Bridesmaids – Blu-ray (2011)
Cast: Kristen Wiig; Maya Rudolph; Rose Byrne; Wendy McLendon-Covey; Elle Kemper
Director: Paul Feig
Studio: Universal Studios 61119645 [9/20/2011] (Combo pack: 2 DVDs and Digital Download)
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 1080p HD, Color
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DD 2.0; DTS Surround 5.1 Spanish or French
Subtitles: English SDH
Extras: Gag Reel: Annie vs. Helen; Made Of Honor: Behind The Scenes At Bridesmaids; Deleted Scenes; Extended And Alternate Scenes; Roommates; Drunk-O-Rama; Annie’s Blind Date With Dave; Tennis Pep Talk; Feature commentary with filmmakers and cast
Length: Rated – 125 minutes; Unrated – 131 minutes
In discussing Bridesmaids, a lot of attention will be paid to the issue of a raunchy “women’s” comedy. While this is true, the more appropriate commentary would be…this is a very funny movie! Kristen Wiig (the undisputed star of Saturday Night Live) and former Groundlings cast mate, Annie Mumolo have written a revelatory, and at times, hilariously crude look at a wedding culture.
At the core of the story is thirty-something Annie (Wiig), who is facing several challenges in her life, including a failed bakery, moronic roommates, a clunky automobile and a narcissistic, detached boyfriend (a delightfully vapid Jon Hamm). When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces her engagement, she asks Annie to be maid of honor. Through a series of misadventures, chaos ensues. There is a “new” friend (devilishly funny Rose McGowan) competing for Lillian’s friendship, that fuels the subsequent female carnage. Several hysterical (and yes… some gross food-poisoning scenes) plot developments rival films like The Hangover for visceral impact. The cast is excellent, and features a star turn by Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly). But the film, capably directed by Paul Feig never deteriorates into sophomoric fluff. These characters are flawed, but not without intelligence.
There is a side story involving a shy policeman (Chris O’Dowd) who is a potential love interest for Annie. Wiig is a gifted comedic actor who excels at physical movement and dialogue. Supporting roles in films like Knocked Up, Whip It and Adventureland have facilitated her move from television to movies. Like most successful funny lead characters, she is struggling with her imperfections, but gamely trying to rise above them. For every vulgar moment, there is an introspective one. The relationships between the women are as vital as the plot machinations. The pace of the film is steady, but occasionally stalls. At two hours, the neurotic edginess does not maintain the consistent tempo of classic films like Albert Brooks’ Lost In America or even Animal House, that run around ninety minutes. Regardless, Bridesmaids will garner deserved award recognition (especially for original screenplay).
There are the usual slew of bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD. Included is an interesting, behind the scenes feature, “Made Of Honor: Behind The Scenes of Bridesmaids”, detailing the history of the project. A filmed sketch, “Annie’s Blind Date With Dave,” features a SNL-type sketch with Wiig and Paul Rudd. The transfer to Blu-ray is excellent, and garish bridal outfits in HD borders on surrealism.
If any recording is essential to the genre, this is it.