Dialogue Review – Bridesmaids
Brandi: There are definitely a few jokes that fall flat, but with so many jokes flying, that is bound to happen. I don’t think there is a comedy out there that doesn’t have a few dud lines or set-ups. I have to say, though, although more often than not I’m not a fan of bodily function-related humor, “not funny at all” is definitely not the reaction I had to the food poisoning scene. I may have been groaning and covering my eyes a bit, but I was also laughing really hard. They just went so all out, there was no way to resist the momentum. Ditto for the virtuosic display of awkwardness that is the engagement party toast scene, which I think might be one of the bits you refer to. Like the famous The Simpsons stepping-on-multiple-rakes gag, the joke is funny, then goes on too long and isn’t so funny, then keeps going until it’s freaking hilarious again.
Execution of the joke set pieces aside, the other thing that makes this movie work is the emotional tone. Annie may do a lot of things that make us cringe, but we also have empathy for her at all times. Another major story thread involves her meeting a highway cop, Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), who develops a crush on her in spite of her crazy behavior (and perpetually burned-out taillights). Annie’s bad luck in love has been personified through her ill-advised hook-ups with epic douchebag Ted (Jon Hamm!), but the movie doesn’t delve into man-hating (another thing some guys might fear about a female-driven ensemble comedy). The connection between Annie and Rhodes is sweet, funny, and real…even if Annie is, of course, going to mess it up again.
Allen: The romance between Annie and Rhodes is funny and sweet. Real? Not sure about that. I will agree with you that they have very good chemistry together, and the times where they are simply talking together were very effective. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the Meet-Separate-Meet aspect of their relationship. Obviously, in a film like this we come expect something routine like that, but the way it was put together didn’t work for me. I can’t get too deep into it without giving away spoilers, so what I’ll say is: one of the biggest pet peeves I have with romantic comedies is when the person who wasn’t at fault for putting the relationship in jeopardy is the one who ends up running back to the other person. One of these characters makes a complete shift in the way they see things, for what seems to be the simple fact to provide a happy ending.
Brandi: It’s “movie real,” Allen, at least give me that! You are just not cutting any slack today.
I know you did enjoy this movie for the most part, even though since I pretty much loved it, you’re forced to talk about the flaws more. It does seem like you had some problems with the way it was put together, whereas I actually was impressed by that. I was totally on board with the flow and momentum, and certain story beats that you obviously found too formulaic just worked for me, because I was very invested in the characters, with the actors absolutely selling those moments as well.
Allen: Well, it’s pretty obvious that I’m playing devil’s advocate here. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this movie a lot, and I did think it was successful in pretty much everything it set out to do. But, as I was watching it, I thought to myself, “ok, so why am I not liking this movie as much as I should?” Perhaps it was more me than the film itself, and how I was feeling at the time I watched it, but something kept me from laughing at every joke (as you were pretty much doing from beginning to end). I’m still going to give the film a high grade, and I do think it’s the best movie to come out this weekend, but I don’t know if I’ll be in a rush to see it again anytime soon. Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age. Or maybe I just don’t find people pooping in to a sink to be very funny.
Brandi: Ok, I’m not saying pooping into a sink is intrinsically funny…but pooping into a sink while trying not to get any on the thousand dollar chiffon? Come on, at least it’s original.
I definitely am in a rush to see this again. I wasn’t just laughing the whole time, I was laughing in a way that is usually reserved for when you’re sitting around with close friends, a few drinks deep, and everyone is telling stories, giving each other shit, and being the most outrageous, hilarious, unfiltered versions of themselves. The more I think about Bridesmaids, the more I appreciate it. I acknowledge that it’s not without flaws, but it gave me a flawless feeling. And for that, I grade it accordingly.