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Bridesmaids take the cake Reel Guys by Richard Crouse and Mark Breslin Published: May 13, 2011

Film Title: BridesmaidsSYNOPSIS: Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life is in tatters. Her business is a victim of a downturned economy and her boyfriend (Jon Hamm) calls her his “number three.” When BFF Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks Annie to be her maid of honour she should be thrilled but is overwhelmed by the job and her pushy fellow bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) or as Lillian calls them, the “stone cold pack of weirdoes.”

Star rating

Richard: ****
Mark: ****

Richard Crouse: Mark, the big mistake people will make about Bridesmaids is thinking that it is a chick flick or a female version of The Hangover. In fact, I think it takes the best elements of those two and cleverly mixes them into one very funny but still very heartfelt movie that should have been called Bridesmaid on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Do you agree with me that this is the funniest female comedy that Tina Fey didn’t write?

Mark Breslin: I’ve been raving for years that Kristin Wiig is the Carol Burnett of our times: the greatest female sketch comic working today. Now, with this movie, she surpasses even that. I was worried that the movie would just substitute girl gross-outs for boy gross-outs, but there’s a depth here that the trailer doesn’t hint at. The humour is based on some pretty dark topics: fear of failure, loneliness, body image issues, so bravo to Wiig and her cast for going there. But most importantly, Wiig has wrested the wedding comedy from the hands of Kate Hudson.

RC: Hallelujah! Wiig is the best thing to happen to SNL in years but her big screen output has been somewhat underwhelming. Her movies like MacGruber always felt to me like she was acting in a long form sketch. She’s always funny, but I never felt like there was a real depth of character there until now. Her work as the neurotic but mostly well meaning Annie is a breakthrough, proving that being funny and having feelings are not mutually exclusive.

MB: Well put, Richard. But before we turn off any potential moviegoer thinking they’re about to watch a Sundance comedy, let’s remember that there are two hysterical, verrrrry broad set pieces in the middle of the movie that will satisfy anyone – male or female  looking for belly laughs. The only thing in the movie that didn’t work for me were the British roommates, which felt forced, unlike her romance with the patrolman, which felt real and blithe. He’s a standout in a large cast. Anybody in it catch your eye?

RC: Absolutely. Chris O’Dowd as the lovelorn cop brings a huge amount of charm to the movie and Rose Byrne, who I’m used to seeing in dramas, is very funny.

MB: Let’s not forget Melissa McCarthy who gets huge laughs, even if some of them are on the cheap side. And Jill Clayburgh in her last role. R.I.P.

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