Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bridesmaids v. The Hangover.

I know the interwebs is all atwitter with talking about Bridesmaids, so I'm just adding my voice to a very large fray. But that IS the world of blogging, anyway, isn't it? Lots of people talking about the same stuff with various shades of petty competitiveness about who says it better? Yay internet! And I want to talk about it! So let's go!

I loved this movie so much it would probably be hard for me to be eloquent about it, especially since I just saw it. I find it's hard for me to say intelligent stuff about things I really, really love especially when I am really, really loving them RIGHT NOW. While with things I just like a lot, and things I have a slight separation from, I'm usually able to take a step back to connect feelings and thoughts in my brain/heart into coherent and (relatively) logical words and sentences about those things. With things I really love, or with things I'm too in-the-moment about, my heart wins out over my brain and all I'm able to really communicate is: "OH MAN I LOVE [THIS THING]! A LOT! SO MUCH! GAH!"

However, in returning to the world of the interwebs upon my return home from seeing the movie, I feel a little irked because all I'm seeing are comparisons to The Hangover. And after thinking about it for a little while, I think I CAN talk about that.

There are a few reasons why hearing: "Bridesmaids was just as funny as The Hangover!" is slightly annoying to me.
  1. They're completely different movies, in my opinion. More on this below.
  2. Something about this implies that it's shocking that a female driven comedy was just as funny as a male driven comedy. Why do you even have to compare it? (Even though that's what this whole post is about? Deal with it, okay.)
  3. Bridesmaids is better.
I should start off by saying that I haven't seen The Hangover in awhile, and my view of it IS slightly tainted by some of the homophobic humor in it. As the article I just linked points out, the homophobic humor isn't rampant throughout the whole movie, but the few lines that were for some reason stick in my memory more than anything else about it. I think I've just gotten too used to really good comedy existing without any homophobia in the last few years that a good ol' "That's GAY!" and/or "What a faggot!" type of joke sticks out like a sore thumb to me when I hear it. Like, really? I hear this enough from my 13 year old students everyday. You're supposed to be professional comedians. Work harder and be better, dudes.

That said, I'm not denying that The Hangover was (mostly) hilarious. The scene where they wake up in the hotel is one of the funniest things ever. Ridiculousness taken to a ridiculous level, and I'm a big fan of the ridiculous.

(Also said, though: Hangover 2? Really? I hardly crack a smile during the trailers for it.)

But here's the difference between The Hangover and Bridesmaids: character development. Meaning, Bridesmaids had it, The Hangover didn't. I think at the end of The Hangover Ed Helms realized his girlfriend was a bitch? And the really boring dude who we never really cared about the whole time got married, and we still didn't care about him? I mean, you don't necessarily need great character development to be hilarious.

But when you have character development, and great writing, AND are hilarious? I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! GAH!

Bridesmaids was smart and funny and one of those movies that makes you laugh hysterically most of the time but cry a little bit too. You almost feel weird about the crying because you're all, "Wait, I was laughing so much I was actually smacking my knee like five seconds ago! Is it weird that I'm crying right now?!" It is! Weird and beautiful and the result of really good art! At the end of this movie (and throughout the whole thing), you really care about these characters. You really like all of these characters. And not just because they all pooped their pants.

Yet the trailer does make it all seem to be about pooping your pants, and cat fights/bitches bein' crazy:

I do feel reassured at the comments on this video on YouTube, though, almost all of which say, "This trailer sucks! The movie is so much funnier! OMG!" Normally comments on the internet--and I mean, like, comments on anything (except for the comments on my blog of course!)--make me really intensely doubt my belief in humanity, so, the fact that most people are on the same page with this is a good sign. But the trailer clearly sets it up to be The Hangover: Female Style, almost completely revolving around a craaaazy trip to Vegas! (Which was a pretty small part of the movie.) It's just annoying. And the YouTube caption calls it "Judd Apatow's film." I know he and Paul Feig produced it/helped make it happen and all, and I'm not saying I dislike Judd Apatow or Paul Feig, by any means, but it is just very clearly Kristen Wiig's movie. (Also, I thought it interesting to note during the credits--which Kathy and I religiously always watch until the very end--that Apatow had FOUR assistants. Is four necessary? Wiig had one.)

In addition, while cat fights have always been one of the hallmark ways females can be funny to a male audience--haha, look at these hot girls rip each other apart, HAHAHAHA--this movie wasn't really about cat fights at all. It was in fact a big love letter to/commentary on the importance of female friendships. Wiig's character, Annie, went so crazy over Helen because she was taking her best friend away when she needed her most--and it was heartbreaking. While I have to admit that the love plot of Annie's storyline swept up my heart (God, I loved him!), the main and most important relationship was obviously between Annie and Lillian. A good friendship story slays me every time. Friendship stories are so overlooked and overshadowed by the love storylines--like, every single day of the world, always--but they are so important.

Annie's storyline could also be about trying to find yourself when you think you've lost everything. You know, inconsequential things like that. And did I mention there's a ton of great socioeconomic commentary in it? And that the music in it is fantastic?

Also, I can't wait to one day own this movie and watch the plane scene over and over again. Among many, many others.

So, go see it. As this Salon article says, tell Hollywood via the box office that we like funny ladies. We shouldn't have to shout this loud to prove it, but still, we have to. So tell them: We like them a lot.


    1.  Bridesmaids was amazing. And I was surprised to find myself tearing up as well. I can't even put into words how much I loved that movie and cared about Annie.