When a movie is marketed by a poster featuring six women in candy pink dresses, it brings to mind a certain kind movie. Despite its title and leading cast, it is not a chick flick. It is a flick with chicks in it, certainly, but it was not just a movie for women. It doesn’t fall back on all the stereotypes comedies about women usually are plagued with. The main character doesn’t fall into an improbable love triangle, nor does she define herself or justify her existence based on a man’s attention.
Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the script, stars as Annie, a thirty-something woman who is down on her luck after her bakery goes out of business. When her lifelong best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets unexpectedly engaged, Annie finds her life spiraling out control as she competes for attention with the insipid Helen (Rose Byrne), who wants to take control of the wedding. The other bridesmaids (Ellie Kemper, Wendi Covey-McLendon) aren’t a lot of help with her predicament, aside from the groom’s butch sister, Megan (Melissa McCarthy). She’s dating a jerk (Jon Hamm) who’s just using her for sex, and when a sweet police officer (the hilariously wonderful Chris O’Dowd) tries to romance her, she keeps him at a distance because of her fear of rejection.
The problems the movie has don’t outweigh all the good. For one, it’s a bit too long at 125 minutes. Several scenes drag on too long, and it gets a little strained towards the end. It also seems to be trying a little too hard to be funny in some spots. It goes for a bit of obvious gross out humor, which cheapens the movie.
However, this movie succeeds where many other fail by proving that for a comedy to truly work, it needs to have heart. This isn’t a vapid, shallow movie, but instead a character driven one. It’s not a two hours of women planning a wedding, it’s about a woman who has hit rock bottom and has to face unpleasant truths about herself. The scenarios are all ones that could happen in real life, giving it a relatability most comedies don’t have. There are many downright hilarious moments, all of which are either delivered by Kristen Wiig, Chris O’Dowd, or Melissa McCarthy, who steals just about every scene she’s in. I’d love to see more of all three of them, because it was great to see atypical stars instead of the over processed actors that appear in most movies.
Here’s the bottom line: this is an intelligent, well written movie. Despite it’s flaws, it comes out as a winner. Don’t let the pink dresses fool you, it’s a movie everyone can enjoy, regardless of gender. Do yourself a favor and go see it.