Tuesday, February 21, 2012

movie review: bridesmaids (special edition)

bridesmaids (unrated special edition)
canadian theatrical release date: 13-may-2011
writer(s): kristen wiig, annie mumulo
director: paul feig
starring: kristen wiig, maya rudolph, melissa mccarthy, rose byrne

fun fact!  on february 08, 2012, bridesmaids was announced to be the most in-demand of all the videos-on-demand.
it's a fact.
as a result of this record and the recently announced oscar nominations (ooh, topical!), we've settled on bridesmaids for the first movie we review. now watch it along with us after the jump!  or not..you know, whatever.

j/d: fbi warning!  scary!
r/r: blah blah blah interpol.  blah blah INTERPOL.
j/d: does john hamm's character really play basketball?
r/r: this opening sex scene is amazing and hilarious!  jon hamm has such a gift for comedy.  it nicely highlights the theme of gendered expectations in hetero relationships, and the literal and figurative sensation of annie being on different rhythms in her desires and life than the people around her.
j/d: and annie's floppy leg dance when he's on top is great.
j/d: that said, her early morning's (bra and panties) and last night's (nails and makeup) colour pallettes really don't match.
r/r: haha!  oh, ladygamez.  all that coded dialogue.  and then she outright reassures him that she's not like other girls!  so great.
j/d: haha!  "yeeeah!  maybe!"
r/r: lol!  and check it, more comedic analogies - annie is sitting on the fence of life, just riding back and forth on her go-nowhere career and relationship paths.  very nice!
j/d: so..milwaukee looks pretty cool..
r/r: does having lifelong bffs require one to maintain ruts in one's life for you to occupy together?  indeed, that seems to be the crux of the conflict between annie and lillian.
j/d: you know, if they don't want to pay for classes, they can just watch youtube.
r/r: true!  and incidentally, if any dude i was paying ever referred to me as one of "these bitches" without negotiating it first, you can fucking believe i'd be getting my twelve dollars back.
j/d: interracial best friends.  NO BIG DEAL.
r/r: hahaha!
r/r: i am cracking up at this frank discussion of pushy straight guys!
j/d: america: land of the free, home of the euphemism (adult sleepover).
j/d: dental plan!
r/r: annie needs braces!
j/d: dental plan!
r/r: penis impression is probably one of the funniest parts of the movie.
j/d: agreed.
r/r: oh look, they're taking a shortcut down exposition lane to visit annie's old bakery!
crack cake baby, don't come back / crack cake baby don't come back.
r/r: hey, it's the neighbour from united states of tara!  good to see he's getting work.  
j/d: fuck this job.  i'd cut my face off before working jewellery retail.
j/d: ugh, show me your "minimum wage face."
r/r: uh, kahlua?  i feel like there's something fucky in the representation but i can't really place it.  it may just be the naming, i suppose.
j/d: haha, i also wrote "kahlua? what?"
r/r: i fucking LOVE rebel wilson here, oh my goodness
j/d: aaaaa tattoo gross aaaa fuuuuuuu
r/r: hahaha
r/r: "it's a native american symbol meaning wasted" <-- i get that this was likely meant to illustrate the ignorance of the character (which it did!) and elicit a little shock-laugh from the audience (which it did not), but it was still fucking offensive to hear.
j/d: debt = drinking = debt = ...rent?
r/r: "magazine party, ooh!" i love the scenes with wiig and rudolph being friends.  they feel so natural, goofy and honest.
j/d: the fuck kind of apple is that?
j/d: lol, blowjobbing for crack.
nightclubbing blowjobbing, we're nightclubbing blowjobbing.  
j/d: "beaver first!" this makes you a "whore?" consistently anti sex worker stance in this movie...extra weird because there's no actual sex work or workers in the story at any point.
r/r: indeed!  this seems to come up in most comedies involving women - especially women who are sexual.  i suppose throwing out the madonna aspect has made many women cling more tightly to the notion of "whore" as an opposition by which to define themselves, as opposed to conceiving of new ideas of what it means to be "good" or "bad?"  
disclaimer: this is not meant to suggest that comedies excluding women have a positive attitude towards sex work and sex workers, because that suggestion is ridiculous.
r/r: "chicken coop" LOLWUT
j/d: what.  the.  fuck.  not all farmers are pervs.
r/r: nice violent femmes cover!
j/d: femmes cover, woo!
j/d: sup dawg, i heard you like shitty cars
r/r: hahaha
j/d: "neeeds a wash" ha!  i'd punch it to the scrap heap.
j/d: rita is a seafood-green ball of horniness.
r/r: i giggle pretty much every time someone assumes any nearby man is annie's partner.
j/d: furries kicking it at disneyland for the honeymoon.
r/r: nice!
r/r:  huh.  so on the one hand, i'm really happy to see that the film represents that rudolph (and thusly lillian) is biracial.  there do appear to be some scattered black family members at the engagement party, but they are kept decisively out of the foreground.  i suspect i'll have reason to come back to this.
j/d: vibraphone ftw!  cool party band.
j/d: like that one guy in titanic, she fell "like a pinball."  this woman rules, "i don't know, telepathically." 
j/d: interracial wedding. 
NO BIG DEAL (link).
r/r: helen is "so proud of [lillian]!"  for what?  for getting married?  isn't that what everyone thinks they're supposed to do?
j/d: ugh, wedding toasts.  thank fuuuu no one's going to make any for me.
r/r: word.  all those self-conscious 'woo's.
j/d: "drunken saturdays at rockin' sushi" in milwaukee, eh?  sounds...gross.  bet the toilets are rockin'.
r/r: watching this toast-off makes me feel like i've stumbled into an episode of the lesbachelor.  holy shit!  can that be a thing, if only briefly?
j/d: ugh, thailand.  fucking white people fairy vacations...
r/r: haha annie's mockery of helen making her swerve all over the road.  i can't stop thinking of that scene in tommy boy.  "BEES!  BEES IN THE CAR!" love the snl connections.

j/d: what's this guy's deal?  a uk cop in milwaukee?  what's his story?
r/r: oh man, annie's proof of sobriety dance!
i got a christmas sober time for me!
r/r: oh sorry, i guess 'exposition lane' is actually called 'ashley street.'  my mistake.
and wait, her name is annie walker?  lol!
j/d: she got pulled over for suspicion of dui but gets ticketed for her taillights?  
j/d: cake baby!  won't come back.  brits do like custard, though.
r/r: haha bill cozbi = shitty bill
j/d: bill cozbi installs gps trackers for constable accent!
j/d: fiona!
"movie's running two minutes short, dave."
"tack on some fiona apple baking montage thingy.  crowds love that shit."
r/r: sweetly hostile girltalk is pretty funny here. 
j/d: these ladies should party, not play tennis.  then they'd get along.
j/d: lol "fuck off, helen!"
r/r: haha, aww, this poor woman and her shitty, lonely family life!  a good signalling to annie's personal and class-based insecurities that she doesn't seem to take this in and sympathize.
j/d: tennis is SO violent in movies!
r/r: rebel williams re: sex work "no, but we did that -"; "i thought it was a very sad, handwritten book."
j/d: lots of anti-sex work, as usual.  also, odd british people are so plentiful in milwaukee.
r/r: listen to these women - "eeew this place is so scary and ethnic omg what if a poor person touches meee?"
j/d: mmm, sangria.  also, fight club!  "we just fucking attack."
r/r: "we're gonna blow this shit out." haha even more comedic foreshadowing!  i love megan.
j/d: i liked this rodeo drive scene in mighty ducks 2.
r/r: bridal shoppe ass.
j/d: yes.
j/d: are any of these designers real?  lady, you sent your measurements to a screen in france.
r/r: "let's not decide; let's let our bodies decide." that's kind of an interesting dichotomy, particularly with respect to how it plays in to ideas of biological determinism as they relate to this extremely gendered bridal experience.  probably not conscious, but very interesting to think about.
j/d: SO MUCH POOP! AND PUKE!!  "look away!!!"
r/r: oh MAN, dick and poop jokes?!  this movie has it all!  finally, women are funny!
i kid, of course - and bring on the dick and poop jokes.
r/r: great camera work in the bathroom scene - that overhead shot was genius!
r/r: haha, helen and her concern-trolling play for power.
j/d: shiiiittin' in the street.
j/d: what the hell?  a wild new scene appears!
r/r: her blind date looks eerily like tobey maguire, but somehow not like uncooked liver!  it's uncanny!
j/d: digging the stripey dress, but kids: fuck off.  especially child actors.
r/r: oh, so now we have a clearer narrative of how she goes to him when she's actively hating herself.
j/d: jon hamm's car is parked directly under the net!  why would you do that?
r/r: haha at jon hamm's sexual overconfidence!  funny how often that leads to a total inability to read and meet your partner's wants/needs.
r/r: not gonna lie, gas stations can be kind of romantic.
j/d: ooh, bottled feelings water.  and she's wearing a different dress now.
j/d: oh look, constable accent is here.  third on the single lady depth chart, bag o'carrots and a big gun too!
r/r: circus wedding!  haha!
j/d: what a great, crime-free city they live in.  not even any radio chatter on the cb.  wait, he's a statey?  not a milwaukee cop, but a wisconsin state troopah?  'lol no crimes to stop, no need to go ahead and patrol - just ticket innocent people on the way to work.  way easier to get laid that way.'
...who's paying his salary?
j/d: e-mail is SO fast!!  haha, mindfreak and fancy job megan, ready to kill.
r/r: that's the second time they've referenced balls and made me laugh out loud!  are balls just a body part with inherent comedic potential?  maybe it's the asymmetry, who knows.
j/d: BALLS!
j/d: missed opportunity to mock customs.
j/d: why's it called coach, anyway?
r/r: haha!  you can see in his eyes that he looooooves her.
j/d: respect to real-life couples in art.
r/r: respect.
j/d: hey, way to not be artemis, not-artemis!
i have a bleached asshole. (link)
r/r: ...slutty college years really get it out of your system, eh rita?  that about sum up your current situation?
j/d: yeah, slutty college years!  they fix everything, and make it easy as pie to suppress all the things you aren't certain about.
r/r: this is probably my favourite line in the movie.  "you are more beautiful than cinderella!  you smell like pine needles and have a face like sunshine!"
j/d: mmm, scotch and pills.  not-artemis is right, toss that shit back.  
j/d: aaand she did.  this makes flying look pretty fun - and drugging people look pretty funny.  right.  good job, hollywood.  it is a funny scene, though.
r/r: man, i would have LOVED for a romance to progress between rita and becca!  a cute, vulgar, ridiculous romantic comedy where their relationship (and subsequent life-alterations and fallout) wherein each woman provides the sexual qualities the other is desperately missing.  universe!  PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
j/d: coach?  first class?  what is this, the titanic?
r/r: nice!  bringing it back.
j/d: oh wait, it's germany.  that's more funny.  
j/d: haha "whatakindanameastove"
r/r: hahahaha
j/d: moral of this story?  use heavy sedatives to get what you want.  follow with gross, sappy guitar solo.
j/d: constable fickfackfaboo is here, drinking on the clock!  at least the bar is safe from crime.  i gotta move to this utopia!
r/r: bad continuity with the beers in this scene.
r/r: cute contrasts to the sex scene(s) from earlier.  nicely done!
r/r: huh.  if i'd just woken up and dude was all "accompany me to the kitchen," and he'd specified that it was not for more sex, i would definitely be expecting some breakfast.  i would not be expecting (nor would i be pleased by) him obligating me to cook for him - particularly after i had explicitly told him i didn't want to do that the night before.  people, take note - that kind of blatant disregard for boundaries is a shitty way to start a relationship.
j/d: hey!  bake.  you should bake, you baker.  if you don't bake, then why are you here?  i'm a cop, see?  and i'd be a cop if i wasn't.  so let me bone you while i'm a cop.  on duty.  with an accent.
yay!  now that we've fucked, bake FOR ME.  come on, who cares if you don't want to?  but we already diiiiiid iiiiit!  i still have an accent and was paid the entire time by the civilians of the state, some of whom presumably could have used my assistance.  *cough*forforcedbaking*cough*.  
r/r: what the fuck?  why can't she just say she is upset because she told him no and he ignored her (and now expects her to thank him for it)?  that is a shitty way to treat people!
j/d: what if she did porn instead of baking?
j/d: fuck you, officer coldplay.
j/d: fucking people using their phone like it's a mic and they're on stage.
r/r: i like annie's shorts when she gets the shower invite!
j/d: that poor butterfly! D*X
j/d: yay, passive aggressive cops.
r/r: ugh, can we please issue a moratorium on the use of the word "cunt" (as an overwhelmingly and/or innately gendered insult) in comedy?  it's clear that comedy writers are going for some sort of edge in employing it, and equally clear that it could soon be as common an uncritically presented as the majority of rape jokes.  which reminds me, i'll note my tally of jokes about non-consent (along with my tallies of how many black people appeared in the background of the movie, how many black people appeared in the foreground of the movie; how many times i laughed out loud, and how many of those times were attributed to megan) at the end of this dialogue. 
j/d: yawn, cock baby.
j/d: yawn, milwaukee.
j/d: still same nail polish as before.
r/r: good eye!
j/d: pink lemonade is best.  but how come she's having trouble drinking it while driving?  she was fine talking into her microphone earlier.  
r/r: who the fuck dresses for horseback riding at this kind of formal event?  this scene has a bunch of great jabs at the wedding-industrial-complex (something i think this film represents in a relatively uncritical way, unfortunately).
j/d: accordians rule.
r/r: oh, how i love accordians.
r/r: haha, he tells her the champagne is french?
technically, all champagne is french. (link)
woo, snl connection!
j/d: what the fuuuu helen is too much with the one-ups.  like, does she work for nintendo?  is that why they're rich?
r/r: "helen's..taking me to paris!"
oh buster!  how terribly grand! (link)
and also so true to the way that straight women may often use the threat of perceived queerness against each other in order to preserve an existing social order; and also as a way to sublimate and distance themselves from (the sexual aspects of) their jealousy. 
j/d: haha, she's wiig-ging out!  that's right, motherfuckers!  "fucking baguettes?!"
j/d: i'd like a piece of that giant cookie right about now.  
my friendship with abed is a giant cookie! (link)
j/d: so much asshole-bleaching!  someone call artemis.
r/r: HOLYSHIT!!  lillian's mom is the same woman who plays bonnie kelly!!!
clearly she will let artemis know about all of this anal bleachery.
r/r: lol annie-dog.
j/d: hey man, what the fuck?  you just give dogs away?  like they're some disposable fucking party favour?  like the dog is a fucking slice of cake, or a candle, or a corkscrew?  fuuuuck that, man,  i hope those dogs shit in your eyes.
r/r: yay, hole!

j/d: hole, nice.
r/r: ahaha megan and the dogs!
j/d: oooh no!  contrived scene involving jon hamm, basketball aficionado; and constable cockney, the accented asshole.
r/r: haha cockney? 
j/d: how did the constable know there was a problem?  like, how was he informed he had work to do?  and why is he yelling at her?  he's a fuck.
j/d: waaah, i am man and i am confused.  cleary work of female trickery!  certainly not reaction to my pushy stupidity...
r/r: boom!
j/d: boom!
r/r: "annie!  it's called humour!  learn about it!"  okay, this was also one of the best lines in the movie for me.  how fucking excellently meta for a laydeecomedie!  i love it!!
j/d: man, why is wilson the everlasting icon of outcasts?  like, come on guys.
i'm a nautical adventurer!  and a BALL!
 r/r: hmm...i'm not exactly complaining here, because the more time megan gets onscreen the better.  but where did megan's overtures of friendship come from?  aside from a few facial expressions in the background, we aren't given any cues as to what makes megan want to befriend annie (except that she likes puppies?  and annie is kind of like...a dog who is down?  i don't know, i'm fucking reaching here, lol!).  but what purpose does this reveal of megan's origin story and subsequent awesomeness serve other than having megan exposit about how she is totally not a stereotype (and believe me, putting these words in the characters mouth makes your satisfaction in doing so practically scream) while subtly reprimanding the rest of us for not being as awesome as she is, and thus exonerating the filmmakers from any previously problematic and/or offensive stereotypical representations they themselves choose/have chosen to exploit?
r/r: great physical comedy by both of them, though. 
j/d: sad cop is sad.  lucky raccoons eat cupcakes!
raykins! (link)
j/d: come in!  it's morning!  let's knock on doors and wake up for weddings.
r/r: eew, tuna and syrup?
j/d: mmm, tuna with syrup.  that's not gross, it's fucking awesome.  it's not gross.  it's noT.
j/d: yes, but has anyone ever really sat down and taught him how to dougie?
r/r: annie's joy at seeing helen ugly is so funny and cruelly true!  as are helen's ridiculous attempts to ingratiate herself to annie.
j/d: "no, i'm not really an ugly crier. no, no, it's just my makeup."
r/r: haha!  all that matters is that she believes it.
j/d: hey, look who's continuing to disregard the breaking of various laws!  what a stand-up cop man.  
r/r: oh, gross.
j/d: look, she pretended to be black.  go arrest her.
r/r: grooooss!!
j/d: the state trooper used his fucking cell phone to talk to dispatch!  his cell phone!  yes!  what the fuck!  do they not have specific radios for police services over which they can more quickly and perchance securely exchange this information without paying a telecommunications company?  is this police division seriously that stupid?
r/r: annie, he's not saying he doesn't accept your apology.  and really, if your apology is contingent on being forgiven, it is definitely not an honest apology.
j/d: waahboo taillights i'll never bother you again waaaah
j/d: hey lillian, guess what?  weddings suck.
r/r: haha!  also, i...don't like it when a black lady calls a white lady 'boss.'
j/d: true.  and i'm not entirely sure the climactic piano-talk really contained any authentic resolution.  "i spoke!  it's okay!"
j/d: were there zero mockups/sketches/swatches/designs/consultations/pdfs exchanged of this wedding dress at any point?
r/r: i like how they kept the feather detail from the shoulder of the one she shat in.  she probably should have just had that one cleaned (if possible)!  couldn't have been more expensive than this hideous thing.
j/d: what a gaudy-ass laser fireworks wedding...and sooo many wireless mics!
r/r: damn, this ending really underscores how gendered the perception of weddings is.  it is all completely about lillian!  the ceremony even features them playing her favourite song, by her favourite band - all memories from when she was young, and before she and dougie began sharing their lives.  it's actually kind of weird and hilarious - groom of the wedding movie is a total plot contrivance (because we only really need him so that we can have the wedding, right?); jon hamm is a stereotypically sexist (hilariously convincing in his performance!) and emotionally-withholding villain; and officer mccoersion is a gendered, hetero fantasy (with all the pitfalls of compromised desires, nonconsent, and bullshit power play afforded by his status as copman - much as he shirks his coply responsibilities).  it's so strange how absent he (dougie) is!  lillian goes missing, and he is fine with helen traipsing about in search of her while he...does what, exactly?  doesn't he feel concern over her whereabouts or need reassurance from her about her feelings?  she just almost bailed on their wedding, as far as he knows!
please don't misread me; i'm not interested in the story being re-written to prominently feature dougie.  it is meant to be a story about these women and their specific inter-relationships.  but breaches of story-logic like this are difficult to ignore, and leave awkward lapses in the cohesion of the story.          
j/d: poor douguie.  who is he as a person?  what does he do?  what does he care about?  is his relationship with lillian a positive influence on his life?  how does the wedding effect him?  how does his wife's difficulty transitioning to married life, and the one-way orchestration of their wedding ceremony effect him?  how does this characterize him, and in kind, her?  instead we have two other dude characters that are more directly relevant to the plot of the film due to their relation to the main character, and who exist at his expense.
j/d: limos at weddings = we're leaving to fuuuuck!
r/r: haha, so true!
j/d: hey, officer chivalry is here to mumble his way all over an apology at the wedding he wasn't invited to.  this seems like a lovely summation of their conflict!  "hey look, i'm here even though you said not to be!"  how charming.  he's not wearing the uniform, but he has the car.  what's going on here, is he on duty or not?  he was fighting raccoons...was he on duty then?  
j/d: "i'm just going to kiss you now."  don't bother telling me what you want.
r/r: haha!  how romantic!
j/d: HOLY FUCK!  there's a radio!  and a uniform!  and an intimation that this man who wears a badge has any form of responsibility!  at which point he promptly puts her in the back to punish her because of 'regulations.'  you know, the same ones he disregarded while drinking on the job, ignoring crimes on the job, fucking on the job, taking the car to a wedding to win her back on the job...man fuck that guy.  

lol count: approximately 30.
megan-inspired lol count: approximately 13.

black characters in the foreground: 3 (lillian, lillian's father, kahlua)
black actors in the background: approximately 14.
so basically, the minimum amount of blackness the producers could get away with representing on screen, while still paying lip service respect to the fact that half of lillian's family is black.  in actuality, it is maya rudolph's mother who was black - but i can't imagine the leverage one would have needed to convince the studio to include more black women.  just think of it - but we gave you kahlua!  coloured folks are so mean and demanding! *poutypoutpout*

making comedy of non-consent: a list.
-unwilling blowjobs are a mildly frequent feature of hetero-sex
-roommates violate privacy multiply; significantly
-being forced into debt and homelessness by the wedding-industrial-complex
-just be a baker again!  i'm soooo nice, right?
-megan's hyper-aggressive approach to not-air-marshall-john
-helen on the airplane: lol, i drugged u
-"sometimes i just want to watch the daily show without him entering me."
-"the tsa is just gonna rip his ass apart!  hahah!etc.heehee!"

obviously (given that this is a mainstream comedy and also a romantic comedy), it was straight and white as the washington monument.  
our verdict?
 ...pretty much a movie!

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