Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brides Maids -- Review

With the new babysitter working out well so far, Hammer Wife decided to push our luck this past weekend and pull of the first "two movies in two weekends" of the entire time we have had kids, and head out to see "Brides Maids" at the ultramodern new theater off the highway a couple of towns over. This was a movie I had pegged as wanting to see from the very first preview -- after starting off kinda iffy about her, I have really grown to love Kristen Wiig, and I think she is pretty much the best character actor they have had on SNL at this point in several years. She's got a great sense of humor, and even though most of the SNL movies end up proving to be ridiculous, immature and unenjoyable for me (are you listening, MacGruber?), I just had a feeling from the first time I heard about this one that it was going to be a good choice for my wife and I to go and see together.

Boy was I right. This movie was so much funnier than last weekend's "The Hangover Part Two" that they're not even in the same league. Honest to god, there were no fewer than thirty or forty times during this film's very fast-feeling two hours where both my wife and I were laughing out loud, along with everyone else in the theater with us. Literally, cackling like children, doubled over with real-life, uproarious laughter. I'm not sure if it is the characters themselves, or the writing -- probably I imagine a good deal of both -- but something about this movie just spoke to me, and to Hammer Wife as well.

Ultimately, the story for "Brides Maids" is pretty similar to one we've all heard and seen several times before: Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (also of SNL fame) are two single, lifelong best friends, but then wen Rudolph suddenly gets engaged, Wiig's feelings about the whole thing slide quickly from elation to indifference, and eventually pretty much to disgust. It sounds cliche, and ultimately I suppose parts of it are, but I have to say, "Brides Maids" went about this admittedly cliche plot setting in a different way than I think I've ever seen before. The levels to which Wiig sinks before hitting her own personal rock bottom are some of the funniest, and almost downright hard to watch scenes of the film out of sheer embarrassment for her character. And even though Wiig tries her best to pull through for her friend in the end, the resolution is not nearly as cliche as it might otherwise have been in a different movie. And along the way, the writers weave in a convincing romance involving Wiig and a local policeman who pulls her over one day for not having her taillights fixed.

As I mentioned above, the story itself was good, but really nothing extraordinary as far as movies go. It is the characters, and the writing for those characters, that really make this movie so enjoyable. "Brides Maids" features a number of funny lines between Wiig and a long-running "boyfriend" (John Hamm) she sees from time to time who makes her feel horrible about herself, and some of the stuff Wiig does in connection with her friend's wedding is downright shocking to the viewer, in a very funny way. But the supporting cast of characters at the wedding really add more to this film than almost any movie in recent memory that I've seen on the big screen. The groom's sister -- played by Melissa McCarthy, the chick who plays Molly on tv's "Mike and Molly" -- is highlarious as a man-eating, quasi-lesbian-looking spark plug who is much too high on self-confidence for her own good, busting out with laugh-out-loud lines at the engagement party, on the plane on the way to the bachelorette party, and pretty much everywhere else she turns up in the flick. Even though it is obvious that two of the other bridesmaids in the wedding were originally intended to have bigger roles that were then just dropped (edited out, I am sure) in the final version, Wendi McLendon-Covey has me rolling in the aisles with the sharp writing and acute edge to her lines, and Rose Byrne also does a great job filling the role of Kristen Wiig's "enemy" among her best friend's roster of bridesmaids.

For a movie starring two current SNL comediennes in lead roles, "Brides Maids" was a major upside surprise. As I mentioned, this movie blows away "The Hangover Part Two" in terms of hilarity and just general enjoyability, and it probably would put up a good fight to be as funny as the first Hangover flick as well. In all, thanks to some great characters and truly inspired comedic writing that is delivered in a top-notch fashion by a cast very well suited to play the roles the actors and actresses are playing, I would have to give "Brides Maids" a pretty solid 7.5 overall on the Hoy Movie Scale(TM). And since this scale is ordered like the Richter scale, yes that does mean that "Brides Maids" is approximately 10 to the 16th power times better of a movie than 2010's "Inception". If you're looking for a funny comedy that will have you laughing out loud right alongside of your significant other, this is definitely the movie for you.

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