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by Peter Sobczynski

"The Bridesmaids Were Bleech!"
1 stars

Although most observers will no doubt dismiss "Bachelorette" as nothing more than a blatant ripoff of last year's surprise comedy hit "Bridesmaids," to slam in on that basis would be unfair because it was actually based on a hit off-Broadway play by Leslye Headland (who wrote and directed the film version as well) that was already in production when the other film debuted last year. However, it would be perfectly fair and just to slam it for being a smug, unfunny and unpleasant farce that not only makes the wildly overrated "Bridesmaids" feel like the comedy classic that some of its more ardent proponents have proclaimed it to be, it almost achieves the seemingly impossible task of making "For A Good Time, Call. . ." seem tolerable by comparison.

The film stars Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher as a trio of high school pals who reunite to participate in the wedding party of another classmate (Rebel Wilson), a chubby and awkward type who has somehow snagged one of New York's most eligible bachelors. After the bachelorette party on the evening before the nuptials goes sour because of their appalling behavior, the three pass the night by drowning their sorrows about their own disastrous love lives and their friend's inexplicable success in enough cocaine to fuel the last 30 minutes of "Scarface." Inevitably, they wind up accidentally trashing the bride's dress and set off on an all-night odyssey to repair it that involves strip clubs, unsavory stains, the revelation of shocking secrets and encounters with members of the opposite sex--Dunst with a bad boy (James Marsden) that she dallies with when her boyfriend blows her off, Caplan with an old flame (Adam Scott) with whom she shares a grim history and Fisher with a guy who has been crushing on her since high school. In fact, the only thing that they don't do, as far as I can determine, is flat-out kill someone and I can only presume that such a thing hasn't been included here because Headland wanted to save something for either the deleted scenes section of the Blu-Ray or the sequel.

The whole thing is loud, garish and nasty enough to put it up against the bad-boy likes of "The Hangover" or "Very Bad Things" (two films that it bear more of a resemblance to than "Bridesmaids") but once you get past the apparently shocking notion that women can behave as badly as the guys, there is virtually nothing else of substance on display here. The comedy is gross, noisy and frantic as can be but I cannot recall a single moment in which I laughed or even smiled at all the goings-on. As bad as the comedy though, things get even worse during the bizarre moments when the film abruptly shifts the tone to the dramatic and asks us to care about the characters and their emotional problems--this is a move that would be difficult enough to pull off under optimum circumstances but it really doesn't come off here because none of the characters, with the exception of bride-to-be Wilson, are remotely sympathetic enough to care about what happens to them. Of course, the lead characters are not meant to be sympathetic but my problem with them is not the fact that they are unsympathetic--some of my all-time favorite movie characters could be described that way. No, the problem with "Bachelorette" is that it offers us unlikable and unsympathetic characters that are uninteresting to boot. Dunst, Caplan and Fisher are good and likable actresses and so the fact that they are able to come across as appallingly as they do here is, I suppose, a weird triumph to their talents but it makes for a grating moviegoing experience in this particular case.

'Bachelorette" is a fairly repellent stab at bad girl comedy that makes one long for the quiet dignity and restraint of 'Dirty Love" or "The Sweetest Thing." I like the three actresses and the idea of them teaming up for a female-oriented comedy sounds like a good idea--imagine them in a modern-day equivalent of the likes of "How to Marry a Millionaire" or "Three Coins in a Fountain." Hell, a film of the three of them having a long lunch together during the filming of this particular project might have yielded a far smarter, more knowing and infinitely funnier movie than the one that they turned out in the end. From doing research, I understand that Headland originally designed to play as part of a series of plays inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins, serving as the one based on gluttony. This is ironic because as anyone who sits through "Bachelorette" will quickly discover, this is a comedy that is absolutely starved for laughs.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=23275&reviewer=389
originally posted: 09/10/12 21:23:48
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

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  07-Sep-2012 (R)
  DVD: 19-Mar-2013


  DVD: 19-Mar-2013

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