No configuration of words can express how deeply happy Bridesmaids made me, but I am still going to blog about it. It was a bit “too long”, full of delicious little snap scenes where some woman was doing something that would never, ever have made it into a traditional “romantic comedy”. The first that comes to mind is when Annie Walker bakes a single purple cupcake, tops the thing with an unbelievably ornate, hand-painted fondant flower she created by her lonesome, takes a look down at it, then eats it with this dissatisfied look on her face. Every woman in the audience can relate to a moment like that, in which, filled with self-pity and loneliness, an individual confronts the rough fact that anything they take the time to create can be destroyed more swiftly than it could ever be remade. Bridesmaids is a movie that actually resembles the way that American women live with very few extremes, though it all looks intense and over-dramatic. It’s a hilarious reality, full of confrontation, baggage, and self-renewal. It’s downright deep, ok?
The writer/director’s portraits of femininity in modern America are relevant, as are the characters of contemporary malehood are pleasantly recognizable: there’s the “good guy” and the jerk. The good guy is delighted when he gets to have sex (!) with the girl he likes, but the jerk gets to have sex with her more, even if Mr. Good wins her favor in the end. Further, it’s refreshing that Mr. Good (a.k.a. Officer Nathan Rhodes) is not prince charming. He is not immaculately groomed, naive at first, then moody over some cheap mix-up. Rhodes is a super sweet, practical, considerate version of the guy the leading lady is supposed to choose over the guy she’s with (who is, in every way, the opposite). There’s the good and the not-good, but they are deeper.
As for more scenes that never (ever, ever) would have survived the almighty cut, remember the one where Wiig and Rudolph’s characters are sitting in a cafe and Wiig’s Annie gets chocolate all over her front teeth while Rudolph continues to tell her how perfect her teeth are? That scene was signed off by comedic genius. Annie smushed the food there herself, therefore no one is laughing at her: the audience is totally with her. Until she goes totally, completely loco at her BFF’s bridal shower (more chocolate smushing there…), which I suspect was a critique of the history of rom-coms, not the protagonist herself. Perhaps I’m looking too deep, but I doubt it. Women comedians are necessarily subversive. I’ll continue to bet that everything is deeper than anyone wanted to admit and it’s all as funny as it is true.
Finally, there is something really sexy about this movie. It’s sexy because the women portrayed are -in some full-flip way- totally real. There are elements of honesty in there that have not been conveyed in all the laugh-at-the-leading-girl / feel bad for her when she falls flat / love conquers all, saccharine as all hell “romantic” “comedies”. We’ve all been horribly graceless, disrespectful, insecure, unprepared, and inexcusably snarky. Usually, the story ends up being one of those tell-it-to-brag tales we insert into long conversations with new people to let them know we are extra-human and earthy. Bridesmaids runs through just like one of these stories, which is why it feels so good to watch and so healthy to laugh about.
The only thing that bothered me about the film was that in two of the three sex scenes (I am not including the one at the end that includes a large sandwich filled with “meats and cheeses”) Annie is wearing a bra- a fruity, padded, underwire thing. My personal opinion on bras aside…who wears them during sex? Maybe it is an actual thing and I just…well, I’ll leave that one alone. Bridesmaids: you have rocked it, with or without the boob trap.