I’m about to say something you might not want to hear. I’ve been saying it to people for a few weeks, and almost no one agrees with me. But here it is: I completely hated Bridesmaids.
Honestly, I went into it with the best intentions. The teaser trailers were all over the place, and my friends and I had been discussing it with excitement since we had first heard of it. Apatow-style humor about women! Great! Sign me up. Let’s rewatch the trailer.
On top of the “Apatow for women” marketing strategy, the cast has two SNL veterans and Jon Hamm–a recipe for success in my book. In hindsight, the tagline “Chick flicks don’t have to suck” should have tipped me off.
Bridesmaids was wholly concerned with attracting two audiences–men who love movies like The Hangover and women who enjoy watching romantic comedies (chick flicks). It would be the ultimate date night film, producers must have reasoned, something for everyone. Unfortunately, as the move straddled two worlds with a foot in both territories, it utterly failed on both fronts.
We’ll start with the Hangover-esque attributes of Bridesmaids. Apatow and then The Hangover proved the effectiveness of raunchy, over the top humor–things that made you think, “Did they really just say that?” Sometimes it was clever, but more often than not it was just so out there that you couldn’t help but laugh. Originality with a dash of wit.
Bridesmaids went for the raunchiness. There was positively no wit to be found anywhere in that movie. Melissa McCarthy’s (Sookie, how could you?) jokes were an attempted combination of grossness and that social ineptness Zach Galifianakis does so well. But her jokes fell flat and left the theater full of awkwardness that wasn’t funny. In fact, most of Bridesmaids‘ jokes were painfully awkward. Then there was the scene that I almost couldn’t watch–the food poisoning, vomit-diarrhea in a bridal shop scene. It was reported Apatow himself pushed for that scene to be put in to make it more of a “guy comedy.” Except there’s nothing funny about that. Tell me, Apatow, where in any of your movies was projectile vomiting used to up the funny factor?
To be fair, there were a couple funny moments. But they were so few and far between that I never really had time to stop feeling the awkwardness from the last scene. It was just so desperately unfunny.
And then there was the chick flick half, in which Wiig’s Annie is messing around with an asshole Hamm (he made Don Draper look like Prince Charming) while an Irish cop takes an unnatural liking to her. Hamm is such a jerk that it never seems like a possibility that Annie would choose him, but the cop is such a watered down sap that you don’t really want to root for him. Everyone, except maybe Annie, is blindly one-dimensional, and the “rom-com” fails to impress.
Maybe what is so mind-boggling to me about all this is that everyone–from critics to people I know–thought Bridesmaids was great. Not as funny as The Hangover, but still “pretty funny.” What movie were all of you watching? What about that film was funny? Please, enlighten me.
In the meantime, I’ll be watching The Hangover, Superbad, and Knocked Up, trying to convince myself humor is still alive and well in the world.