Bridesmaids/Something Borrowed – Part 1: Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids and Something Borrowed have the least likeable protagonists I’ve seen in quite some time.They’re self-centered, dramatic, and generally, self-destructive. While watching the films I found myself rooting against the two women and hoped that the film wouldn’t have a formulaic happily-ever-after ending (they did, despite the protagonists being totally undeserving of it). Why is it that we can not only grossly overlook a character’s faults but actually forgive them for it as long as the film’s a comedy?

Bridesmaids (Or The Case of the Broken Tail Light):

Is that what tends to happen when someone’s best friend gets married? Instead of being happy for the bride, the lead character Annie (Kristen Wiig) is only concerned with her antagonism of another bridesmaid (Rose Byrne) and competes with her to be the “Best Bridesmaid” (a bit reminiscent of the conflict in Black Swan). Er..I thought being the Maid of Honor meant she already won that one, but what do I know?

For the film to get the audience to sympathize with Annie she’s given endless incarnations of bad luck. She sleeps with a douche who isn’t interested in having a relationship with her (a surprising, and hilarious, turn from the generally suave Jon Hamm). She used to run a bakery but it went out of business during the recession. She’s pretty much broke and lives with two obnoxious British siblings in a small apartment. Her life is basically hitting rock bottom. So it’s okay if she screws up her best friend’s wedding. I mean, she’s hitting rock bottom, so anything she does (throw a temper-tantrum, have an hour and a half long pity party) must be forgivable.

Here’s the biggest reason why I hated the character of Annie: her broken tail-light. In Bridesmaids, Annie has a few chance run-ins with the Nicest Cop in Movie History (Chris O’Dowd), who pulls her over for a broken tail-light but ultimately lets her off the hook after listening to her sob song. Not only that, but he gives her the number of a mechanic who will give her a good deal (the best four-letter word in the world – Free). Of course, he becomes her romantic love interest.

So here’s the thing: Annie doesn’t get her tail-light fixed. For months. WTF.

The Nicest Cop in Movie History overlooks it for awhile because, yeh know, he likes her. But, in following the fashion of all rom-coms (boy meets girl, boy and girl hit it off, totally unnecessary gimmick/accident/secret breaks couple apart briefly), the Nicest Cop in Movie History gets pissed off at Annie and has an angry speech that ends with his frustration that she still hasn’t got her tail-light fixed, even though letting her off was a personal favor.

I hear what you’re thinking (“C’mon Modest Movie, give her a break, she’s going through a rough time with her friend getting married and her being a thirty-year old single woman with no boyfriend and no money”). You know what though? The Nicest Cop in Movie History does give her a break. And she repays him by doing nothing. Generally when that happens my sympathy meter for a character shuts off. Here’s the scene I enjoyed the most in the movie: when Annie and the Nicest Cop in Movie History are fighting, she spends countless hours baking a beautiful cake for him to say sorry. She drives to his house and leaves the cake box on the front door step with his newspaper and sits waiting in her car for him to open the door. When he does, he picks up his paper, looks at the cake box and then leaves it sitting on his front step. The next time Annie drives by the cake is still there, with raccoons eating it up. Now that’s funny (and deserved).

Bridesmaids isn’t that bad of a movie. Most of the characters are actually pretty funny (my favorite being the bride’s husband Dougie, who doesn’t get to say a word in the entire movie) and it has some good sequences (the plane ride to Vegas is fantastic). I just can’t understand why the anchor of the movie is Annie, who is pretty much the least likeable character (only a step up from Jon Hamm, in my opinion). My hatred for her character really hurt my enjoyment of what is otherwise a passable movie.

Grade: C-

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2 Responses to Bridesmaids/Something Borrowed – Part 1: Bridesmaids

  1. Julia Turnbull says:

    We went to see the movie last night – not a word in your post about the funniest character, Megan. Good post, but we thought Helen was the most manipulative bitch ever.

    Loved the movie and would give it a much higher grade!

    • Modest Movie says:

      Megan was the funniest character. Her scenes on the flight were incredible – especially with her seatmate the “Air Marshal.”

      Still can’t get over how much I hated Annie’s character though.

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