Bridesmaids: Bringing Gender Equality to Raunchy Humor

Bridesmaids-MovieBefore getting into the movie, I’d like to give a little introduction to the co-writer and leading role, Kristen Wiig. For  the past five years, she (along with Bill Hader) was one of the few reasons I (and many others) watched Saturday Night Live at all. She often played quirky and energetic characters, and her humor usually blended bizarre, off-color ideas or characters with an awkward tint of realism, which results in hypnotically hilarious sketches like this one.

Not A Chick Flick Version Of The Hangover

At its core, Bridesmaids is an extension of Wiig’s excellent sense of sketch comedy and improvisation. Co-written with Wiig’s friend and fellow improvisational comedian Annie Mumolo, the script is packed full of jokes and gags in every scene, often progressing through goldmines of extended out-take, improve material.

Bridesmaids also demonstrates astonishing flexibility toward a variety of styles of humor, from a non-stop stream of casual one-liners to the most epic poop and puke scene ever performed by an all-female cast, pushed into the film by producer Judd Apatow.

That being said, there are two types of audiences who will be disappointed by this movie: those who were expecting The Hangover, but with chicks and those who wanted their typical chick flick. Bridesmaids does have elements of both, but is not decidedly one way or the other (sorry Hangover fans, only one poop joke and no full-frontal male nudity).

Also, those wanting the female power-posse dynamic (a la Sex and the City) might be slightly put off that the film mostly centers on Maid of Honor Annie, played by Wiig and her bride and best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) although there definitely are enough bridesmaid moments to warrant the title.

For those seeking an intelligent, clever, and hilarious flick that portrays women as the diverse and interesting people they truly are, this is a must see. Unlike the slew of boring or plastic female characters that are sold in every other chick flick, Bridesmaids delivers unique and different personalities that still manage to retain a relatable, every woman feel.

Bridesmaids Challenges Sexual Norms

For anyone claiming that this is simply an Apatow bro-fest masked by a female cast, I say you have a narrow definition of what being a woman is. Women can be just as raunchy, vulgar, and pathetic as men, and this film, in a way, sets out to prove that idea. Besides, just by looking at the first scene alone (an extremely awkward and funny sex montage between Annie and her “f***buddy,” as he puts it), it is abundantly clear that this movie is written from a woman’s perspective. Bridesmaids pokes fun at both genders, but I think it’s much better at poking fun at men.

Bridesmaids challenges sexual norms even further by disregarding the typical formula and focus of the chick flick genre. Sure, Annie has a love interest in the movie and the plot pivots on her best friend’s wedding, but her primary motives and actions are driven completely by her friendship with Lillian, which the film really does get right. The other chick flick elements are there for sure, but female relationships seem to have much more importance throughout the movie.

Regardless of what this movie really means or represents under a meticulous feminist scope, it delivers the classic, tilt-and-scratch-your-head-before-bursting-into-laughter humor of Kristen Wiig that so many of her fans have come to know and love. A must see for any fan of quirky, clever sketch comedy.

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at Online College about education, college, student, teacher, money-saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

What did you think of Bridesmaids?