A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this hilarious yet affecting R-rated comedy shows how two friends, Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph), cope when their lives are upended by Lillian's impending wedding. Produced by Judd Apatow, Bridesmaids has all the hallmarks of an Apatow vehicle, including risque humor (there's no nudity, but expect plenty of sex talk and a couple scenes with moaning and groaning), over-the-top scatological comedy (the consequences of some unintentional food poisoning are beyond raunchy), zany adventures, crude language (including "f--k" and "c--t"), immature behavior (some of which is fueled by drinking) ... and surprising insight into friendships and adult relationships. It's not age appropriate for tweens and young teens, but it's definitely worth viewing for older moviegoers interested in a fresh spin on the "chick flick" formula.
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What's the story?
Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) have been friends forever. So when Lillian announces that she's engaged, Annie is happy to serve as her maid of honor. Still, Annie can't help but feel some pain knowing that her best friend is moving in a new direction while she's still single, sharing an apartment with two odd roommates and working a job she doesn't want because her dream bakery went belly up. Even the guy she likes (Jon Hamm) only considers her his "number 3" option. Change needs to happen, and soon -- because if Annie doesn't shape up, she may lose her title as Lillian's bestie to rich, polished Helen (Rose Byrne), who's on the hunt for a new BFF. And the sweet state patrol officer (Chris O'Dowd) who shows Annie that she deserves better in love and life may decide to take a hike, too.
Is it any good?
BRIDESMAIDS should be required viewing for bridal parties and book clubs -- and any other group of women, for that matter. Smart, sassy, and seriously funny, it's the female-centric, irreverent buddy comedy we've needed for ages. (Seriously, why did it take so long?) Biting with humor and generous with heart, Bridesmaids reminds us of the value of true, enduring friendships -- and that we have the power to wriggle our way out of the toughest spots if we let others help and, most of all, choose to help ourselves.
Wiig makes an enormously flawed character likable, while Rudolph turns in a grounded, authentic performance. And their chemistry! They share such an easy rapport that it's totally believable that they're friends for life. Big applause to the writers (one of whom was Wiig) and director Paul Feig, as well: While the bachelorette-party-goes-awry subplot is pretty predictable (though it does produce one hilarious airplane scene) and a few of the characterizations are a little one-note (like Annie's boorish sometime-boyfriend, who's played with gleeful abandon by Hamm), Bridesmaids is ultimately a joy to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie (which some have called "the female Hangover") compares to similar films starring men. Is this kind of humor any less funny when women are the instigators? Do you think it appeals to the same audience?
How does this movie compare to others about weddings? What role does the media play in making us think that the wedding is as important as the marriage? Is it important to have a big, fancy, expensive wedding/shower/bachelorette party?
How does the movie portray female friendships? Does it seem realistic? Teens: Have you ever gotten caught up in a friendship drama like the one between Annie, Lillian, and Helen? What happened?
- In theaters: May 13, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: September 20, 2011
- Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy
- Director: Paul Feig
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 124 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some strong sexuality, and language throughout
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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