Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bring On the Vomiting Bridemaids

If you are a woman, or just sort of a woman, or even, like me, a woman who has never once been a bride or one of her unfortunate minions, get thee to a theater now and treat yourself to a viewing of the more than a little Shakespearean Bridesmaids. 

See it for Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Falstaff, wherein she channels Ricky Gervaise before he took off the weight and started wearing those stupid tight tee shirts. She’s a glorious id, completely unleashed.

See it for Kristen Wiig’s brilliant depiction of Lady Macbeth, if Lady M had been forced to sell jewelry to the deluded, and driven to calling a young girl a cunt.

As much as I thrilled to seeing a woman brought down so low that she cannot not call a young girl a cunt (an epithet used night and day by the British), my favorite line, also spoken by Wiig, is the terse damnation: You are a flight attendant. 

My favorite physical comedy is when Kristen Wiig mocks a woman she loathes with such enormous head-swerving zeal  that she makes her car start doing it too.

As for the notorious barfing and pooping, it’s nowhere near as upsetting as, say, the New Yorker’s David Denby, thinks it to be, nor does it seem tacked on or gratuitous. While the barfing pie-eating scene in Stand By Me is completely tacked on and gratuitous, the Bridesmaids scene is less about having to poop in the street than Wiig’s having to fight back her nausea while pretending to want the inane Jordan almond. 

What some (perhaps not always female) reviewers miss is that the comedy lies not in the Barfing, but in Lady Macbeth’s attempt to Hide Her Symptoms of Imminent Barfing from her nemesis, the Bridesmaid Iago.

Hence the close-ups of Wiig’s knitting brow as it exudes a River Thamesful of sweat that both shampoos her hair and makes her eye liner drop to her cheeks.  Symptoms which, if barfing were sex (which it surely is when Wiig schtups the horrid Jon Hamm), would be known more simply as foreplay.

The only tacked on and gratuitous part is, of course, the Happy Ending. I know comedies have to have Happy Endings, but in a movie that hollers such rarely heard truths about female friendships, desires, and acts of self-sabotage, it’s sort of jarring to see Wiig suddenly turn from the wrathful, outrageous Lady Macbeth into the young dewy Juliet, saved just in time by Perfect Cop Romeo. 

Which I don’t think ever happens in actual life, and if it does, please don’t tell me about it.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, as happy endings go, it was tolerable, if only because Wiig is sooo likeable and deserves a damn break. Surprised to have liked this movie, further surprised that the entire West Portal Sunday afternoon audience was grey haired women like me, who howled with laughter. Good.