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(Wo)men know what (wo)men like

Posted in Editorials on May 17th, 2011

I heard about an opening night event in NYC for the new movie Bridesmaids sponsored by GLOC (The Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy), so I decided to go with a few of my friends. I had read about the movie a few months ago on Jezebel and was curious to see if it lived up to the hype.

I had very high expectations for this movie, but was not disappointed. It’s about a woman, Annie (Kristen Wiig), who is asked to be the Maid of Honor at her best friends wedding and isn’t quite up to the task. The other bridesmaids have very different personalities and she has a comically messy personal life to boot.

Many times during the movie, the audience was laughing so loudly that I missed portions of the dialogue, and so I will definitley give it at least one more viewing. The story was not just a send up of modern wedding cliches, but also touched on issues of extended adolescence in the current economy and how friendships can grow and change over time. While there was some gross out humor (Salon called it “a triumph for vomit and feminism“) it wasn’t too much for me – and I have very little tolerance for toilet humor and slapstick. There were several surprisingly touching moments as well. One reviewer commented on Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s chemistry as best friends and I agree that they seemed very natural together. The interactions of the different personalities and great comic actors contained incredible potential and was not wasted by the filmmakers.

I’ve read criticism’s of Judd Apatow’s work but the only other movies I’ve seen of his was The 40-Year Old Virgin, (He produced Anchorman but didn’t direct it). I think part of what made this movie work so well was Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s script. Much of the dialogue – especially where the women characters were concerned – rang truer than other mainstream comedies. We finally get to see some raunchy humor based on a woman’s sexual experiences. It was very silly but quite refreshing!

I am a little wary of people who want the success of this movie to prove that women are funny, because if it had failed, I don’t think it would mean the opposite. However, I welcome with open arms more movies that show women as more than just love interests and with desires more complicated than just getting the guy (or getting the dream job). I like Bridesmaids because it explored women’s friendships, something that is too often mocked and derided – women are catty bitches to each other, dontchaknow? And while none of the characters are perfect friends to each other, they all have an honest desire to connect with other women, which I think a lot of us can identify with. This desire isn’t treated as a source of mockery, although sometimes the women’s terrific failures are set up as something to laugh at, we are also meant feel bad with them, when they are lamenting their loneliness. This is key to the way the movie shows women as people. They’re not just backstabbing bitches or airheads simpering about girl power. The characters, while ridiculous comic caricatures, have genuine feelings.

So, go see this movie, it’s a great popcorn flick that won’t make you turn off your brain or your patriarchy blaming skills.

2 Responses to “(Wo)men know what (wo)men like”

  1. Doug Kirk Says:

    Thank you for this review! I’ve been hoping there would be something other than usual romantic comedy fair to take my girlfriend to see in the near future; I do believe I’ve found it. Also I have to say I’m glad to see a comedy that may actually pass the Bechdel test. That’s so incredibly rare…..

  2. MissCherryPi Says:

    It is a movie about weddings, and there are romantic subplots. But it’s so much better than so many other movies are with regards to the portrayal of women, I will take it gladly.

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