I know as a guy I am supposed to be genetically predispositioned to hate chick flicks, romantic comedies and period piece dramas. However, as a lover of cinema of all types, I like these types of movies when they are done well. And my God, have they NOT been good as of late. Talking with their target audience of females of various ages I can tell they are no happier than I've been these past few years. Films like Bride Wars, the Wedding Planner and pretty much anything staring either J-Lo or Kate Hudson has been awful, awful, awful. They make women seem beyond neurotic which can't be good for society.
Finally, we get not only a good romantic comedy about women but one that actually has real people in it, not some Hollywood stereotype that is almost blackface in it's misogynist state. Kristen Wiig is fantastic as Annie, a woman who's life is going nowhere. She's sleeping with a true cadd, played to the hilt by an uncredited John Hamm, lost her business and is sharing an apartment played by a creepy brother and sister pair (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson) who almost deserve their own spinoff film. In the midst of all of this her best friend from childhood, Lilian (Maya Rudolph), is getting married, devastating Annie. The movie captures the weirdness of weddings by throwing radically different women together as bridesmaids and expecting their to be no friction. Annie meets newlywed Becca (Ellie Kemper of the Office),the sick of marriage, Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey from Reno 911), the hypersexual, devil may care, overweight Megan (brilliantly played by Mike and Molly's Mellisa McCarthy) and the uber-perfect foil, Helen (Rose Byrne in her hundredth film this year. It seems every film as of late has Byrne or Natalie Portman in it.).
As Annie's life spirals out of control she inadvertently sabotages everything about the pre wedding planning that a maid of honor is supposed to do, hurt that not only is she losing her best friend to a new marriage but is rapidly being pushed out by the richer, smarter, more beautiful Helen. Annie is very damaged by her past and it shows in both funny and sad moments. When she meets the very nice Irish cop, Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd), Annie is so self destructive that she can't recognize a good thing when it literally hits her in the face.
This is a great movie, maybe a little over long, but that's par for the course for a Judd Aptow film. This is one of the funniest pictures I have seen this year, just behind the awesome PAUL. If your looking for a romantic comedy that won't make you slit your wrists half way through, this is the one. It's about time.
4 out of five stars