Reviewed on 2011 May 17
This is an Apatow film with a few of the usual cast of characters and some raunch that works because of the incongruity of the setting. I am skeptical of watching anything revolving around a wedding, but the wedding was just a prop for this thing, and it was pretty funny.
Annie (Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the script) has a life that can’t seem to get out of first gear. Her bakery business tanked, despite the quality of her cakes (we learn later that yes, they were good). She lives with a hideous pair of roommates, she hates her job, and her love life is pretty much relegated to being the friend with benefits to a smarmy frat-rat type (Jon Hamm). The one thing she looks forward to is hanging out with her childhood best bud Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and Annie fears even that may change. Lillian just got engaged, and also added a sparkly new BFF to her circle of friends: Helen (Rose Byrne), who reminded me of a version of Christy Masters from Romy and Michelle, had she grown up into something even more sinister. Annie barely has two nickels to rub together and Helen casually waves around a diamond the size of a gumdrop as she talks about sushi runs and fancy vacations with Lilian. She subtly tries to take over the whole wedding thing by suggesting showers and dresses that look like sets from Cirque du Soleil, but Annie refuses to give up. Lillian picked her for the Maid of Honor, and even if the rest of her life is a mess, she’s not going to let this new woman usurp her.
Despite all that, this is not a typical chick flick. The wedding is a fluffy pink McGuffin, and the real story is Annie trying to get her life to come into some sort of cohesion. The dialogue and situations save it from turning into navel-gazing. There’s a lot of talk about the dress fitting scene and while the gross humor has been done before, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done in a prissy foo-foo bridal shop. The chemistry between Wiig and Rudolph was very good, and Rose Byrne was perfect as the flashy, too-perfect, overbearing Helen. I think most people know that person, the one who drives you crazy by undermining you in ways that make you look petty if you point it out. Byrne nailed it with tooth-grinding accuracy.
Three chocolate morsels.