As the summer drought of movies hit this year, my wife and I found ourselves desperately seeking a movie one Friday night. After perusing all of the movies listed on Fandango and checking the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the best option seemed to by Bridesmaids, Judd Apatow’s latest attempt at turning the romcom’s of pre-wedding jitters on their bawdy head.
Apatow (Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) does for women what he did for men heading for the altar in the two Hangover movies. Don’t believe the reviews: I like Kristen Wiig, but she’s mediocre in the lead role. Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy, on the other hand, steals the movie with her excellent turn as the future sister-in-law (her lines with the man next to her on the plane to Las Vegas are priceless).
Women in the theater seemed to genuinely enjoy this movie (one woman laughed outrageously every time McCarthy even started to open her mouth, whether she was saying something funny or not). The men mostly seemed slightly bemused.
Personally, I never got over Wiig’s British roommates or her British Wisconsin state trooper/romantic lead (did Apatow get a 3-for-1 deal with the Monty Python Funny Walks Ministry of Humor or something?), not to mention the jumping back and forth between Chicago and Milwaukee.
What, Apatow couldn’t find a few Cheeseheads north of the Cheddar Curtain who could make funny roommates and policemen? He could – see Frank Caliendo, Nick Mortenson, Kendra Frank or anyone who has competed in the WiSUC project. (I’m not making that name up! It stands for the Wisconsin Stand-Up Comedy Project.)
And Milwaukee could have stood on its comedic own without help from the Second City. The abrupt scene changes just made the movie seem terribly disjointed – maybe it was long overdue payback for filming the Blues Brothers Nazi station wagon leap off the bridge in Milwaukee instead of Chicago.
This one left me – and most of the men in the audience at the theater we attended – standing at the comedy altar. Probably that’s because much of what’s in here is well-tread territory from the Hangover movies. But women – including my wife – really seemed wedded to its humor.
(PS – Stay past the credits for McCarthy’s finest scene. She is truly a great physical comedienne – the best since Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in my book.)
-By Tim Boivin