Rewind Review: Bridesmaids

Introduction

As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy!

Bridesmaids (2011)

Timing is interesting and I think if I sat down to write this yesterday It might’ve been rather uninteresting, however, today is when I writing anything and it’s after having read a very interesting New York Times article about the “Jokeless Comedy.” Bridesmaids is mentioned there and it fits the more character-driven mold Sternbergh makes reference to.

As with any approach, it has its pros and cons and some cons can be avoided entirely if executed perfectly or very, very well. While it is very funny and enjoyable Bridesmaids doesn’t hit all the marks perfectly.

One of the best parts of the film is through these ladies, even in their silly exploits, we find quite a bit of commentary on youth, parenting, marriage, self-pity, jealousy, etc.

kristen-wiig-and-annie-mumolo-in-bridesmaids-(2011)-large-picture

The script which is co-written by star Kristen Wiig is rather strong in building its protagonist and breaking her down. It also very tenuously is able to laugh at her misfortune with out feeling sorry for her. This is made more difficult by the fact that it seeks sympathy and not pity but it succeeds.

It will never be a fault of a film if they attempt and take the time to build character and this film does. This films builds it and builds it well but the only sin that can be committed is building too much. The over-building and a montage too many have happen in Act II making it a bit too long. Not too much of the information is redundant but some of it is.

This makes the film a bit longer than it should be and not too many laughs are added to the mix because of it. Judd Apatow is attached as producer to this film and another mandate of his lately apparently is that no film shall less than two hours long. This is not to say comedies ought never be that long but the reason so many run 90 minutes is because it works. It’s still just as hard but it’s easier to get your momentum up and keep the laughs rolling.

bridesmaids-trailer

The cast of the film is brilliant, which helps greatly. Kristen Wiig does carry the film very well both in dramatic and comedic scenes. Maya Rudolph also does very well and makes a great partner for Wiig. Melissa McCarthy frequently steals scenes but Wendi McLendon-Covey was not to be outdone either.

So all in all the film is quite funny but I’d be hard-pressed to call it one of the funnier films in recent years, however, it is definitely recommended.

8/10

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Review- Bad Teacher

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher (Columbia Pictures)

Bad Teacher is a weird little film. The further removed I’ve gotten from seeing it the less I’ve liked it though there are definitely issues I had with it right from the start. If anything that just goes to show you how disposable it is. While it takes a few pot shots at education that anyone who reads on occasion can take it doesn’t go there enough to be considered a satire and what it does decide to do is not well-executed enough to be memorable.

The level of funniness in a comedy is the ultimate barometer. This film did have me laughing consistently throughout but as opposed to something like Bridesmaids where my two friends and I each had favorite scenes nothing stands out tremendously. Aside from that a truly successful comedy is a rather mindless affair on its first viewing if you’re thinking about the plot or consequences of things the film is usually in trouble and that’s what happened here.

When the filmmakers decided to call this film Bad Teacher they weren’t kidding. The problem is she’s not just comedically inept at her profession she’s criminally inept at it that and she’s so inept that even if at the worst school it’s hard to believe she’d get away with these kinds of transgressions for that long.

The phrase minimal attempt can be applied to this film on more than one occasion. Firstly, there is a minimal attempt made by the Bad Teacher to fly right and get these kids to actually learn in pursuit of her goal: breast implants. Then there’s also a minimal attempt to establish her character aside from her suckishness at her job. Her marriage ends because she is a suspected gold-digger and nothing is done to dissuade us.

While she talks about getting into teaching for the wrong reasons perhaps that backstory should’ve been shown not said as well.

Now for the Tits McGuffin. It’s one of the longest McGuffin’s I could remember and while it makes perfect sense why she makes the decision she does I’d liked to have seen that decision not just the evidence. Furthermore her change in vocation is something I like but while it’s conveyed visually perhaps it could be set up with a short conversation with the principal.

The pace of the film overall is quick, however, some parts seem glossed over that shouldn’t and others that need expanding remain thin.

Fair warning that there is a good deal of impunity in this film and that’s something moralistically that you have to sort out on your own. However, one thing I will say is that this is the kind of film that maybe would benefit from a more modernistic approach to comedy with a bit more character-building. However, it is funny enough for me to pass it with a marginal grade of…

6/10

Review- Bridesmaids

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in Bridesmaids (Universal)

Timing is an interesting thing and I think if I sat down to write this yesterday it might’ve been rather uninteresting, however, today is when I’m writing this and it’s after having read a very interesting New York Times article about the “Jokeless Comedy.” Bridesmaids is mentioned there and it fits the more character-driven mold Sternbergh makes reference to.

As with any approach it has its pros and cons and some cons can be avoided entirely if executed perfectly or very, very well. While it is very funny and enjoyable Bridesmaids doesn’t hit all the marks perfectly.

One of the best parts of the film is through these ladies, even in their silly exploits, we find quite a bit of commentary on youth, parenting, marriage, self-pity, jealousy, etc.

The script which is co-written by star Kristen Wiig is rather strong in building its protagonist and breaking her down. We are also very tenuously able to laugh at her misfortune without feeling sorry for her. This is made more difficult by the fact that it seeks sympathy and not pity but it succeeds.

It will never be a fault of a film if they attempt and take the time to build character and this film does. This films builds it and builds it well but the only sin that can be committed is building too much. The over-building and a montage too many happen in Act II making it a bit too long. Not too much of the information is redundant but some of it is.

This makes the film a bit longer than it should be and not too many laughs are added to the mix because of it. Judd Apatow is attached as producer to this film and another mandate of his lately apparently is that no film shall less than two hours long. This is not to say comedies ought never be that long but the reason so many run 90 minutes is because it works. It’s still just very hard but it’s easier to get your momentum up and keep the laughs rolling if the film is on the shorter side.

The cast of the film is brilliant, which helps greatly. Kristen Wiig does carry the film very well both in dramatic and comedic scenes. Maya Rudolph also does very well and makes a great partner for Wiig. Melissa McCarthy frequently steals scenes but Wendi McLendon-Covey was not to be outdone either.

The film is quite funny but I’d be hard-pressed to call it one of the funnier films in recent years, however, it is definitely recommended.

8/10