I have never understood the fascination so many people have with The Hangover.
It’s not that I categorically dislike raunchy comedies. Some of them, or – more often – some parts of them, can be sidesplitting.
I’m not a prude, so vulgarity in and of itself is not a problem for me. After all, I do like John Waters, but The Hangover is nothing special in my book. I absolutely cannot figure out why anyone would see it more than once, and I’ve heard some people have seen it five or ten times.
I suspect something similar will happen with Bridesmaids, and I’m not completely sold on this film either. Once is fine, but multiple trips to the multiplex? Uh, no…
Still, I think Bridesmaids is a much more interesting film than The Hangover because it does break new ground.
Basically, the storyline is simple. There is a main character facing a period of time in which everything is going wrong for her at the same time when everything seems to be going perfectly for her best friend, who becomes engaged and is in the midst of planning a wedding. It’s a pretty conventional set-up. The complications arise from the different trajectories their lives are taking and from the other personalities involved in the wedding party.
What’s different about Bridesmades is that men provide the backdrop. Bridesmaids features an ensemble of women quite capably pulling off gross-out humor in a script written by women, too. Instead of women characters functioning as the butt of jokes in comedies featuring male characters in the starring roles, these women are writing the jokes, delivering the jokes, and making a lot of people laugh.
The bottom line is that I like what this movie represents in terms of proving that women can be as funny and as gross as men, but I guess I’m just not that into gross-out comedies unless there is some intellectual and subversive layer to the grossness.
I kind of hate how that makes me sound (elitist), but it’s true.
Also, I have to say that that I like the second half of Bridesmaids more than the first half. It did grow on me. I like the more emotional parts when we see more about the internal lives of the characters, and that kicks in later on during the story. This is probably the same point at which diehard fans of The Hangover checked out of Bridesmaids.
My advice? You know what you like and can tell from the preview trailers, commercials, and word of mouth whether or not this film is for you. There are laughs throughout the film, but for me there were more smiles and chuckles not so much guffaws and belly laughs.