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Nordling Says BRIDESMAIDS Is The Best Date Movie In Years!

Nordling here.

The term "chick flick" connotates that there are specific films based on gender, and I just don't think that's true.  A great film transcends its subject matter, and if it's a compelling story, who cares who it's supposedly aimed at?  I'd call TERMS OF ENDEARMENT a film that may be aimed at women, but has enough going on in it that anyone could watch it and be moved.

Comedies aimed at women have an especially rough time of it, mostly, because the women in them don't act like real women.  Instead we get supposedly successful women who completely lose all rational thought when a guy enters the picture.  Call it the Someone's Going To Fall Into The Wedding Cake Syndrome.  These films are predictable and insulting, because people who live in the real world know that women with ambition simply don't act like that.   Hell, women in general just don't act like that.  When guys are dragged to the latest Katherine Heigl or Kate Hudson comedy, we cringe because, face it, it's frustrating to watch people act so stupidly.  But we endure it because hey, there might be boob after.

All I can say is thank Goddess for Kristen Wiig, because she takes a flamethrower to the whole "chick flick" concept with BRIDESMAIDS, laughing as she burns all those preconceptions down.  BRIDESMAIDS is funny, heartfelt, and people act like real people in it instead of caricatures.  No one falls into a wedding cake, but someone does take a dump in a sink, so that's something.

Annie (Wiig) has been knocked around a bit by life.  She's a "fuckbuddy" to Ted (an uncredited and hilarious Jon Hamm), her bakery is a casualty of the recession, and her roommates are a creepy British brother/sister combo who can't seem to stay out of her room.  The only two stable relationships in her life are with her mother (Jill Clayburgh in her last performance, and she's wonderful) and her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who she's known since childhood.  Annie isn't content with her life, but she's in a downward funk and she doesn't know how to get out of it.  When Lillian announces her engagement and names Annie as her maid of honor, she takes her responsibilities in stride, but she keeps getting cockblocked (or maybe that's vagina-blocked) by uber-bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne) who constantly upstages everything Annie does.  As her life spirals out of control, Annie tries to do the best for her friend, but she can't seem to get a grip, and only a friendly cop (Chris O'Dowd) seems to offer any kind of stability.

Paul Feig's direction is perfect, with terrific comic timing.  The film never drags.  The script, by Wiig and Annie Mumolo (who has a funny turn as a nervous airline passenger) is whip-smart, hilarious, and best of all, has real people doing real things in it.  Annie is a completely realized character, and it's a credit to Wiig's acting and the script that her path in the film is charted out so well.  Wiig's extremely funny, and always commands your attention.  I've never been a huge fan of her work on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, but here, she's terrific.  Most actors or actresses don't get nominated for parts like this because the hoi polloi don't take these kinds of roles seriously, but Wiig's Annie is a star-making performance, and I think it should be recognized.

Maya Rudolph is also quite good as Lillian, who feels a duty to Annie, even as Annie falls apart in front of her.  I really liked Rose Byrne as Helen.  Her role in other films like this would simply be the villain - in a lesser film she'd be the one to go into the cake - but she garners sympathy even as you want to wring her neck.  But the woman who steals the movie from everyone is Melissa McCarthy's Megan.  She's a riot in every scene she's in, but she isn't simply exploited comic relief - she's a whole, confident woman and makes no apologies for who she is.  I'd love to have a person like Megan in my corner.

The film doesn't hesitate to go crude - a sequence at a bridal fitting turns into the stuff of nightmares - and the characters cuss like sailors.  You can tell from much of the dialogue that this is straight out of the Judd Apatow roster, but it's a very focused film for all that.  It isn't afraid to let a comedic scene play out, like an impromptu flight to Las Vegas that has Annie's aerophobia kick in, but each scene turns a corner and plays with sharp efficiency.  But laughs aren't much of anything if the film doesn't have heart, and BRIDESMAIDS has that and more to spare.  You care for these characters and want the best for them, and the best comedies are those where you can see the ending from a ways off, but it gets there with grace and skill.  BRIDESMAIDS is surprising and engaging and never takes the cheap, sentimental road.  The emotions it raises are earned.

I'm going to crack open the seal for this one - BRIDESMAIDS is one of the best films of the year.  I think this one is the "chick flick" that the guys will be dragging their significant others to, and they'll both have a great time with it.  No one will feel guilty, or frustrated, or stupid.  You'll laugh from the gut, and get that warm feeling that only a great comedy can give you, when everything is clicking, and all is right with the world.  And hey, there might be boob after.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 12, 2011, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Mojo Nixon!

    by deelzbub

    is the new first.

  • May 12, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST


    by gruemanlives


  • May 12, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST


    by Darkseidsboytoy

  • May 12, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST


    by gruemanlives

  • May 12, 2011, 10:35 p.m. CST

    good review

    by deelzbub

    might actually suffer thru this one w/ the wife.

  • May 12, 2011, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Thanks Nordling

    by Tim Hendon

    Anyone who complains/snarks about Nordling needs a reality check. Thanks for delivering another quality review. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  • May 12, 2011, 10:43 p.m. CST

    WONDER WOMAN DOA - NBC Passes on series

    by wierdo27

    hurry up AICN...I wanna read the talkback!

  • May 12, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by Tim Hendon

    Thanks for a review that is (at least after a single read) devoid of typos or obvious grammatical errors. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I think that if you are going to put something out for millions of people to read, proper proofing matters!

  • May 12, 2011, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry...

    by xoandre

    But just the fact that none of the women in any of the trailers appears in the least bit even remotely attractive will turn off a lot of guys. Sure Wiig may be kinda hot, but she grosses people out with her standard schtick (all that is shown of her in teh trailers seems to be all we have seen so many times before on SNL)... I might watch it if it airs on TV in a year or so, but I really could care less. I had no idea that anyone could stand looking another few seconds at Maya Rudolph, as she is one of the most ugly women I have ever seen. I know and expect backlash about this, but I hold to my words and opinions: no thanks!

  • May 12, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST


    by 7Cal

    Often find myself agreeing with Nordling's reviews, but this trailer did absolutely nothing for me. I don't mind Wiig on SNL, and could tell from the trailer this is probably better than the "standard chick flick", but I've seen maybe one chick flick in the last 10 years (the one with Matthew McConnaughey and Kate Hudson, when they're treasure hunters. Oh, and the Ashton Kutcher one in Vegas. Ok, two). Anyhow, yeah, I didn't laugh once at the trailer and will be giving this a pass.

  • May 12, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't One Have to Have Had A Date?

    by reggie_dunlop order to title an article as this one is titled?

  • Please make KICK-ASS 2 happen people!!!

  • May 12, 2011, 11:25 p.m. CST


    by wierdo27

    what can I say you don't already know? good luck with the opposite sex, romeo.

  • May 12, 2011, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Note to Forumers....

    by Bob

    Your right hand doesn't count as a date.

  • May 12, 2011, 11:32 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    It's getting great reviews and it just might be pretty funny. However, someone said there were no hot chicks? Rose Byrne? Hello? Rose Byrne is pretty smokin' hot. And Ellie Kemper, who plays Erin on The Office, has a very decent body.

  • May 12, 2011, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by VonThunderballs

    i think i will just watch meet the feebles again

  • May 12, 2011, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Whip It was the first and only great chick flick I've ever seen

    by antonphd

    I've seen it 3 times and it's great every time. But i think we have a second great in this movie.

  • I have $10 in movie cash from the Blu Ray of 40 Year Old Virgin I got at best buy. Might have to give it a look.

  • May 12, 2011, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Hey Nordling

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Get someone to post the Horrible Bosses trailer, I want to have a TB where we all talk about how awesome Charlie Day is.

  • May 13, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Apatow must be a ghost writer


  • May 13, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Why the fuck are you guys reviewing Bridesmaids??

    by LowDevil

    Anyone know of a better site? Im serious

  • May 13, 2011, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Horrible Bosses looks better than this

    by RobertoInfinite

  • May 13, 2011, 12:23 a.m. CST

    A better site? Try any and all other movie sites.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

  • May 13, 2011, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Hell, "Little Billy (age 6 and a half) reviews movies" is a better site.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Even Little Billy hated that Justin Bieber crap.

  • May 13, 2011, 12:26 a.m. CST

    stuf, you're still clicking on this site because......

    by RobertoInfinite

  • May 13, 2011, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Kristen Wiig is NOT funny. Never has been.

    by JuanSanchez

  • May 13, 2011, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Is Richard Ayoade in this?

    by Loosejerk

    Can't have Roy without Moss.

  • May 13, 2011, 1:03 a.m. CST

    they're reviewing it because its produced by Judd Appatow


    ever heard of him

  • May 13, 2011, 1:15 a.m. CST

    This movie killed last night...

    by gaygoonie

    I saw it in a packed theater with a mostly male crowd and they went bananas for it. Whoever said women aren't funny needs to see this and then go away forever.

  • May 13, 2011, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Women can be funny. Kristen Wiig just isn't.

    by JuanSanchez

  • May 13, 2011, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Why are you called Nordling?

    by Citizin_insane

  • May 13, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    YOU find Kristen Wiig unfunny. that doesn't make her unfunny. you might be allergic to peanuts, that doesn't mean I am. You might be threatened by funny women and therefore show up in talkbacks to denigrate them...that doesn't mean we all do. (I'm not saying that's what you're might have a legitimate reason to not find Kristen Wiig funny for all I know. maybe you're mentalyl challenged, I don't know)

  • May 13, 2011, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Look at the Poster

    by Tim Hendon

    5/6 of those girls are attractive. That being said I would go to this movie for laughs, not for eye candy. Besides, WTF is wrong with reviewing Bridesmaids? I don't get that. Nordling got it right- take a girl to a funny movie (one that she might laugh at too!) and you may actually have a good time during and after the show. You can stay home and be angry! You know. The usual? Your choice. It's still a free country while supplies last.

  • May 13, 2011, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Crazy Stupid Love

    by MageKage

    You think this was good, just wait til you see Crazy Stupid Love. Having already seen both it and Bridesmaids, I can say it (the former) is the comedy to beat this summer (in terms of quality).

  • May 13, 2011, 6:20 a.m. CST

    romantic crap!!!

    by nightmute

    In these chick flicks, the heroine only ever falls for a gymn-honed hunk, who of course is kind, sensitive, funny and absolutely considerate of the chick's feelings. If he was kind, sensitive, funny etc and looked very average, she wouldn't fall for him. Which makes her a bitch, so why should I invest time and money watching a bitch fall for a pretty-boy? And why would I take a date to see a movie so she can drool over a male lead who is more perfect than I or any man ever could be? So she can look at me afterwards and think, Christ, you're ugly? Oh but wait, it's all just romantic fun. I forgot.

  • May 13, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    WTF is this shit the female version of Hangover?

    by Stalkeye

    I was one of the few who could give two shits about Hangover, and I'm avoiding this one as well.

  • May 13, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    yeah, because guys will only pay attention to women

    by oisin5199

    if they're hot. Nice way to represent your gender. Douchebag.

  • May 13, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Performer vs character portrayal

    by Sonny_Williams

    I've posted elsewhere about this. Juansanchez is one of those misguided souls who can't separate a performer from their character portrayals. Many people find the majority of Kristen Wiig's recurring characters on SNL highly irritating and unfunny, and I am one of them. HOWEVER, that has no bearing on the fact that Kristen is very talented and funny. Her movie roles have demonstrated this over and over. So kindly fuck off with this "Kristen Wiig is not funny" bullshit, because it IS bullshit!

  • May 13, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    What happened to Maya Rudolph?


    She used to be hot. Now she looks like a pug that needs to be put down.

  • May 13, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Hey, Nordling, does Kristen Wiig have tiny doll arm in this?


  • May 13, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST

    So, here's the pitch: It's Hangover, but with Chicks!


    They should have made the fat chick a bearded lady to take the place of Zach. Now, that would've been funny.

  • May 13, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Jon Hamm is contractually obligated to be in every film

    by JacksParasites

    Little known fact. He's actually inside the vault during the Fast Five car chase and plays Thor's hammer in Thor. But I stand behind the term "chick flick" because while it's true that great films are appreciated regardless of gender, "chick flick" refers to a specific category of films that are specifically marketed to female audiences AND typically don't appeal to most heterosexual men. If it appealed to men, we wouldn't call that film a "chick flick."

  • May 13, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Seriously, Nordling, I want to know what happened to Maya Rudolph


  • May 13, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST



    She was supposed to be the hot ex-girlfreind in MacGruber. I almost puked during the sex scene. Not sure what's going on.

  • May 13, 2011, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Wiig is just AWFUL at comedy

    by Detective_Fingerling

    She has this monotone awkward schtick that just makes me want to tear open a bag of potato chips and stomp around. She literally plays one note over and over and over and over again. That said, I am seeing this tomorrow with my girlfriend and I'm pretty sure it's going to be good. It also allows me to get her to go see the next action/horror movie I want to see because she "dragged me to go see Bridesmaids."

  • May 13, 2011, 9:01 p.m. CST

    I do think Melissa McCarthy looks funny, though.

    by JuanSanchez

  • May 14, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    I mean her performance. Not her physical appearance.

    by JuanSanchez

    Glad I caught that.