Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

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Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby Tookie » Wed Jun 8, 22:53 2011

K, so I'm not really into reviews. But can we talk about Bridesmaids and its alleged feminist awesomeness?

Quick plot synopsis:

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is more or less single, seeing a commitment-phobic (and hilariously skeazy) Jon Hamm. Her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) breaks the news that she's engaged, and asks Annie to be her maid of honour. Annie meets the other bridesmaids - the prude, the sex-starved soccer mom type, the rich ice queen, and the fat one. Food poisoning jokes occur. Annie is bad at being a maid of honour and is replaced by the rich ice queen. Drama ensues. Annie falls for a charming, if bland, cop, and lives, presumably, happily ever after.


And Feministing, among other places raved about how great it was to see a woman-driven comedy.

The thing is, I'm not convinced that it was woman-driven. I thought it was a movie about a wedding, not a movie about women. My partner turned to me about halfway through the film and whispered, "So, if we count talking about weddings as talking about men, has this even passed the Bechdel test?" and we decided that no, it probably had not (although it does later in the movie).

I left the movie deeply disappointed. Maybe if I hadn't been expecting an awesome, hilarious feminist flick, I would have been less distraught, but nonetheless, these are the major ways in which I thought the movie failed (beyond plot holes and choppy writing in general, which I'd love to discuss further if anyone's interested):

1. The characters were paper thin. All I left the theatre knowing about the main character, who gets an awful lot of screentime, is that she liked this one kareoke song and also likes to bake (hello, acceptable female profession?). I learned absolutely nothing about her best friend. The one character who I felt was even remotely fleshed out and interesting, Megan (Melissa McCarthy), was also dealt with terribly, see #2.

2. Oh my goodness, fatphobia. Megan's size is never mentioned, but she is nevertheless pretty consistently the butt of jokes. Is it a coincidence that she is the first of the bridesmaids to show signs of food poisoning? Doubtful. Or that she is the one whose sexuality is represented as deviant? Also doubtful. It's funny that she's hitting on (read: sexually harassing, sigh) the guy on the plane because she's fat, right? Get it? Get it? Man, Megan was SO CLOSE to being a super awesome character. In fact, I loved her character. I just hated the context in which her character was placed (and ridiculed).

3. I'm going to make an admission that an awful lot of people who I share strong beliefs with would have me drawn and quartered for: I've enjoyed a number of Apatow's dudebro comedies. They can be problematic in a number of ways, yeah, (that said, I feel they are often misrepresented in feminist circles), but that's a conversation for another thread. What I felt was most lacking from this film was what makes those films tick: bromance. Bramance. Sisterhood. Whatever you want to call it. I had no idea why Annie and Lillian were friends. I had no idea, when Megan comes to rescue Annie from herself, WHY she felt compelled to do so. There was no chemistry whatsoever between the characters. All. They. Ever. Did. Was talk about men.

I walked out of the theatre so angry. I had been promised a movie about women! A FUNNY movie about women! And I got a movie about a wedding, with a few fat jokes and toilet humour thrown in.

But of course, I'm not the authority here. What did you think?
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby edit the sad parts » Thu Jun 9, 16:44 2011

I actually really liked this movie. With the exception of how they treated Megan,and also the roomate character(people in the theatre all "Ewwed" and made wretching sounds when she lifted her shirt up...and you know it wasn't because of the tattoo). I was really disappointed that they had to go to the lowest common denominator of fatphobia/fatjokes. Like you say, they are never openly made, but the "fat ridicule" almost always underlies every scene with Megan's character. Thinking of this makes me especially sad after reading a study recently which suggests that overweight women, in particular, do not go as far in life as average sized people(or even as far as overweight men). They are less likely to persue education and are less likely to receive job promotions. I still don't understand why this is an acceptable thing to joke about...and not even just indirectly. Openly confronting someone about their weight and making light of it is acceptable too. I don't get it.

I hadn't heard about this being a feminist movie at all though, before I went to see it. So, I never held it to that standard. I actually though it was written by Apatow, going in. I didn't realise til halfway through, when my S.O informed me that Kristen Wiig actually wrote the whole thing. So I was basically expecting a few inane laughs which is basically what I got out of it. It was much funnier than I thought it was going to be, for the movie that I was expecting it to be...if that makes sense.

As for Annie being a baker, I totally agree with you. I also think it was a super-cheesy...and lazy decision to make on the part of the writer. It reflects some of the popularity of reality baking shows, I guess. Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, Cupcake Girls...need I go on? Hah.
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby kelsa » Fri Jun 10, 9:39 2011

Okay, people kept billing it to me as "The Female Hangover."

If it was so, 90% of the movie before Lillian's running away wouldn't have happened, and we would have found Lillian in Vegas and hijinks and hilarity would have ensued with a road trip to find her and bring her back. There would have been vomit, jumping off of buildings, a famous cameo or two, lots of alcohol, and a general sense of wild debauchery.

but all of that was ignored to talk about men and weddings and feelings and be awful and catty to eachother.
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby monk » Fri Jun 10, 9:44 2011

yeah, show me the scene where a crazy naked chick pops out of a trunk and gives the girls a beat down, or something on par with that.
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby Sonic# » Fri Jun 10, 10:30 2011

kelsa wrote:If it was so, 90% of the movie before Lillian's running away wouldn't have happened, and we would have found Lillian in Vegas and hijinks and hilarity would have ensued with a road trip to find her and bring her back. There would have been vomit, jumping off of buildings, a famous cameo or two, lots of alcohol, and a general sense of wild debauchery.


I want that movie.

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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby Storage and Disposal » Fri Jun 10, 22:40 2011

I didn't realize it was supposed to be a feminist movie. I might have dragged myself to it if someone told me that while it was still here. It just looked like one of the 3 or 4 mindless wedding movies playing at the same time at my theater. I had zero interest in it.
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby Tookie » Sat Jun 11, 8:16 2011

Sonic# wrote:
kelsa wrote:If it was so, 90% of the movie before Lillian's running away wouldn't have happened, and we would have found Lillian in Vegas and hijinks and hilarity would have ensued with a road trip to find her and bring her back. There would have been vomit, jumping off of buildings, a famous cameo or two, lots of alcohol, and a general sense of wild debauchery.


I want that movie.


Me too!
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby kelsa » Sun Jun 12, 16:21 2011

Tookie wrote:
Sonic# wrote:
kelsa wrote:If it was so, 90% of the movie before Lillian's running away wouldn't have happened, and we would have found Lillian in Vegas and hijinks and hilarity would have ensued with a road trip to find her and bring her back. There would have been vomit, jumping off of buildings, a famous cameo or two, lots of alcohol, and a general sense of wild debauchery.


I want that movie.


Me too!


That's what I went in expecting! Sorely disappointed. I feel like equating this with the hangover is just annoying- women have crazy wild crazy times and are still awesome and the kind of women I want to see on screen. Hangover style debauchery isn't just acceptable for men...its insulting to both genders to make this the female version.
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Re: Bridesmaids (spoilers!)

Postby musicalcats » Tue Jun 14, 11:53 2011

Thank you. I was also extremely disappointed in this movie, but I'm the minority. The girlfriend, the best friend, even my Mom loved it. I thought it was a serious waste of time.

The plot had gaping wholes (so no storyline about when they were actually at Vegas?). It had multiple clip montages to waste time. Most of the movie felt like it was a filler. It's bad enough that as soon as the movie starts, you basically already know the plot...but when the story isn't even funny? One of the few times I laughed was the "Who's driving this car" line.

I also tried to like Megan's character. I think it's because she is the one that is different - isn't the barbie type. But I agree, she was made to be the gross, fun to laugh at one. I felt bad for her. I like that she came through in the end because she is the different one. However, I agree that they never had chemistry and really had never talked before this point...

ugh. I want a real movie.
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