Monday, May 16, 2011

"Saw Bridesmaids with a Friend" Says It All

Over the weekend, I went to see Bridesmaids with a female friend. Whatever the quality of the movie, that statement says it all. I have never been a bride or bridesmaid, being a gal who is not really interested in that whole spectacle. So a drama about that "female" experience would pass me by. But a comedy? I'm game. Women friends acting out? Looking forward to it.

I hear women every day complain that they don't enjoy the movies they see. And that goes double for comedies. They are hungry for stories that they can relate to enough to really dive in, but they get zip, nothing, nada. Bridesmaids may not be anywhere near a perfect film, but it sure does go for laughs with women I feel like I know. Sure they are drawn in comic proportions, but these are not candy-box females (you know pink silk box, sweet, gooey filling, but no nutrition or fiber). The women are all sizes, not just stick thin. They have real faces with expression and character. Lines and freckles show. The semiotics are spectacular.

The film presents a series of hilarious vignettes and strings them together with the story. For the first 2/3 of the movie, it is the individual scenes that keep your interest. Every time it goes to the overall story arc, it loses its vitality. A couple of times I felt it was on the edge of a flatline when another scene would pop out and I'd find myself laughing out loud.

Interestingly, though I did not know going in who directed the film, I found myself wondering if it was a guy based on the overall style of the movie. The early lunch scene between the best friends where they joke about the way guys "hint" for oral sex served as a weird metaphor for how some of the "in your face" humor in the film was presented for laughs. I know, I know. You can't have a comedy both written AND directed by women....

Happily, the film story line clicks into place for the last act, and so it delivers all the satisfactions one could want in a comic film. Laughs, heart, a few tears, and some final rolicking.

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