- - Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Releases

Bridesmaids

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

★★


“Saturday Night Live” long has been a fertile training ground for comedy performers who go on to major stardom in films. Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers and John Belushi have been just a few of the breakout stars.

DVD for "Dumbo:70th Anniversary Edition" released by Buena Vista/Disney Home Video. (Buena Vista/Disney Home Video)
DVD for “Dumbo:70th Anniversary Edition” released by Buena Vista/Disney Home Video. (Buena ... more >

The women of “SNL,” however, haven’t fared as well. Despite the tremendous platform the program has provided, few of the female talents have found big-screen success.

This summer, “SNL” cast member Kristen Wiig and former cast member Maya Rudolph scored a box-office smash with a female equivalent of the “buddy comedy” “Bridesmaids.”

The question the movie’s success presents is this: Is it really a step forward for actresses to be seen being as crude and stupid as men?

The film stars Miss Wiig (who co-wrote the film with Annie Mumolo) as Annie. Her best friend since childhood, Lillian (Miss Rudolph), has just announced her engagement and she’s planning to have Annie serve as her maid of honor.

But this wonderful request has come in the midst of one of the worst streaks of bad luck in Annie’s life.

Her passive-aggressive fling (Jon Hamm of “Mad Men”) has decided he wants to see other women. The brother-and-sister pair she rooms with wants her to move out, even though she’s the only one who regularly pays the rent. Annie’s job is no picnic, and she’s close to losing it through no fault of her own.

The one thing Annie desperately wants to do is be the best and most supportive maid of honor she can be. But fate places yet another roadblock in her way in the form of Helen (Rose Byrne).

Helen is married to the hard-charging businessman who runs the company where Lillian’s fiance works. Helen also feels compelled to take a hand in the planning of Lillian’s bridal shower and wedding with or without Annie’s help or input.

Soon, the lead-up to the wedding becomes a battle of who can top whom, as Helen uses her wealth to outshine Annie’s plans and create a rift between the two longtime friends.

Anyone who’s seen Miss Wiig’s work on television knows she’s a talented comic performer, but she and her co-writer have done her a disservice in creating Annie. The character is a sad sack of the worst kind, someone who seems constantly in denial and allows herself to be stepped on by nearly everyone she meets.

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