The NME Weekend Movie Guide, this week featuring...one movie? "What?! One movie! That's not a guide that's a review." Correct! Here's a review of the only significant release, Bridesmaids, featuring lots of talk about *puts on patronising voice* a film made by girly worlies that is funny wunny...
The Big Release
Manolos and Members. Stilettos and Stiffies. Wedges and Wangs. To an alien race using Hollywood movies of the last few years as their only guide, the twin-gunned subjects of 'shoes and cock' would be all that they'd envisage the fairer species desire.
From Sex And The City and its sequel, to the 2008 remake of The Women (a film so spirit-crushing it envisioned Annette Benning as a Terminator shopping) female centred comedies, while never in steady supply, will far to often opt for the easy sell, ergo; Women crave nothing more than to shop. Men, if you can get one, are shit.
Raise a pint then to the writer's of Bridesmaids, Kirsten Wiig and Annie Numolo. A pair you can happily imagine (if you're so inclined) throwing used tampons in the general direction of the aforementioned films. A writing duo so joyous in their steadfast reluctance to conform to any 'sister's are doing it for themselves' stereotype their infectiousness leaps from the page into every scene of the funniest and, quite astutely, most universal, film of the year.
When Annie (Kristen Wiig) is informed of her best friend Lilian's (Maya Rudolph) upcoming nuptials she is both scared shitless at the duties she must, as the Maid of Honour, undertake and petrified by where her own life, single and jobless, is heading. The pre-wedding festivities prove a painful distraction to the chief Bridesmaid as she struggles to keep all in the party pleased.
The concept of a comedy centring on a 'gang of friends preparing for the last days of freedom before an impending marriage' seems painfully close to 'The Hangover for girls' -it even features an overweight, socially awkward sibling of the groom- but Bridesmaids is much more than a copy of the lost-night sleeper from two summers ago.
For starters the central pairing of Wiig and Rudolph appear born to be best friends. Their relationship contains, in the opening minute and a half, more genuine compassion and commonality than most comedies pour into an entire feature. If there are faults within the film, (and it's by no means perfect) chief among them would be the lack of screentime the bezzie mates get together.
The men, meanwhile, are a touch more one note. Be it Mad Men's Jon Hamm as the dictionary definition of 'Bastard' or The I.T.Crowd's Chris O'Dowd as the 'world's nicest policeman'TM, both lack a unique quality to distance themselves from the 'one she shouldn't be with' and 'the one she should'.
But then Bridesmaids isn't a rom-com even though there are rom-com staples within. Instead, it's the story of someone putting their life back on track after waddling through a shit-stream of self pity. And self pity is one of the most universally shared egocentrisms going.
Self pity and laughter, it's what seperates us from the animals. Except the hyenas. They hate themselves.
Containing the same mix of 'heart and hurl' as producer Judd Apatow's other work (The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad) Bridesmaids is a film for everyone and one that features some of the finest comedy set-pieces since Mary put spunk in her hair.
The Best Film Still Showing
Apart from a poor title (that you will repeatedly call Steak House by accident) and a plot that seems lifted off the similar sounding Zombieland, Stake Land is a pretty great example of what you can do with a few simple ideas and a small(ish) budget. If you're looking for a fun time this weekend, watch Bridesmaids, if you're looking for something all together bleaker, head over and stake a claim for Stake Land.
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