BRIDESMAIDS (R a healthy R for all things Apatow):
It's the raunchiest chick flick ever to hit the screen, going over the top with a highly unoriginal plot on which to hang one trump idea: make another earthy male bonding comedy and switch to a femme cast, replete with casual sex, heavy drinking, explicitly profane language, bodily function humor, and enough profanity to make a sailor blush, and a chance for the chosen bridesmaids to get to know one another as they prepare for the Big Day.
It's one long - and I do mean a long 125-miutes - bachelor party for six women with a frat-boy mentality.
Who invested in good filmmaking could ever have thought that vulgarity would become the key to a successful comedy! Besides producer Jud Apetow, of course.
Actually, the center of interest is not the contrasts among the babes, nor the goof-ups along the way to the altar; it's about 30-something, neurotic Annie (SNL's rubber-faced Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the script with Annie Mumolo) and her attempts to live a scattered life of what-the-f*** and not succeeding too well. Her bed partner (John Hamm) wants her only for sex, she fails in every pre-bridal event she suggests (selects the wrong place for the girls' dinner, messes up a posh couturierie, causes them to be thrown off a plane on their way to Vegas - all in trying to compete especially with one of the group, tough competition with expensive tastes (Rose Byrne) - and always failing. She has a run-in with her best friend and bride-to-be (Maya Rudolph), fails to connect with a cop friend (Chris O'Dowd), is tossed from her apartment, and - oh, but wait! There's more! In a trice it all rights itself and the wedding comes off in the most traditional Hollywood manner, and everyone lives and loves happily ever after.
Wiig's performance dominates nearly every scene, even competing with gentle cop O'Dowd, who lights up the screen whenever he's on. "Wanna talk to a cop about it?" he asks when he realizes she's in the dumps. "We're like priests. Only we can talk about it. Only I don't."
There are pleasant shots of Milwaukee & Chicago to give the film a nice Midwestern touch.
Script by Wiig & Mumolo is much too long, takes at least half an hour to drop some of the raunchy epater le bourgeois stuff and head for the main focus for this run-of-the-mill screwball comedy in modern dress. Director Paul Feig follows faithfully in the footsteps of producer Apetow, who knows how to offer a meal of sh** and make you relish it. (Grade: B-)