Sunday, October 2, 2011

Film Review: Bridesmaids

My wife originally saw this in the theater with one of her girlfriends and I was jealous at the time as it was getting really good reviews as a comedy from a female perspective.

Typically what are dubbed "raunchy" comedies are from the male perspective with lots of breasts, drinking and bathroom humor. Bridesmaids isn't much different. Except if comes across as fresh due to its lampooning of typical female foibles.

Which is why I think this film is less about female "empowerment" or a film from a feminist point of view as many commenters have written. In "male" POV raunchy comedies, the males are the ones viewed as dumb, ignorant, crude and indecent. Bridesmaids merely moves those descriptors onto women. This isn't exactly "I am woman, hear me roar".

Which isn't to say that the film isn't a huge laugh. It is.

Watching women skewer each other, participate in usually male dominated bathroom humor, and reverse typical sexual roles is great fun. Bridesmaids is well written, though typically conservative as all comedies must be as you know things will turn out just fine and best friends will remain best friends and we'll all learn a conservative message by the end.

That's just fine by me. I was just glad my wife was willing to watch it again so that I could spend the evening laughing at the faults of women instead of the faults of men. It was a very fun break from recent films such as The Hangover and other recent successful comedies.

One last note here. The casting was particularly well done and thought out in that it filled all the female roles with only mildly attractive to completely unattractive actresses. The temptation for female comedies might be to put attractive women in these roles in a hope to bring male viewers to the table along with female ticket buyers. This would not work however.

Watching some unattractive female have to crap her pants in the middle of the street due to a bad meal can be humorous to watch if done right (as it is here). Viewing Jennifer Anniston or other attractive female do the same creates obstacles to humor on the following two counts--1) Men won't be interested or will have their humor decreased as they are more likely to put such an individual on a pedestal of the glorified female ideal and 2) Female viewers won't be able to identify with her as no matter what the situation, the average female will not be able to place herself in the aforementioned Jennifer Anniston's shoes and thus not find the humor in a situation that they could picture themselves in.

Bridesmaids is likely to be the most memorable comedy of 2011 by a long shot.

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