2011_bridesmaids_web.jpgThe tradition of being a bridesmaid should be a time to be with your best friend and hang with her before she becomes someone’s wife and devotes more time to her husband and her family. 

Sure, there are the awful dresses, designed to be as unflattering as possible.  Add to that the awesomely bad colors of those dresses, like olive green, lavender, mustard yellow, and hot pink.  And, of course, many weddings have their very own bridezilla.

Basically, being a bridesmaid isn’t easy.  Just ask Annie in Bridesmaids.  Annie, played by Kristen Wiig, has been friends with Lillian (Maya Rudolph) since they were eight years old.  When Lillian gets engaged she picks the one person who knows her well enough to help her transition into the role of wife. Unfortunately, like many maids of honor, Annie finds herself competing with another bridesmaid, Helen (Rose Byrne), for Lillian’s affection.

Just when you think Bridesmaids is about weddings, you quickly find that you are wrong.  Bridesmaids is really about Annie, a poor schlub with creepy sibling roommates, Gil (Matt Lucas) and Brynn (Rebel Wilson), a dead end job in a jewelry store, and stuck on a man who deems her his #3.  To make matters worse, Annie is losing Lillian to Helen, a woman who’s so good at planning events to the last detail, she gave away puppies as party favors for Lillian’s bridal shower.

Screenwriters Wiig and Annie Mumolo (who does double duty as a nervous air plane passenger) have written the ultimate comedy about the love between women who are friends.  I’m not sure what to call this type of genre.  I hate the words “girlfest,” “chick flick,” or “women’s flick.”  “Sismance” would be a fitting term, but I’m not too keen on that one, either.  In any event, I like that Wiig and Mumolo are showing the nuances of female bonding.  Another film that gives voice to this genre is You Again.  It’s nice to see women fighting for each other and not over a man.

Now, this isn’t totally by women.  There are some men who have helped make Bridesmaids be all that it can be.  Director Paul Feig, has his women express their female emotions with hilarity.  See the scene in which the bridesmaids, Helen, Rita (Wendi McLendono-Covey), Becca (Ellie Kemper), and Megan (Melissa McCarthy) try to pick out their bridesmaids gowns after having a bad lunch at an Argentinean restaurant.  I laughed until tears came to my eyes.  I’ve never laughed so hard at a drawn out poop joke. 

The other winning men in Bridesmaids are Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) and Air Marshall Jon (Ben Falcone).  Rhodes shows that there are still good cops in the world and they can be quite sexy. Marshall Jon, who is McCarthy’s real life husband, shows us that looks aren’t everything.

Speaking of McCarthy, she is the break out star that really makes Bridesmaids (other than the friendships that bind most women).  I’m not sure what to make of McCarthy’s Megan. She’s brash and wears white pearls, she dresses like a man and has acrylic nails, and she comes on to any man who crosses her path.  Basically, don’t be decieve because Megan looks like she may like women.

When it comes to women and our rites of passage, only a woman can capture the joy and sheer agony of what it takes to be the woman standing beside the bride on her big day.  The adage that weddings are stressful isn’t a fluke.  They can be stressful, usually for the people who aren’t the bride.

Then again, the point of having bridesmaids and maids of honor is to have someone who can commiserate. After all, misery sure loves company.

Kimberly Grant may be reached at KAliciaG@aol.com