This is a chick flick in which the chicks behave so badly they don’t even make it to Vegas for the bridal shower.
The exact number of bridesmaids is five, plus one bride; two of these are funny, four are not, which gives humor a minority stake but the LOL moments happen often and it is, without doubt, the funniest comedy released this year.
Annie (Kristin Wiig) is broke, single and in a bad non-relationship when her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), announces she has got engaged. This means Annie, at 37, is going to be a bridesmaid yet again.
Annie attends the engagement party and meets the other four bridesmaids, one of whom is Helen (Rose Byrnes) and it’s clear the pretty, wealthy socialite is desperate to be Lillian’s best friend.
But Annie is already losing too many other things at that particular stage in her life and is equally desperate to hold onto her childhood buddy. The two ladies dig in their stilettos and the battle begins.
This triangle is the dynamic that drives the film; an extra bridesmaid thrown in for humor works and of course an unsuitable boyfriend (Jon Hamm) is practically obligatory, but all the other characters just get in the way and stop us getting to the core of the female pack.
An example of this is when Helen’s step-children humiliate her in front of Annie, which is a most entertaining moment but is never paid off despite the fact that our hero is bitchy enough to nail her competitor to her designer cross and to crow about it for days.
There are some unique ideas in this film, one of which is when party gift bags are handed out and in amongst the Chanel toiletries is a real, live, pedigree puppy. With so many original thoughts, it’s a pity the writers lacked the confidence to exclude such clichéd set-pieces as Annie taking someone else’s medication, mixing it with alcohol and then acting like a lunatic.
That said, no one does lunatic funnier than Miss Wiig, who steals every scene.
Kristin Wiig, who also co-wrote the script, is a regular on Saturday Night Live, a US sketch show that is as much a part of American culture as burgers and tipping, but for some reason this show never got syndicated to the UK.
We’ve had thousands of comedies, every hospital series and police drama ever made, and we’ve got Oprah coming out of our ears, but the one we should have got never came our way. Oh, well. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.