Annie’s life is falling apart. She has no relationship with her mom. Her business has recently failed. She has no love life and the one guy she is involved with is a douche of the highest order. The only constant and positive aspect of her life is her lifelong best friend Lillian, but Lillian is now spending most of her time in Chicago, nearly an hour away, and now Lillian has announced she’s moving there because she’s engaged. Annie is essentially on the verge of a nervous breakdown when Lillian asks her to be the maid of honor and pairs her up with Lillian’s new best friend the all to together and seemingly perfect Helen. It is the straw that breaks the camels back.
What makes a comedy great? Is it the story? Is it the emotional bits that function to keep the story arch and character development going? Or is it just laughs? There are many comedies we can all think of that may be full of gags and laughs but that didn’t stick with us because they lacked the other elements. It’s rare that a comedy has all these elements firing on all pistons. Bridesmaids is no exception. I left feeling like it wasn’t that great because I didn’t care much at all about the emotional arch of the Annie character. I love Kristen Wiig, but it seemed like, for most of the movie, she was just doing her character from most of her movie appearances but just amped up a bit. At the same time, I laughed my ass off in this movie, more than any other comedy I can remember in a good long time. So, what does this mean? If I give the main story line a B-, does that mean the movie is a B-?
I don’t think that’s fair. Plus, as time passed I began to think more kindly on the Annie character and like her a bit more and also came to realize that excluding such an emotional aspect of the movie would have made it just another Apatow-helmed dirty mouthed gross out comedy. While I like some of his movies of such an ilk, it’s been done and, lately, done way too often. Instead, it was like those movies but worked slightly better, to where I am still thinking about the story and movie now, still mentally invested in the characters.
But, hands down, 100%, without a doubt, the absolute best thing about this movie was Melissa McCarthy. Her character, Megan, was easily the funniest character I’ve seen in a solid decade. She took what could have been a completely forgettable side character and totally nailed it, to the point that, by the end of the movie, her merely being on screen made me laugh. From the first moment she speaks to the roll of the credits, she kept my attention and made me laugh like I haven’t laughed in years. Hilarious! So, in the end, I felt so so about some of the storyline aspects of the movie, but it was a decent story that was very well acted and it consistently made me laugh and, after all, isn’t that what a comedy is aiming to do?