Not to sound like an 80s film producer but this film somehow manages to be Hangover Part 1 meets Steel Magnolias. A hilarious ride from start to finish, Bridesmaids sees the poor single Annie enlisted to be maid of honour to old friend and best pal Lillian. And of course, all manner of chaos ensues. But this is not your average gross out American Pie style comedy where it's all about the jokes and only slightly about the characters. Each character is explored in great depth making it a surprisingly emotional but always funny look at a bunch of misfit women that make up Lillian's bridal party in the lead up to the big day.
The genius of Kristen Wiig's writing (yes she wrote it and starred in it) is that you really like Annie even though she is, lets face it, a total downer! This is not your average moany female lead complaining that life is hard because she's single and her friends are married - life has dealt her a reaaaally shitty hand of late and you can understand her total reluctance to walk around with a big smile on her face. Business has gone bust, money's gone, boyfriend's dumped you. And all at once, poor love.
And when Annie realises that she has competition for the one certain thing in her life - best friend Lillian (in the form of goddess Rose Byrne) - it all starts to get just a bit much. Their microphone battle at the engagement party became so cringeworthy I found myself unable to look.
But the film, though clearly aimed at women, is not your average chick flick. Its humour and issues are universal and it gets incredibly gross at points (a bout of food poisoning while the ladies enjoy a dress fitting ends in shockingly hilarious results).
And though it has a couple of cases of arsehole males there is light relief in the form of IT Crowds' Chris O'Dowd, playing Officer Rhodes. He is adorable and the little pick me up our heroine needs but she is not perfect herself (as she readily acknowledges) and buckles under the pressure of a nice guy.
The rest of the brides party are comprised of the grooms manish sister (also known as Sookie from Gilmore Girls), the cousin with the children who hates being a mother and the cute and bubbly newlywed. And with such a mixed bunch of women, decisions as to what to do for the wedding shower and bachelorette party vary from french theme to fight club.
All the pent up tension between the ladies is bound to erupt eventually and when it does... watch out!
You will laugh, you will cry (whether through laughter or through sadness depends on the person but tears will be shed!) and you will leave in the knowledge that the bar has been raised for future contenders.
5/5 FOBLES - absolutely perfect!