Summer Movie Alert: Girls Gone Biled

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More TV shows are headed the way of the buffalo. Did anyone THINK S#$%^ My Dad Says would get to last another season? I love William Shatner as much as anyone, but he may be the only reason the show stuck around as long as it did. At a dinner party on Friday night I was soundly chastised for my indefatigable support of Mr. Sunshine. Intelligent, well-spoken people told me I was jut plain foolish. And yes, it’s been cancelled. Like Cop Rock. Like Firefly. Like Moonlight. Or Pepper Dennis. But does that mean it was a bad show?

They said that if Bridesmaids did well, it would open the door for plenty of other movies with lady casts. Well, make way for lots more raunchy gal comedies enroute to a theater near you because the film did marvelously well. Put it this way, $10 million dollars is a lot of cheese, but if you earned $10 million dollars less than Thor, and nobody else even came close, you’d probably be over the moon. Precisely what the Bridesmaids people should be.  Plus, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Rose Byrne probably shouldn’t plan big vacations any time soon either, since all will be working steadily in the wake of their knockout performances well into the next century.

Everyone knew Bridesmaids would be funny. The trailers alone probably had the suits behind The Hangover Part Deux just a teensy bit nervous. But it really is beyond delicious. It’s also intelligent, and at the risk of using a dumb word like “thoughtful”, let me just say that if Bridesmaids was just mono-dimensionally hilarious  (even ridiculously so) it still wouldn’t be half the movie it turns out to be. The reviews, too, are curious because in their loud and hearty “bravos” many of the guys writing things seem to be couching remarks in a “Holy smokes…we thought girls could be funny but, um, wow…” sort of way. It’s as though they’re tickled and shocked that ladies could actually be both party to and incredibly, behind the shenanigans in this film. Which are smart, hopeless, hapless, and truly riotous. And not a little grotesque sometimes. Most importantly is the fact that here’s a movie with all the tried and true bridesmaids/upcoming wedding tropes in place, only it then manages to turn stock characters on their sides. They’re by turns likeable and then not so much — and even if this sounds easy to do, in a broad genre comedy it’s not; key and unusual here is a heroine that you admire and pity, with bony shoulders you want to put your arm around and a neck that invites frequent wringing. Kristen Wiig is evidently more than free to fly the SNL nest if ever and whenever she chooses, having proven herself in a deliriously funny, smart way. Melissa McCarthy is pure genius, and Rose Byrne takes a character that’s been done to death and makes her luminously hateful and therefore all the more human for the rest of us. It’s a crack ensemble cast, ably aided and abetted by Jon Hamm (it will be a sad day if he ever decides not to be that guy in other people’s films and TV shows anymore).

I suspect this movie will be in theaters for a very long time; word of mouth is tremendous, and rightly so. Kristen Wiig and co. have put together a film that  is a) funny in and of itself, b) funny compared to the summer comedies the men have traditionally owned, c) groundbreaking in a category that’s long been impenetrable because it’s so done, and d) funny without ever being mean-spirited (see ‘b’). If you’re looking for something to watch this week, go see Bridesmaids.

Today’s poll:

Bridesmaids is now in theaters. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these other wedding movies is your favorite:

1)   Bride Wars

2)   Father of the Bride

3)   Four Weddings and a Funeral

4)   Wedding Crashers

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