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May 17, 2011

I’m realizing that there comes a point in every woman’s lives when we have to confront the reality of marriage. Whether you’re a spinster, nun, or advocate of free love, the mental debate of being marriage material has crept into the mind at least once. And who can blame us? From childhood, stories and images on screen have taught us that a princess is only worthy of a story if she marries a prince, that a good woman is a domesticated married one and a housewife is something to aspire to be. Although the women’s liberation movement changed female priorities resulting in a larger percentage of women focusing on careers over families, most women still face a point in time where the thought of marrying and having children began to permeate the mind.

And that’s where Bridesmaids comes in, a hysterically unique and intriguing look into the life of Annie (Kristen Wiig), a 30-something-year-old in the middle of a downward spiral. After her self-owned pastry shop went under during the recession, Annie’s last resort is working in a jewelry store barely getting by and sharing an apartment with a roommate, probably found on Craigslist, and his freeloading sister. To top it all off Annie is involved in an unhealthy relationship with Ted (John Hamm), a man who only uses her for sex, while her best friend Lillian (Mya Rudolph) announces that she is newly engaged. Naturally Annie is chosen to be maid of honor, a task she is positive she can handle, however, when rising jealously towards Lillian’s newest close friend Helen (Rose Byrne) and the pressures of her own personal setbacks begin to build, the stress of being maid of honor starts to take a rough toll.

Trailers for Bridesmaids initially left me indifferent to seeing the film thinking it would be nothing more than a fluffly melodrama about the importance of friendship. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely is, but there’s more substance to it. Bridesmaids’ humor stands out for the fact that it delivers frat boy type humor with subtle class, as many of the jokes revolve around bodily fluids and sex. Bridesmaids does a great job of making audiences laugh over its cleverness in situations and not the absurdity seen in past films. Bridesmaids opens to a hilariously raunchy sex scene between Annie and Ted that leaves viewers feeling uncomfortable yet laughing uncontrollably. The scene, however, isn’t there for shock value, it quickly becomes an intricate part of the story and insight into the type of person that Annie is. The sex is awful and there’s very little two-way communication, however, afterwards Annie is seen in the bathroom quietly reapplying her makeup before slipping back into bed. She places an arm in a sweeping pose coughing in order to wake Ted who opens his eyes to see her feigning sleep. She wakes and blushes coyly when he comments on how beautiful she looks.

A stonecold pack of weirdos

Bridesmaids comes off genuine; the drama is situational yet every mishap is logical and believable while the emotions and desires of the women ring true to female viewers across the board. Kristen Wiig is incredible throughout the film as the everywoman Annie. She’s intelligent but makes stupid decisions, has pride and independence while also being desperate and at the mercy of others, and she can be thoughtful and accepting while also being a judgmental bitch. Wiig is much like the iconic legend Lucille Ball, able to handle a dramatic scene with great ease and care but also make immature moments and scenes tastefully hilarious. Wiig’s body language is equally impressive as she can say so much about her character’s state of mind and even provoke a laugh with a simple change in body position.

Bridesmaid may not be for everyone. I was fully aware while watching it that it was a chic flick in the simplest form of the word but enjoyed every bit of it. It relates to women very well and stands as a hilarious film with an intriguing story featuring well-rounded characters and a moral. It’s not all perfect though as some of the characters are so over-the-top they detract from the subtle humor of certain scenes, but  overall it’s impressive. It may not be translatable across the board yet I can almost guarantee that every woman will appreciate it.

SEE IT. Women, NOW.

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