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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Bridesmaids

September 20th, 2011

Bridesmaids - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

While there were high hopes for Bridesmaids in terms of critical reception, it wasn't expected to be a huge hit in theaters. Female driven comedies are generally a hard sell at the box office. R-rated ones are practically unheard of. It opened with respectable numbers, but nothing too special. Then its legs kicked in. In the end, the film earned more than $160 million and topped such films as X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern, both of which opened with twice as much money as Bridesmaids did. Is it really as good as its box office numbers would indicate. Or will I be one of the few to fail to see its appeal.

The Movie

The film stars Kristen Wiig as Annie, a woman whose life has fallen apart. Recently her business failed, she lost her money, she broke up with her boyfriend, and she's this close to having to move in with her mother. She is in a relationship with Ted, but its purely physical and not very satisfying. She's looking for more than just sex; he's not. In fact, he kicks her out of his home in the morning, in as nice a way as he can manage, but still. That morning she meets up with Lillian, her best friend, who has been spending more and more time in Chicago due to work, and her boyfriend. While at work in a jewelry store, she's surrounded by happy loving couples buying engagement rings. Annie gets another blow to her self-esteem when Lillian tells her she's getting married to her boyfriend, Dougie. The good news is, Lillian wants Annie to be her maid of honor.

When Annie arrives at Lillian and Dougie's engagement party, she's a little out of her place, as it's taking place at a fancy country club. (Dougie is a rich banker.) There she is reintroduced to Rita, Lillians's cousin and a mother of three boys; Becca, a newlywed who is still really affectionate with her husband; Megan, Dougie's sister; and of course, Helen, who will soon become Annie's nemesis. They even turn their engagement party speeches into a competition, a competition that Annie loses.

On the way home, Annie is still fuming and mocking Helen, and in the process is swerving all over the road. This attracts the attention of Officer Nathan Rhodes, who thinks she's drunk. She's able to convince him she's not, but I'm not sure how. (When she's dancing to prove she's not drunk, she really looks drunk.) He is still going to give her a ticket, because of her broken tale light, but after hearing the story of her failed bakery (he was a fan of her cream puffs) he decides to let her off with a warning. It's the highpoint of her day, but it doesn't last long and her life just goes downhill from there.

That's probably a good point to stop the review, because we are starting to enter spoiler territory. The film is very episodic with many smaller scenes that are hard to talk about without spoiling jokes, and I certainly don't want to spoil any of the humor in this movie. There are several laugh out loud moments and this is arguably the funniest movie I've seen all year. The script, which was co-written by Kristen Wiig, is amazing, while the amount of comedic talent on display in this film is outstanding. The ensemble cast is certainly fearless when it comes to the comedy, which is something you have to be to sell a gag, especially one that's physically demanding. (Fearless is the only way to describe Melissa McCarthy's performance. She topped my expectations and I have been a fan of her past work.) There are some gags that I think went too far, and if you have seen the movie, your probably know which one I'm talking about.

But Bridesmaids is not just raunchy humor and gross-out gags, there's a lot of heart in the movie as well. We see real character growth, a lot of emotional scenes, etc. This is what helps lift the film from just a funny movie, to one with the potential to become a classic. It will almost certainly be a trendsetter. A film doesn't make $285 million worldwide on a $32.5 million budget without studios taking notice. I'm a little worried they will get the wrong message and think that having women in gross-out comedies is all it takes to become box office gold. Finding another script as good as this film has and an ensemble cast that's this talented will be incredibly hard.

The Extras

Extras start with an audio commentary track with the director, Paul Feig, the co-writer, Annie Mumolo, and most of the main cast, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Melissa McCarthy. The group has amazing chemistry together and they are having a whole lot of fun. This feeling is infectious. Up next are four minutes of outtakes, which again show how much fun the cast was having on set. There's a lot of improve in the movie, and Line-O-Rama has twelve minutes of alternate lines. There are three deleted scenes and five alternate / extended scenes. And finally, there's a minute-long commercial for Cholodecki's, the Jewelry store Annie worked for.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare. It does cost $6 more than the DVD, but it comes with exclusive extras and a DVD / Digital Copy, so it's not a bad deal.

The Verdict

Bridesmaids was one of the biggest surprise hits of the year and one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long, long time. The movie has high replay value, even before taking into account the extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray and it is a contender for Pick of the Week.

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Filed under: Video Review, Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class