Aisle be there

SNL darling Kristen Wiig stars in this irreverent comedy that isn’t just another saccharine tribute to matrimony

Wiig, far right, and McLendon-Covey, third from right, star in

Suzanne Hanover

Wiig, far right, and McLendon-Covey, third from right, star in “Bridesmaids.

Martina Marosi

 

âÄúBridesmaidsâÄú

DIRECTED BY: Paul Feig

STARRING: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

RATED: R

SHOWING: May 13, area theaters

âÄúI just took a s**t in the middle of the street.âÄù

And so culminates âÄî in a rampant vomit and defecation scene that ends with bridal dress-wearing Maya RudolphâÄôs declaration âÄî the darndest contrarian chick-flick to hit the screen since âÄúTank Girl.âÄù

Like a pineapple upside-down cake, âÄúBridesmaidsâÄù is sweet, summery and tastes good going down, but tends to fall apart when you cut into it.

Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the film with Annie Mumolo, plays Annie, a thirty-something failure who has just been selected as her best friendâÄôs maid of honor.

The film establishes a close friendship between Annie and bride-to-be Lillian (Maya Rudolph) through a quick succession of lunch and workout sequences, but audience familiarity with Wiig and RudolphâÄôs shared SNL fame anchors the friendshipâÄôs tentative believability.

Their friendship is soon flooded by the parade march of WiigâÄôs co-stars and the filmâÄôs ragtag bridal party, which includes Reno 911!âÄôs Wendi McLendon-Covey as an unsatisfied, moneyed housewife and the foul-mouthed Melissa McCarthy as a relentlessly brash comic relief who inexplicably dresses like a golf caddy.

AnnieâÄôs foil is the obscenely elegant and laughably refined Helen (Rose Byrne,), whoâÄôs clearly more qualified to handle the responsibilities of LillianâÄôs shower and plays up to the implicit rivalry with bumbling Annie.

The Judd Apatow-produced movie plays up to its expectations, as âÄúBridesmaidsâÄù follows in the tradition of candid comedies characterized by improvised and crude dialogue padded with subtly awkward silences âÄî all couched in situations that border on the bizarre.

However, Paul FeigâÄôs careful and stealthy moves as a director save âÄúBridesmaidsâÄù from becoming a full-blown vagina edition of a dick flick. Feig clearly managed to guide what is a novice script safely to its conclusion like a tiny sailboat rounding the Cape âÄî without letting it fall apart entirely.

Like any comic project, âÄúBridesmaidsâÄù is full of one-liners and frank observations. The fountains of these zingers are most frequently found in the peripheral characters, like the cocktail slinging Rita and fearlessly ballsy Megan.

However, Wiig and Mumolo focus almost entirely on AnnieâÄôs character development. The contrived endearment for a hapless character âÄî as she commits endless social faux pas and travails along Mr. Magoo-esque follies âÄî forges a predictable narrative.

But Mumolo and Wiig play with these expectations. As opposed to seeing the main character pull her proverbial life together, they use AnnieâÄôs recklessness to their advantage.

However, the stories of the other bridesmaids are woefully incomplete. RitaâÄôs lovelorn desperation and the sexual curiosity of prudish bridesmaid Becca (Ellie Kemper) are comic stones left unturned. Only the crass Megan is given any semblence of character revelation, and when it unfolds, it poses an anomaly to the sincerity that would otherwise ground the moment between herself and the depressed Annie.

âÄúBridesmaidsâÄù is a movie studded with comic talent, but it lacks a cohesive center. WiigâÄôs Annie is loveable, and only has minimal, if any, cloyingly cutesy moments. FeigâÄôs stamp is clear on a movie that, even though missing a few narrative screws for the sake of punchlines, is a screwball knee-slapper that is always reeled in for that sensitive touch at the precise moment, in just the right place.

 

Two stars out of four