Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 19
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

OMG, OMG, I’M SO EXCITED!: Lillian (Maya Rudolph, right) asks her best friend Annie (Kristen Wiig) to be her maid of honor at her upcoming wedding. However, when the groom’s boss’s wife Rose (not shown) is chosen to be one of the bridesmaids, things get complicated, because Rose in not content with being a mere bridesmaid, she proceeds to mount a campaign to replace Annie as Lillian’s maid of honor.

Bridesmaids: No Holds Barred in Cutthroat Maid of Honor Competition

Kam Williams

Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) has been in a tailspin since her bakery named Cake Baby failed during the recession. As if that weren’t enough, she’s in danger of losing the job she susequently got at a jewelry store because a member of her mother’s (Jill Clayburgh) support group took pity on her.

Annie’s problems at work are a result of her open expressions of skepticism about the importance of marriage to her customers who happen to be shopping for engagement rings. She has good reason to be cynical, because the shallow guy (John Hamm) she’s currently involved with treats her like a doormat, and she can also hear the loud ticking of her biological clock.

Annie is on the verge of being kicked out of her apartment by her roommates (Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas) because she has fallen behind in her rent. As a consequence, she might have to move back in with her mother. So it is easy to understand why Annie has mixed emotions when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be her maid of honor.

Annie’s happy that the ecstatic bride-to-be is about to marry her boyfriend Doug (Tim Heidecker). However, the wedding is a reminder that Annie is not getting any younger and that her life has become a mess.

All of these factors set the stage for a boatload of laughs in Bridesmaids, a screwball comedy directed by Paul Feig. The screenplay was co-written by Kristen Wiig who has created a vulnerable character with the trademark sarcasm that we’ve seen in her Saturday Night Live sketches.

The plot thickens when the other bridesmaids are chosen and Annie suddenly finds herself competing with Helen (Rose Byrne), who is the wealthy wife of the groom’s boss (Andy Buckley), and wants to become the maid of honor. Even though Helen hasn’t known Lillian very long, she shamelessly lobbies to replace Annie as the maid of honor because Rose has the money, taste, and class to help Lillian plan a lavish bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding reception.

Doug’s larger than life (literally and figuratively) sister, Megan, another bridesmaid, is played to perfection by Melissa McCarthy in a peerless performance. Megan provides comic relief and reminds the audience that the escalating tension between Annie and Helen shouldn’t be taken seriously, especially after Annie finds herself being wooed by an Irish cop with a heart of gold (Chris O’Dowd).

Excellent (4 stars); rated R for profanity and graphic sexuality; running time, 125 minutes; distributor, Universal Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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