★ ★ 1/2
After many pleads from my girlfriend, I finally relented and watched this movie with her. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be from the title and premise, but it definitely wasn’t that entertaining of a film either.
Directed by Paul Feig, the movie focuses on the misadventures of, guess what, a group of bridesmaids at friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. Annie, who is portrayed by Kristin Wiig, has been Lillian’s friend since childhood and the two are nearly inseparable. Having owned a now defunct bakery and her life pretty much in the gutter, it is a bit difficult for her to hear her best friend is going to get married, but she is wildly excited when it is announced that she will be the maid of honor. However, as the plot begins to unfurl, it shows that Annie’s ability to coordinate all the duties of being the maid of honor are far inferior to Lillian’s new friend and wife of her fiancee’s boss, Helen (Rose Byrne). The story continues through the feuding of Helen and Annie, as well as the continued downward spiral of Annie’s life, and a romance with a police officer (Chris O’Dowd) is even thrown into the mix as a subplot.
Where and when it has become acceptable to produce comedies over two hours long is beyond me. It’s just too damn long; comedies are meant to amuse and travel at a pace that holds the comedic element. When you drag gags and situations out too long, they quit being funny. Furthermore, unless you have an extremely detailed plot beyond that of the mishaps of a group of bridesmaids, you just don’t have the structure to entertain for that amount of time. A large part of this trend, I believe, comes from the recent phenomena of comedies letting 90% of their film be improvisations. Sure, letting actors improv in a comedy can produce some amusing elements in the film, but when you just roll cameras with an idea and let them carry on during every scene, you get some hits and a lot of misses. When you look at the better comedies of all-time, you will notice certain elements that seemingly hold true: a tight, well conceived script that generally runs an hour and half or so, incredibly odd or amusing characters and a pacing that continuously moves forward. This film didn’t have any of those elements. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t good. But, again, better than I thought based on the title and synopsis.