SXSW Review: ‘Bridesmaids’ Work Print
The work print screening of Bridesmaids played well at SXSW, but I wasn’t into it. It’s actually the first movie of the festival I haven’t liked, so it probably feels like a harsher letdown.
It opens funny with Annie (Kristin Wiig) having outrageous sex with Ted (Jon Hamm). Annie speaks in the stream of consciousness rambling that Wiig peppers with humor each time she adds a phrase. Once her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged, it becomes the typical wedding movie.
All the other bridesmaids are contrived one-dimensional types. Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) complains about her obnoxious sons and husband. Becca (Ellie Kemper) is the lovey dovey newlywed. Megan is a butch type. Helen (Rose Byrne) is just so perfect it drives Annie crazy.
Wiig pretty much stops doing the Kristin Wiig thing in order to serve a generic, clichéd plot. She does a dance when Officer Rhodes pulls her over but stops the random phrases and tones down the physicality, so you don’t get a Kristin Wiig movie after all.
The big problem with the premise is that jealousy is not funny. Helen outshines Annie’s wedding plans and the film follows the same plot as all “outrageous wedding” movies. At the engagement toast, the dress fittings, the bachelorette party and bridal shower, Helen comes up with crazy plans that take over Annie’s sincere ones.
Helen’s manipulative usurping isn’t funny though. She has connections to a fancy dress shop. She wants to take the girls to Las Vegas. She has a fancy mansion with a fondue fountain. The only joke is that Annie is insecure that Helen’s more superficially impressive than she is.
Bridesmaids might coast if it was just generic, but it drags out so long it forces you to work it out. Directo Paul Feig said that “work print” only meant they had color timing and sound issues to polish. He should really consider taking 30 minutes out, because there’s so much plot. At a certain point you realize while Annie’s working out her relationship with Office Rhodes, hey, they still have to have a wedding to wrap this sucker up.
I like Kristin Wiig a lot. I think her physicality is phenomenal and her attitude is sweet. She doesn’t seem to make jokes at anyone’s expense. She just enjoys being silly. Bridesmaids doesn’t feel like her, and she wrote it herself!