PUBLISHED: 11:47 27 June 2011
After a period where it was dominating US screen comedy, the House of Apatow brand has been a little muted of late. The production line of comedy ‘bromances’ featuring combinations of Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd and/or Jonah Hill has come to a halt.
Wary perhaps of going the way of the Farrelly Brothers, he has freshened up the line with a bold and exciting new direction – women, funny women.
Since her smallish role in Knocked Up, Kristen Wiig has become an essential component of any vaguely comedic outing. This, though, is her first lead, in a piece that she co-wrote.
Annie (Wiig) is rock bottom after the collapse of her business while her best friend (Maya Rudolph) has just managed a spectacular social leap, marrying into the country club set.
Annie is asked to be her maid of honour but soon finds this a strain on both her finances and her sanity as she is pitched into a tug of love contest with wealthy trophy wife Rose Byrne for the position of best friend.
The script lays out all the major rom-com signposts but takes the less trodden path between each one and is sparing with the sugar coating.
Though Judd Apatow is listed only as executive producer, the film has many of his trademarks such as a neat balance of crude humour and sweetness, an improvised feel and a tendency to go on a bit. Oh and it’s funny, very funny.
Bridesmaids has something most Apatows don’t: feelings. Here, you do care about the situations.
A lot of wedding films make a passing joke about how much it is all costing, but here it is a constant factor and Annie’s attempts to deal with all the conspicuous consumption around her is the cause of her comic humiliations.
Director: Paul Feig
With: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and John Hamm
Length: 126 mins
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