Bridesmaids (2011) Director: Paul Feig

A laugh out loud American comedy which keeps the giggles coming right until the end is a rare thing – probably not seen since 2009’s The Hangover. Bridesmaids is the movie that The Hangover Part II should have been. FUNNY! You may dismiss it as a simple ‘chick flick’ but there’s so much more going on with it – it’s got more balls than any of the heavily male dominated recent comedies.

This is the landmark film for Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig, who’s been on the periphery and under the shadow of Tina Fey for far too long. We’ve seen her in Paul, Adventureland and Ghost Town, to name but a few, but this is the film that will make her a superstar. It’s great to have such a powerful, intelligent woman behind such a hilarious film, which also has ‘heart’ and references that will ring true to both women and men. Yes boys, this is one for you too. Don’t be ashamed. Girls are gross, and we want you to see it. We do belch, procrastinate, poo in the street and want ‘balls in our face’. It’s all gravy.

Bridesmaids follows Wiig’s Annie, a single woman in her 30s who has meaningless (except it means something to her) sex with man whore Ted (John Hamm). Annie’s just lost her bakery business (Cake Baby, with signage later graffitied to say ‘Cock Baby’) and she rents a bedroom from the strange Gil (Matt Lucas) and his sister Brynn (Rebel Wilson). When Annie’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces her engagement, she becomes embroiled in a best friend bitchfest with Lil’s new rich friend Helen (Rose Byrne). The bridesmaids planning, and the ambition to out-do each other, commences which leads to some standout comedy scenes of competitiveness between Annie and Helen.

Wiig is talented at prat falls and visual comedy; when Helen gives her sedatives and alcohol on a bachelorette party flight to Las Vegas, Annie is wayyyy out of it and plays up very naughtily when she tries to get into first class. She also goes bananas at Lil’s bachelorette party, breaking things and trying to scoff a giant cookie which she shoves into the chocolate fountain. Another great scene is where she is trying to get the attention of cop Nathan (Chris O’Dowd, surprisingly good) by driving back and forth doing crazy stunts, speeding, using her phone and drinking at the wheel, and driving topless.

All involved put in solid, comedic performances – characters that are not one dimensional, revealing some real angst around female friendships and the ‘best friend’ who moves on from you. Melissa McCarthy’s Megan is the Alan/Hangover character of the film – her lines and scenes are hysterical, but she is revealed to be a strong and supportive moral character. Despite stealing all the puppies with berets she can.

For a feel-good, real belly laugh comedy, Bridesmaids is just the ticket. Expect a raft of similar ‘chick’ comedies to come our way, but this one will always be the Bride.