BRIDESMAIDS (R16)

Directed by Paul Feig

REVIEWED BY MARGARET AGNEW
Last updated 14:15 02/08/2011

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Having been a bridesmaid and a bride this millennium, I feel qualified to watch this film with an insider's view to the foibles of these fabulous yet fearfully fraught feminine functions.

Written by actors Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids picks up on the strain, insecurity and stress of allegedly the happiest day of a girl's life, and delivers hope that women dare expect something gutsier, meatier and funnier than the latest lame Hollywood rom-com.

Starring comedienne of the moment Wiig (Knocked Up, Paul), Bridesmaids focuses on unlucky loser in love and life, Annie. Her dream bakery recently fell victim to the recession, her boyfriend dumped her, she lives with obnoxious English siblings (played by British comedian Matt Lucas and scene-stealing Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson), has a job she hates and is being used as a booty- call by a bastard (played by an uncredited Jon Hamm). By contrast, her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) has just got engaged and wants Annie to be her maid of honour. This is despite Lillian's new friend, the wealthy, irritatingly beautiful and well-connected perfectionist Helen (Rose Byrne) appearing much better suited.

Super producer and current comedy king Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) has finally focused on funny women. And it may be one of the best movies he's produced. It's remarkable how real the relationship between Annie and Lillian feels. It's deplorably rare to see two women being funny on screen for no other reason than the other's amusement. It happens often in real life, but rarely in reel life. Even Annie's love interest isn't stereotypically handsome. With kind eyes, Officer Nathan Rhodes (Irish actor Chris O'Dowd of The Boat That Rocked) may have let her off a traffic ticket but he's no pushover.

Bridesmaids feels fresh, original and slightly rough around the edges in an exhilarating way. It is aimed at women but both genders can

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