| This crude and raunchy comedy co-written by and starring "SNL" regular Kristen Wiig takes an honest look at female relationships and modern romance. Its originality stems from its outrageousness and shocking gross-out humor. It will likely appeal to women 25 to 35.
Annie (Emmy-nominated Wiig) and Lillian (fellow "SNL" regular Maya Rudolph) have been best friends since childhood. When Lillian gets engaged, it is a foregone conclusion that Annie will serve as her maid of honor. A rag-tag group of women are thrown together to form the bridal party. Helen (Australian Rose Byrne from "Damages" and "28 Weeks Later") is the prim, proper and highly organized wife of the groom's wealthy boss. Megan (Melissa McCarthy from "Mike & Molly," "Life as We Know It" and "The Back-up Plan") is the groom's assertive overweight sister. Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is Lillian's blunt, unhappily married, sex-starved cousin saddled with three obnoxious boys. Becca (Ellie Kemper from "The Office") is a naïve newlywed who lost her virginity to her spouse.
The movie cobbles together a hodgepodge of extended skits revolving around a bunch of customary pre-wedding activities. They include the engagement party, a girly luncheon to toss around ideas, a dress fitting at a ritzy designer boutique, a bachelorette weekend getaway trip by airplane and a Parisian-themed bridal shower.
Throughout the stress-related hubbub surrounding the impending nuptials, the movie focuses on the mental breakdown and emotional depression experienced by Annie, who realizes her friend is moving on with her life while Annie's existence remains stuck in neutral.
Annie's life seemingly is at rock bottom. She is broke and can't afford to pay the rent on an apartment that she inexplicably shares with Gil (Matt Lucas), a British bloke. Gil's equally hefty sister Brynn (Rebel Wilson) is visiting from England on a tourist visa.
Annie's dream bakery specializing in cupcakes and desserts has gone belly up and her boyfriend left when it closed. She is underemployed at a jewelry store where she discourages customers from believing in eternal love and lasting friendship. She has an ongoing no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits relationship with Ted (Jon Hamm from "Mad Men") that is strictly for mutual sexual satisfaction.
Annie meets Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd from "Dinner for Schmucks"), an Irish-accented state trooper, when she is pulled over for suspected drunken driving. He turns out to be a decent guy. Her erratic and cruel behavior to avoid getting too close succeeds in driving him away.
Annie's mom Judy (the late Jill Clayburgh from "Love and Other Drugs" and "An Unmarried Woman" in her final movie appearance) encourages her and puts a positive spin on things by saying there is nowhere to go but up.
Battle lines are set when Helen tries to ruin Annie's friendship with Lillian and take over as maid of honor.
Wiig is an acquired taste that will not appeal to everyone. Her female fans will be able to identify with this attention-craving individual who brings on her own bad luck through self-destructive tendencies and a brain overloaded with a variety of psychiatric neuroses. Byrne succeeds as the cool, calm and collected woman who is a perfect counterpoint to Wiig's eccentricities. McCarthy steals the movie with every uncensored word that comes out of her mouth. She will have you in tears from laughing so hard.
Men should avoid at all costs being dragged into this film with its abundant supply of estrogen.
The movie is unevenly paced and could have been shortened by trimming 30 minutes from its excessive running time of over two hours.
This will be the top destination choice for girls' night out gatherings as the June wedding season approaches.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"