Bridesmaids, starring Kristen Wiig and a group of equally hilarious actresses, was originally released May 13, 2011…
It’s been 10 years since Bridesmaids hit theatres and while the traditional 10-year anniversary gift may be aluminum, we’re celebrating the 2011 landmark comedy and showing our eternal gratitude for it by rounding up 10 reasons we’re still just as much in love with Bridesmaids as the first time we laid eyes on it. Let’s renew our vows, shall we?
The movie is more “Com” than “Rom”
Bridesmaids, as its title would suggest, is set around an impending wedding. A lesser movie would have made a more traditional romantic comedy set around the bride-to-be and her groom but instead, Bridesmaids focuses more on the “com” than the “rom” introducing us to the maid-of-honour and her struggle to deal with her bestie’s upcoming wedding while her own life is imploding. The focus on the bridal party over the engaged couple sets Bridesmaids apart from other wedding comedies. In fact, Lillian’s fiance is given very little screen time at all.
It addresses feeling like a failure
When we meet Annie she’s coping with a breakup and the loss of her beloved bakery, Cake Baby. She doesn’t sugar coat that she’s struggling – working at a job she hates from which she is eventually fired, and living with roommates she can’t stand before ultimately being forced to move back home with her mother. With most rom coms featuring protagonists killing it at their careers and living in impossibly large and stylist apartments, and generally beyond their means, it was refreshing seeing someone dealing with the hand life had dealt her while still giving us plenty to laugh about. With 2020 knocking so many of us down and 2021 poised to be not much better, the theme of feeling like you’re not quite where you’re supposed to be in your life feels like the film could have been released today.
While Bridesmaids provides us with plenty of uproarious laugh out loud and ridiculous moments, they don’t come at the expense of sacrificing the movie’s inherent relatability. We can identify with Annie who feels she’s stuck in a rut while her best friend Lillian is moving on to the next phase of her life. We can relate to Annie comparing herself to the seemingly perfect Helen and some of us, whether we’d want to admit it or not, can even relate to when Annie eventually snaps and loses her shit at Lillian’s wedding shower, ultimately ruining the milestone event for her best friend. While logically we know what an unproductive exercise in futility comparing ourselves to others can be and that other people’s lives are rarely as perfect as they may seem from the outside, we can’t help but relate to Annie who often feels like she’s coming up short. Other plot points like Annie wasting her time on handsome douchebag Ted played by Jon Hamm also had many of us shivering in horror, recalling similar experiences in our lives and making the same kinds of mistakes.
That food poisoning scene
Even if you’ve never been knocked on your ass by the paralyzing, dehumanizing, and all around debilitating cruel torture that is food poisoning, the scene in the bridal shop where all the women, with the exception of Helen of course, are struck down by sickness still likely had you howling. From Megan declaring it was coming out of her “like lava” to Lillian reaching a new low by defecating in the street, the scene perfectly walks the line of gross-out humour and “Omg, been there!” relatability without veering too much into vomcom territory. Kristen Wiig plays Annie’s absolute reluctance to admit she’s been poisoned so well, we almost develop sympathy symptoms of our own just watching her.
While the entire cast is strong AF and fires on all cylinders from the opening to the closing credits, there’s no denying Melissa McCarthy’s Megan stands out among this “stone-cold pack of weirdos” so much so that Melissa earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance. While the Megan character gives us some of the movie’s biggest laughs, she’s not without depth, giving Annie a much-needed pep talk when Annie is at her lowest and exposing her own vulnerability in the process.
That airplane scene
Who among us hasn’t been arrested for a pill and alcohol-induced mid-air incident? Annie’s mile high meltdown was a perfect showcase for Kristen Wiig’s brilliant comedic skills and timing. From her passive aggressive reactions to Helen, to her ill-fated attempts to sneak into first class (“help me I’m poor”) Annie’s shenanigans had us rolling in the aisles and also had us “ready to paaaaaaarty!” even if we, like the bridesmaids, never made it to Vegas.
It’s filled with heart
The best comedies are the ones that give you more than just gut-busting laughs, but also moments that tug at the heartstrings. Megan’s pep talk to Annie, Annie and Lillians’ reconciliation just before the wedding, Chris O’Dowd’s Officer Rhodes’ ability to really see Annie despite her being at her lowest, and plenty of smaller moments throughout the movie give the movie true heart.
It’s a love story
But the love story isn’t between Lillian and her fiancé whose name and face we have already forgotten by the time the credits started to roll, instead the movie’s true love story is the enduring friendship between Lillian and Annie. Bridesmaids doesn’t treat platonic love as secondary to romantic love and treats female friendship with the importance and respect it deserves.
It proves once and for all women can be funny
You’re probably thinking “duh, of course women can be funny, when was that ever in question?” and while you’re right to think that, the powers-that-be in Hollywood haven’t always been so quick to agree. In 2011, Bridesmaids was seen as groundbreaking – a movie written by women, featuring an all-women cast with men in the supporting roles. Those comedies were, and still are, few and far between. And of course, just four years before the film’s release, there was this bullshit Vanity Fair piece by Christopher Hitchens entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” Hitchens died seven months after the blockbuster success of Bridesmaids and while we’re not suggesting the two are related, we’re glad he lived long enough to see the movie slay.
It never spawned a sequel
Bridesmaids was a smash hit, earning nearly $300 million at the US box office alone and outperforming director Judd Apatow’s previous comedy blockbuster, Knocked Up. The temptation to cash in even further and make a sequel must have been huge and fans were certainly clamouring for more, but writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo never caved to the pressure, choosing instead to let the original movie stand on its own. Sequels rarely live up to their first installment, at best falling short of the original, at worst tarnishing the legacy of the initial movie, so mad respect to the women for leaving Bridesmaids alone (we’re look at you, The Hangover movies!)
Bonus entry: That epic Wilson Phillips cameo
Just when you think Bridesmaids can’t be a more perfect movie, along comes Wilson Phillips in the final act to remind us things can change, things’ll go our way if we just hold on for one more day.