Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ten Quick Thoughts on...Bridesmaids

1. This was a better-than-average comedy with some very quality laughs. At the same time, it was nowhere near as funny as some of the critics tried to make it sound.

2. I have high hopes for Kristen Wiig. She is always fun to watch. Not only does she have some of the best comic timing around (and some deceptively incredible legs as her character's short skirts consistently displayed), but she also did a good job of pulling off some of her characeter's more emotional scenes. I am going to go out on a limb and say that she is a role in a creditable director's film away from a Diane Keaton-esque career as a comedienne who can thrive in more serious roles. In other words, if Woody Allen can stay alive long enough, she will win an Oscar for acting in one of his movies.

3. Maya Rudolph, on the other hand, is not a film actress. A lot of her line readings came off as stilted, forced, or just dead on arrival. She did not work for me in this movie and may want to stick to television.

4. Much of the kudos surrounding the movie went to Melissa McCarthy's butch sister-in-law of the bride. Again, she had some very funny moments, but the hilarity of her performance was way overblown. In their rush to compare this flick to the far superior The Hangover, I think a lot of critics decided to name this the Galifianakis-ian breakout performance. Those people need to pump their brakes. She was nowhere near as memorable (but then again, I am a guy and this movie was not made to fit into my wheelhouse).

5. Great opening to the film featuring a little bit of an awkward sex scene between Wiig and whoda-thunk-it funnyman Jon Hamm, aka Don Draper. If you watched one season of Mad Men, you would know that Hamm has a sly wit, but not in a million years would you imagine that he has the taste for comedy that he has consistently shown not only in this movie, but also in his several appearances on acclaimed comedy 30 Rock (which I actually have never seen a full episode of, so I am definitely talking out of my arse).

6. It was nice to see The Office's Ellie Kemper and Reno 911's Wendi McLendon-Covey hit the big screen in their roles as fellow bridesmaids, but honestly they are pretty much wasted. It's clear that the filmmakers were focused not only on Wiig's storyline, but on the antics of McCarthy and pretty much pushed these guys to the backburner.

7. The little love story between Wiig and Chris O'Dowd's small-town cop was an effective one. It was probably because of the effectiveness of the actors but I kept wanting the movie to spend time with the couple instead of shooting back to the antics of the bridesmaids. But if they did that it probably would have been pretty stupid that the movie was called Bridesmaids. Still, have to call a bit of bullshizz on a scene where the cop wakes up and goes out to buy a bunch of pots and pans and baking goods for Wiig's erstwhile baker to make them some pastries to get over her doldrums. Where the hell was he getting all that hardware in the a.m. hours? You might be able to explain it (maybe they slept in?), but sort of flimsy for one of the film's turning points.

8. In improv-heavy movies like this, there are always one or two scenes that go on way too long and are nowhere near as funny as the people involved in the making of the film seem to think it is. Two that come to mind are the scene early in the movie where Wiig and Rudolph discuss why Wiig's character decided to engage in relations with Hamm's character and the one where Wiig and Rose Byrne, as the most competitive bridesmaid, try to get the cop to arrest them by driving past him doing criminal things. That one seemed to go on at least two minutes too long. (Man, how could I forget about McCarthy's antics with the federal marshal on their failed trip to Vegas?)

9. A lot of the write-up I saw about the movie talked about the food-poisoning scene and how it wasn't written by Wiig (who was co-writer of the film along with Annie Mumulo) and was instead inserted on the insistence of producer Judd Apatow because it would be a real attention-getter or whatever. After watching it, Wiig really should have talked the editor into leaving it on the cutting room floor. I don't think there can be a much cheaper laugh than a bride taking a dump in her prospective wedding dress in the middle of the street or a chubby bridesmaid evacuating in the sink because two other ladies are fighting over who can vom in the s*itter first. It was an extreme vulgarity in a movie that tried to be a lot more subtle at times.

10. Can you imagine what actor Franklyn Ajaye must feel like? For two years, he went to set of Deadwood and played (sorry, but this was his name) "The Ni**er General" Samuel Fields, spouting off some of the most beautiful language ever written in the service of a pay-cable program. Now, in the first role I have seen him in since the early cancellation of the show, he speaks like three lines as Rudolph's Dad. That's gotta hurt. But the man's gotta eat. Here's to you, General!

No comments:

Post a Comment