My past few attempts at finding a suitably shit film to review for Optimistic Norris have been wrought with disappointment. X-Men: First Class was pretty good, Super 8 rocked, and three out of the four films I've managed to review so far weren't really bad at all. My reviews weren't even very funny or entertaining. All in all, one might say that I'm a pretty poor excuse for a column, and that I should stick to my day job (which doesn't exist) or perhaps consider a life of crime. So, disillusioned both by what I'm doing for Beat and life in general, and with heroin starting to become a legitimate career option, my hopes were raised when I started seeing posters for Bridesmaids, a film which looked worse than some analogy involving a cheese grater and my testicles.
These posters, however, were seen mostly on/from moving vehicles, and usually at some distance away. Had I but seen the writing "From the producer of Knocked Up, Superbad and The 40 Year Old Virgin" printed on the top in big bold writing, or that the film stars Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne, I might have been more prepared for what turned out to a be a disappointingly hilarious, quirky, and emotionally satisfying film.
Bridesmaids, the latest film from Judd Apatow and crew follows the misadventures of Annie (Kristin Wiig), a lonely thirty something who's life basically sucks dick. Sometimes that dick belongs to Don Draper - I mean Ted, played by John Draper - I mean Don Hamm, who's a chauvinist pig who treats her like a portable cum dumpster.
Annie's only comfort comes from her super BFF, Lillian (Maya Rudolf), until Lillian becomes engaged, which (and I'm sure all you thirty-something women out there will sympathise) makes Annie go super crazy in the lead up to the wedding. As maid of honour, she needs to organise the wedding and generally hang out with the rest of Lillian's - wait for it - Bridesmaids. Annie clashes particularly hard with a new rival for Lillian's BFFerry, super rich and super bitchy Helen (Rose Byrne).
Things go pretty terribly for poor Annie, to the point where the film borders on depressing. Depressingly hilarious that is. Cop that, Annie. Speaking of cops, Annie's love interest - a cop - is commendably played by the hilarious Chris O'Dowd, who you may know as Roy from IT Crowd. Segue swish...
I hate to sound like a feminist - because trust me, I'm not - but it's really great to see a genuinely funny film with a predominantly female cast (never mind, I just read that sentence back it made me sound more like a chauvinist - which trust me, I am).
Wiig, who co-wrote the screenplay, is brilliantly funny in the lead role, and is up to the difficult task of being mentally unstable, over-dramatic, yet likeable. Byrne is equally successful in portraying the completely unlikable and frustratingly bitchy character of Helen. It feels like all the actors in the film - particularly Wiig and Rudolf - bounce off each other well and have known each other for years.
The humour of the script relies on witty dialogue coupled with moments of supreme awkwardness, sometimes pushed to the point where you nearly cringe all the way to... cringe town and... cringe. It's cringey. But that's a good sign - it shows that the audience is engaged, and outrageous situations are somehow believable and even relatable.
The bridesmaids each bring something to the film, the stand-out being Megan (Melissa Mcarthy) who manages to play a stereotypical, overweight, crude and disgusting sibling-in-law character in a fresh and enjoyable way. There's even a few fart jokes which I unashamedly laughed at - most notably during an extremely disgusting scene involving shopping for wedding dresses and chronic food poisoning, where the humour is literally taking place in a toilet.
Bridesmaids seems like a standard chick flick romcom - and essentially is - but turns out to have plenty of substance and a unique style and wit. I may be a vile, offensive brute, but I really enjoyed this movie, even though I had an extremely annoying elderly woman sitting next to me who felt the need to vocalise why she thought each particular joke was funny (shut the fuck up granny, I get jokes too, I just don't feel the need to brag about it. Oh wait, I do).
So unfortunately my attempt to see a shit film was another depressing yet enjoyable chapter of my life. I'm giving it one last chance - if The Green Lantern doesn't suck as hard as I hope it does, fuck it, I'm gonna shoot up a speed ball right there in the theatre and go out like a boss. Peace.