Co-written by and starring Kristen Wiig (you know, the Target cashier from the Saturday Night Live skits), Bridesmaids tells the story of Annie, a thirty-something year old searching for meaning in her unraveling life as she navigates - or perhaps more accurately, fails to navigate - the minefield that comes along with being her best friend's Maid of Honor. Bridesmaids is well written, well acted and, most of all, just funny.
In the not-too-distant past, Annie had it all including a meaningful relationship and her own a bakery. But things didn't work out so well. The bakery went under which prompted her boyfriend to dump her. She was left broke, unemployeed and emotionally devastated.
As the movie opens, Annie is just going through the motions of her life. She has an unsatisfying, low-paying job working for a local jewery store. She shares an apartment with an out-of-touch, quirky roommate and his permanently visiting sister. The only male companionship she has in her life is from an increasinly dysfunctional arrangement with a guy who uses her when it suits him.
The single bright spot in Annie's life is her life-long friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) who, before long, announces that she's engaged. Of course, she asks Annie to be her Maid of Honor. As is sometimes the case with wedding parties, Lillian's bridesmaids consist of two distinct groups a people: Annie whom she's known for all of her life and everybody else who, although close to Lillian, have come into her life more recently. In particular, one of the new-life bridesmaids is Helen - a rich, seemingly perfect, well-connected socialite. In short order, Helen begins encroching on what is rightfully Annie's territory. What follows is an on-going sequence of Annie attempting to do right by her life-long friend through heartfelt, albeit modest, fulfillment of her duties as the Maid of Honor only to be outdone by Helen in extreme, over-the-top fashion. Eventually, Annie loses it causing Lillian to not only make Helen the Maid of Honor but also to completely uninvite Annie from the wedding.
At the same time, Annie's life outside of the wedding continues along its downward spiral. She loses her job and her roommate kicks her out of the apartment. In what seems like it might be an exception to the rule, Annie manages to develop a promising relationship with a Highway Patrol Officer named Nathan (Chris O'Dowd). But before long she sabbotages it through her own self-destructive reactiveness.
Likely, nobody will be surprised where Bridesmaids ends up; although, the path that it chooses to get there includes a few curious choices. Based on what I had heard of the movie prior to seeing it, I fully expected the on-screen hilarity. What I wasn't expecting was the extent to which the movie had a serious side. Kristen Wiig is really good at conveying subtle moments of uncomfortablly honest introspection, which she does at numerous times throughout the story. Occassionally, however, I felt like the movie wasn't sure how to reconcile its two different personalities. What the movie may lack in certain areas of storytelling it more than makes up for with laugh-out-loud comedy. If you like laughing (and who doesn't?), Bridesmaids is a movie you should check out.