Posted by: greercn | July 7, 2011


Whether you love this or hate it will depend on your tolerance level for gross out humour. If you’re a Chaucer fan, you’ll adore it. From the opening scenes of aggressive sex through to projectile vomit laughs and beyond, this is not for the squeamish or those easily bothered by the more graphic scenes in Judd Apatow movies.

Despite that warning, “Bridesmaids” is one of the funniest, kindest and most big-hearted pictures I have ever seen. Kristen Wiig has co-written (with Annie Mumolo) a warm and loving story that will make you roll about in the aisles. Yes, reader, I did and so did everyone else at the Ritzy in Brixton.

Kristen, fresh from a super role in “Paul” which showed the Saturday Night Live star’s excellent comic timing in something more than a bit part, is an absolute revelation. You can’t take your eyes off her. She plays Annie, who feels she has failed in business and in life.

Best friend Lilian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and wants Annie to be her maid of honour. The bridal party’s antics never make you think of “Sex And The City”. The women in this all have their own lives and problems and these are described in deliciously realistic and hilarious detail. Helen (Rose Byrne) is a monstrous super-woman control freak and Annie decides, unwisely, to compete with her. 

It’s a comedy so most of the things that can go wrong do. Melissa McCarthy is wonderful in the role that is usual for Zach Galifianakis in the Apatow movies for boys. Jill Clayburgh has superbly-written lines as Annie’s mother and it’s a treat to see her back on the screen.

Paul Feig’s direction is rather more subtle than it was in “Knocked Up”. It’s mostly for women, but the (few) men in the audience seemed to laugh as hard as the females did. I went to see it with a woman and a man and they both laughed harder than I did. And, oh boy, I didn’t stop laughing until after the end of the credits rolled.

Jon Hamm (“MadMen”) plays an odious “boyfriend” to Annie while Chris O’Dowd – so interesting in “The IT Crowd” – has a pleasingly big role as a policeman. Franklyn Ajaye and Terry Crews are terrific in smaller roles, but everyone here has great comic timing. Matt Lucas is here too.

It has a warm and soft centre to it. It’s compassionate and caring about human foibles and the meaning of success and friendship. If you can handle the grosser bits, you’ll find much to love in “Bridesmaids”. I will be buying the DVD as I think I missed quite a few of the lines from laughing too hard at the previous lines. The soundtrack is adorable.

The Ritzy attracts quite a high class crowd and laptop cases littered the aisles which isn’t usually the case at Stratford Picturehouse. People were very well-dressed and most of them came straight here from work. They all laughed their upmarket socks off.

It’s a beautiful cinema with gorgeous decoration. I could have sat there for a very long time and just stared at the walls. As it was, I was very pleasantly surprised by enjoying this as much as I did. If you can, go see it with friends. This joyful movie should be shared.



  1. This one is funny and had me laughing quite a bit, but feels way too over-long in the end. However, that’s not a terrible thing since you won’t really notice with all of the laughs. Good Review!

    • I am so old that I can remember the time before gross out humour. Do see “It Happened One Night” and the Katharine Hepburn “The Philadelphia Story”. You very clearly love film and should see both of these. Let me know what you think.

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