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May 16, 2011  | by: Kerri O'Malley

The Cast of Bridesmaids: McCarthy, McLendon-Covey, Kemper, Wiig, Rudolph, and Byrne

Keep your Kleenex at home (unless you’re prone to happy tears): This is one chick flick that will have you rolling in the aisles from start to finish.  Led by an ensemble cast of the baddest bitches around and packed with laugh-out-loud moments, Bridesmaids is an absolute must-see for all genders, but it’s pure revolution for the ladies.  What could have been a simple foray into the ever-popular female genre of wedding movies (or an unofficial Hangover sequel) is instead the New Hope for a fresh generation of movies for, and starring, women.

I didn’t start off a true Bridesmaids believer.  After all the build-up and the various articles about the ground-breaking female film, I was almost afraid to go see Kristen Wiig’s collaboration with now-infamous producer Judd Apatow.  After all, Apatow’s recent projects (Funny People, Get Him to the Greek ) have disappointed, especially in comparison with the hits that made me love him (Knocked Up, Superbad, obviously Freaks and Geeks).  I was afraid that Apatow’s particular brand of humor might be wearing thin, and even more afraid that this would simply be a bad rip off of The Hangover for girls.

Kristen Wiig: Ready to Party

But, for once, my high expectations were met, even exceeded — an outcome almost inconceivable in the current blockbuster market.  Bridesmaids is the most thoroughly enjoyable film I’ve seen in a theatre since The Hangover – and that’s really the only thing they have in common (thank god).  And I’m guessing the film’s success has little to do with Apatow and much more to do with Kristen Wiig.

Wiig not only starred in the film as Annie, best friend to bride-to-be Lillian, aka Maya Rudolph, but also co-wrote the movie with pal Annie Mumolo.  And although some doubted Wiig’s ability to pull off a movie, fearing that her humor might only be able to sustain itself for the brief duration of her hilarious skits on SNL or cameo roles, she created a fantastic movie that went places no wedding movie — or, hell, any major female film I can think of — has gone before.

Bridesmaids transcends the wedding movie genre.  Unlike those that went before it, this isn’t a movie about a girl who’s jealous of her friend’s relationship with her hubby (read: a girl who feels insecure because she doesn’t have a dude to call her own in a world where the only true success for a woman is an enviable marriage).  Yes, Bridesmaids involves jealousy and boys.  But it focuses on something more universal: big transitions where you can’t take your friends with you, where sometimes they get left behind.  Wiig plays a girl who’s jealous of her best friend’s entire life; a girl who feels that she’s moving through life too slow, watching a friend rush ahead of her, and fearing that she’ll lose her to a new life.  Essentially, Bridesmaids highlights the real tensions and joys of female friendship, in a way that doesn’t involve large doses of emotional exposition and/or Hugh Grant.

The Cast of Bridesmaids Keeping It Real

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are the perfect embodiment of real girl friends.  The two former SNL sketch buddies have great, goofy chemistry, and their on-screen relationship is totally watchable and spot-on, down to the dance moves.  Rose Byrne plays a fantastic up-stager, and the other three bridesmaids provide plenty of comic relief.  While I was worried that my darling Sookie (aka Melissa McCarthy) from Gilmore Girls was being played a bit too butch and ugly, her character developed slightly, and man did she get a big finish.  Mad Men‘s elegant Jon Hamm plays a small, but ridiculously hilarious role as the unrepentant douchebag “fuck buddy.”  And don’t worry, the plane scene from the trailer does not disappoint.

Never have I been more excited to see what comes next.  Death to tearjerkers and rom-coms that leave you with a sick, gushy feeling in the pit of your stomach!  Let’s put real, hilarious ladies up on that big screen from here on out.  I want to laugh with my girlfriends.  That includes you, Kristen Wiig.

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