Is Bridesmaids, the hit comedy starring Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig, mislabeled as a chick flick?
Certainly, it's drawn a huge audience from the girls-night-out crowd. But unlike many chick flicks, this one doesn't really have a courtship at its center, and it isn't fundamentally about choosing the right guy.
Rather, it raucously lampoons all the wedding rituals that so often entrance brides and their women friends, but leave the guys scratching their heads. From the fitting of the bridesmaids' dresses, to the excessive presents at showers, to the perfect caligraphy on the invitations, to carefully scripted champagne toasts, to ever-larger and grander cakes — Wiig and her co-writer, Annie Mumolo, take the guys' shrugging perspective on every aspect of planning for the Big Day. The movie exposes the insecurity behind so many brides' tearful need for everything to go perfectly, as if the wedding were more important than the marriage; it gently suggests that all these rituals, and the various protocols associated with them, do more to sever friendships than encourage them.
So who should be laughing at all this? Not just women. It's a tribute to the movie's genuine good humor and the sensitivity with which it explores women's relationships that it's provoking such guffaws from women of all ages. But the true audience — the one whose views are best expressed on the screen — is men.
Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures: Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Ellie Kemper in Bridesmaids.