The week Bridesmaids came out, I trekked to the theatre. I’d heard the hype and eagerly sat in my seat like a giddy dork waiting for the lights to go down so I could revel in 2 hours of pure estrogen created hilarity. Instead of leaving the theatre on a high note, I left with a bad feeling in my stomach. Sort of like when you realize you ran a red light or you see pictures of the Olsen twins leaving their twelvefiftygazillionbajillion dollar apartments wearing something you threw into a dumpster after fourth grade.
Let’s start with all the advertising and hype. It was repeatedly billed as the female reply to “The Hangover” (the first one, not the second one- let’s not even pretend that was good). Both films deal with a group of friends celebrating the nupitals of one of their own. Both even involve Vegas, though one film actually manages to get the crew there. Both films have likeable characters and funny moments but that’s where it ended for me. Bridesmaids sank into the depths of movies you wouldn’t watch again unless you stumbled upon it on tv, and The Hangover will be a movie that I annoyingly quote for the rest of my life.
The Hangover created a sense of community- you watched that movie and you felt those dudes had each others back. They were friends. They were in a FUCKING WOLFPACK. When shit went down (like, finding a tiger in the bathroom or you know, realizing that your buddy married a stripper and gave her his grandmother’s Holocaust ring), the men tackled the issue together. They problem solved. When they realized they had lost their friend, they didn’t pull out the bitch card and start attacking each other. They pulled out their receipts in came up with a plan. They pushed a car that broke down together, all the way to Mike Tyson’s house.
In Bridesmaids, the girls were constantly at each other. Within minutes of meeting each other, two of the girls are already vying to be the ‘number one’ friend of the bride. The movie is a continuing reel of women hurting other women in order to get ahead and plays on every insecurity a woman may have while dealing with adult friendships. Even after the main character gets kicked off a plane (due to mixing medication and alcohol because of her fear of flying) her best friend since forever, hands over her bridesmaid duties to another girl. Later on, they have a spastic fight at a bridal shower that left me cringing. Instead of being part of a wolfpack, I watched Bridesmaids wondering when the women were going to stop attacking each other.
The Hangover has romantic moments that are the punctuation to an already great story. You don’t watch the movie wondering ‘Oh geez, how is Stu feeling about his drunken escapades with the dancer? Does she still like him? Will they raise the baby together?”. The movie is about the men and the adventure they go on and the fun they have along the way.
Conversely, Bridesmaids is clogged with an unnecessary romantic story that does little to improve the movie. Of course the man is charming and ruggedly handsome but I watched the movie wondering, “why is he in this movie?“. I am a woman who is capable of watching a movie about the relationships women have with each other and the personal struggles they face (including Brazillian food poisoning) without needing a romantic interest. It’s not required. Women movie goers are capable of seeing single leading women and not feel a nagging ‘but where is the love interest?’. I wish someone would have given the writers of Bridesmaids this memo.
With all of that said, I adore “chick flicks” and understand the role romance can play in those movies but Bridesmaids wasn’t promoted in that way. It was promoted as the female’s version of The Hangover and it left me disappointed.
So I give Bridesmaids an F. (The same grade I give the conclusion of this post because I got tired of ranting)