the movie as a raunchy tell-all, but outrageously the party was completely absent. There’s zero satirical value in the bridal shower, just used as a setting for the protagonist to go crazy.
I liked elements of the characterisations: the protagonist’s failed bakery was poignant backstory that’s easy to relate to. However her juvenile and jealous attitude to her friend’s marriage is ridiculous, and her emotional explosions way over-the-top. Her treatment of the cop was atrocious, but like the standard rom-com it’s all okay in the end.
Melissa McCarthy’s character was pretty unusual, and I liked her conversations with the “air marshal”. However I felt that she really wasn’t a fully sketched: while the others spoke to her, and she gets Kristen Wiig back on track with a stern talking-to that is supposed to show depth, McCarthy doesn’t have any proper relationships with the other characters. Sure she’s not part of their social circle, but she’s a gag character, and then a plot device; everyone else lets her do her piece and then ignores her.