The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Bridesmaids playing at Woodland Theater

Staff Writer, Katie Bast and Currents Editor, Martha Landry take sides on the 2011 chick flick featuring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph

By Kaite Bast

4/5 stars

We’re all over that “women aren’t funny” thing, right? Ladies have been proving that argument false time and again for decades, but people seem to keep forgetting. Every once in a while, a movie comes along that reminds people women are just as funny as men. In 2011, it was “Bridesmaids.”

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Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the script, plays Annie. When her childhood best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged, Annie’s rocky life hits bottom. Her own problems are brought to the surface as she finds herself in the middle of a ragtag bridal party made up of Lillian’s cousin (Wendi McLendon-Covey), co-worker (Ellie Kemper), future sister-in-law (Melissa McCarthy) and her perfect new best friend, Helen (Rose Byrne).

The comedy in the movie doesn’t come from one-liners as much as from situations. Most people point to certain scenes as their favorites: the airplane scene, the trashing-the-bridal-shower scene, the one-upping-speeches scene and who can forget the puking-at-the-bridal-shop scene.

The trouble here is if you don’t find humor in the situation, you’re stuck watching it play out for a few minutes. So if you have a weak stomach, you may want to avoid the food poisoning scene.

That’s not to say the writing is lacking. Wiig and her co-writer Annie Mumalo draw the humor out of awkward, even gross, situations with the best of them. But they also have a knack for writing complex relationships.

At the beginning of the movie, Annie’s relationship with Lillian is really the only functional one in her life. She has a failed business, an unsteady relationship with her mom, invasive roommates and a noncommittal boyfriend.

Annie’s journey throughout the film is rare in this type of comedy. As she puts her life back together, she realizes what’s really important to her. Don’t be surprised if the heart-to-heart between Wiig and McCarthy brings a tear to your eye.

In a movie so focused on female friendships, it’s important that the two lead women have good chemistry. Wiig and Rudolph, who worked together on Saturday Night Live, play off each other effortlessly, from “improvising inside jokes at a coffee shop to screaming at each other like sisters.

Wiig and Byrne play catty without being too stereotypical. It would be easy for them to fall into the trope of women hating each other for no reason. Each character has her reasons for disliking the other and they’re both able to put their differences aside and work together when necessary.

Every movie has its scene-stealers and Melissa McCarthy definitely stole “Bridesmaids.” Her work earned her a supporting actress Oscar nod. I’ve been a fan of McCarthy since her “Gilmore Girls” days and I remember being delightfully surprised when I saw she had been cast in this movie.

Let’s just say I’ll never look at my dear, sweet Sookie (McCarthy’s “Gilmore Girls” character) the same way again. McCarthy made a name for herself with Bridesmaids and has been a staple of the comedy scene ever since.

As a fan of Wiig, Rudolph, and McCarthy, I was very excited for this movie to come out. Even two years later, it’s still one of my favorites. It’s gotten a lot of praise, as well as a lot of criticism, and honestly, there are legitimate critiques of this movie that are fair and true. Writing it off as a gross-out female-version of “The Hangover” is a little harsh.

“Bridesmaids” captures the realities of life and friendships, while still managing to make them funny and heart-warming.


By Martha Landry

2/5 stars
So, I know that I am hardcore against the grain with my opinion of “Bridesmaids” but I am just so unimpressed with the movie. It has a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and The New York Times said it “goes where no typical chick flick does: the gutter” while still calling it “unexpectedly funny new comedy.” The professionals would know better than me, but I still really dislike this movie.

While watching it, I could not get over the so incredible awkwardness of the dialogue. Not in a ‘haha this is awkward…’ but in a ‘seriously, I feel uncomfortable and am blatantly not enjoying this’ way.

How the story goes … Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) are best pals and have been since childhood. Annie’s life totally sucks and Lillian’s is going just great. Lil has a new, rich pal, is recently engaged and basically is
leading a stellar life.

Annie, with her life totally falling apart, is not cool with Lillian’s new friend and as the wedding plans progress, the chaos gets crazier and crazier. The movie follows the wedding plans­—dress fittings, bachelorette party, bridal party — and is just a bunch of shenanigans unfolding before the audience’s eyes, which are all Annie’s fault (durr).

What is actually refreshing about this movie is that it is a chick flick that isn’t coated in glitter or paint women in a helpless light. There is real humor and is definitely portrays more real women who are not perfect.

Positives of the movie:

There is a star-studded cast.

— Jon Hamm: In this movie he steps far away from Don Draper as Annie’s casual hookup buddy. He is hilarious and fantastic and dirty and I think I love him. Even though it is a pretty small role and he plays a kind of terrible person … it is great. He even uses the word dingus at one point.

— Rebel Wilson: She is the master of hilariously awkward humor (whereas Kristen Wiig is just weird). Again, she plays a small role as Annie’s roommate, but that is what makes — it perfect.

— Melissa McCarthy: She the best character in the entire movie. Hands down. As a fellow bridesmaid, she mixes up the typical girly wedding plans. She has dry humor and killer delivery. Also, I’m jealous of her puppy stealing skills.

The movie also takes place (sometimes) in Wisconsin! Go Sconnie!

Negatives of the movie:

There is the infamous, erm, dress fitting scene. Not to give away the big humor, but it is so gross. So gross! Food poisoning and couture is just not a good mix. Sorry I’m lame and can’t handle some intense toilet humor, but it is actually just gross.

Annie is just not an appealing person at all. They totally failed on making her a character that we all feel sorry for once her life turns to crap. Right off the bat her life is totally awful from LITERALLY every aspect but don’t worry.

Everything classically pulls itself together into a magical singing, dancing, Disney ending. Just kidding. I wouldn’t ruin the ending like that.

Although, I did like all of the different actors and actresses in the movie, there are too many people and story lines. Many of them never are resolved even though pretty major things occur to these people!

For the record, the Irish cop definitely takes the cake for best part of the movie. A. He is Irish. With a great accent. B. He isn’t awkward (a much needed break from all the insane, horrid awkwardness.) C. He mountain bikes. D. He hates littering.

Done deal.

The movie is definitely worth a watch and I’m sure everyone will love it. I just don’t because I’m a fun-sucker and don’t enjoy humor according to my Spectator coworkers.

“Bridesmaids” is playing at
7 p.m. Friday, April 5
7 p.m. Saturday, April 6
2 p.m. Sunday, April 7
at the Woodland
Theater of Davies Center

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Bridesmaids playing at Woodland Theater