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Movie review: 'Bridesmaids,' 3.5 stars

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids
3.5 stars
Directed by Paul Feig
Starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne
Rated R

Despite some token gross-out humor and clichéd plot devices, “Bridesmaids” is a refreshing laugh-out-loud comedy that will hopefully convince studios that chick flicks are not the only kind of female-driven movies worth their while, and that female-driven movies are not just for female audiences.

Though her “Saturday Night Live” characters have long worn thin, Kristen Wiig positively dazzles in “Bridesmaids.” Her character, Annie, is a single thirty-something inching closer to a mid-life nadir. Complicating matters is the fact that her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), is getting married and has enlisted her as maid of honor. The wedding planning wouldn’t be so bad if one of the bridesmaids (Rose Byrne) — a gorgeous trophy wife — wasn’t threatening to replace Annie as Lillian’s BFF.

“Bridesmaids” trots out scene after scene of wedding planning gone awry: A trip to the bridal shop becomes an afternoon of foul horrors when the bridesmaids get food poisoning from a restaurant picked by Annie. The bachelorette party is prematurely ruined when Annie, drugged and liquored up, gets arrested on the flight to Vegas. Wiig delivers the comedy with complete abandon, and her level of commitment is nothing but rewarding for the audience.

The laughs are more genuine because Annie’s torment is so painfully real: She’s on the verge of losing her best friend, her baking career is in the gutter, she sleeps with jerks and runs away from nice men. The script, co-written by Wiig, makes her strife relatable. It also makes her dialogue with Chris O’Dowd (one of the nice men) some of the most believable flirting I’ve ever seen in a movie.

The humor occasionally turns one-note and a few scenes go on too long, but “Bridesmaids” is a terrific summer comedy with keen emotional intelligence and appeal for men and women alike.

 

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