That I can confidently say “Bridesmaids” is up there as one of my new favorite movies is a big deal. Actually, I’m pretty easily impressed, so I guess it’s not a big, big deal, but the movie resonated with me both comedically and sentimentally.
Chick flicks are so easy to fall into because they start pulling at your heart strings from the get-go, setting you up for a heart-wrenching scene, which inevitably comes at the predetermined climax of the movie, and then is followed by a lot of hugging and making up. “Bridesmaids” is so much more than that though. Writer and star (and former Brighton, NY resident, thank you very much) Kristen Wiig plays Annie, the perfectly adorable protagonist that one comes to expect in a chick flick. But the awkward and quirky persona we’ve come to know so well on Saturday Night Live is clearly pervasive and it adds an extra dimension of funny that enhances the movie to genuine comedic stature. In other words, the movie can stand on its own without the chick flick label.
I felt like I was watching a chat between my closest friends on screen as Annie (Wiig) and Lillith (Maya Rudolph) poked fun at each other while also taking care to inject some honest advice into conversations about boys, relationships, friendships — I guess it’s the typical girly stuff that might make a guy cringe, but the conversations felt more genuine and less sensationalized than a typical “Sex and the City” female bonding sess.
Even the later relationships that develop (but don’t necessarily change, as is often the case in reality) between the other female characters felt appropriately layered and complex. The female characters come to accept one another for who they are, but turning from enemies to best friends just isn’t always in the cards. I love the tough love relationship that seemed sincere but jilted between Megan (Melissa McCarthy) and Annie. As Megan rough-houses Annie, shouting, “This is life!” and jumps into a very sensible and understated, but effective talk about the need to understand that you control your own life, I couldn’t help but smile, laugh and wipe away a sentimental tear too.
The relationships between women are much more nuanced and complicated that Hollywood seems to ever fully grasp, and I love that this movie captures the little moments in friendships that make them so special. It’s the bonding that happens in between life’s big events (like weddings, babies, etc.) that solidify relationships, not the events themselves. I can’t wait to share the deliciously girly preparations of my special day with some of my closest friends and future sisters. But the title “bridesmaid” is just a label; it’s the friendships that exist with the ladies who are part of my life (bridesmaids or not) that are really important.