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Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Bridesmaids", bye romantic comedies & weddings


Let's vindicate comedies. And the directors, screenwriters, actors, etc, that without missing the focus of making us laugh during 90-120 minutes, are capable of offering something, if not groundbreaking, at least refreshing, different. "Bridesmaids" might not be "high comedy" (whatever that means) but is an amusing comedy. And a big, much needed, kick in the ass to the abominable chick flick genre.

As the very recommendable and recently reviewed "Young Adult", "Bridesmaids" also subverts the archetype of female role, but now within the format of a comedy. Director Paul Feig (with the king of the new American comedy Judd Apatow behind him as producer) is capable of doing that "playing" in the most adverse of territories: the preparation of a wedding. Hard to imagine a more chick flick-bound scenario, but its hilariously used in its own benefit, providing the film the scenes, the munition to construct several unforgettable gags. Sorry lovers of weddings and traditional romantic comedies. This is not for you. We are closer to a female version of "The Hangover".

Still, that wouldn't make of "Bridesmaids" a recommendable film per se. If  you want to create a good comedy, you need an according script and a bunch of actors that can develop it. Which brings me to Kristen Wiig, unknown in Spain but a comic American icon. She's not only the absolute star of this movie, as the troubled, disastrous Annie Walker. She's also credited as co-writer of the script. What an immense work. At the very least, an Oscar nomination was in order (at the very least).

But Wiig is not alone, as all the secondary actresses are also amusing, with a deserved, very special mention to the explosive performance of Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy as Megan, while Rose Byrne is also remarkable as Helen, Annie's nemesis (and the caricature-archetype of the chick flick woman) and Maya Rudolph as Lilian, the bride and Annie's best friend. Male roles are quite marginalised here, being reduced to officer Nathan Rhodes (played by Chris O'Dowd) and Ted (Jon Hamm). Though both roles are nice, ridiculed updates of typical male characters (quite funny to see the Mad Men's star character turned into an evident XXI century asshole).  

The film doesn't have many misfires. Some (few) jokes might cross the line, and I could point an unbalance on its length, that hastens its conclusion to an unnatural extent, killing some secondary parts for the sake of reaching the climax of the film. But this are minor complaints in a film that for almost two hours keeps you laughing, with several scenes to be remembered, with actresses in a state of grace (especially Wiig and McCarthy), enjoying themselves while they dynamite all the romantic comedies clichés. Fun granted.

SCORE: 7,25/10

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