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Blu-ray Review: Bridesmaids

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Bridesmaids is what would happen if Bridezillas was about the maid of honor and not the bride. This brilliant and highly improvisational comedy from the collective (and slightly warped) imaginations of The Groundlings comedy veterans Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig (who also stars in the film), director Paul Feig (Nurse Jackie, Arrested Development), and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year Old Virgin), is now available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Universal.

Thirty-something Annie (Wiig) has a problem. Actually several of them. Best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married, and she has asked Annie to be her maid of honor. Now, normally that wouldn’t be such a problem; it would be a huge honor an occasion for much glee. But for Annie, this isn’t exactly a “normal time.”

Her business (a trendy bakery) has gone down the tubes and her “friend with benefits” Ted (Mad Men’s John Hamm) is a jerk of the nth degree. Even Annie’s job at a jewelry store has tanked and she may have to move back home to live with her mother (the late Jill Clayburgh, who died last November). And that’s not even the worst of it.

Possessively (and almost maliciously, at least to Annie) hovering over Lillian is Helen (Rose Byrne, Get Him to the Greek, X-Men First Class) her new friend (and poseur BFF). She is rich (with a budget way above Annie’s meager means), overbearing, and seems to do everything in her power to embarrass and overshadow Annie in Lillian’s eyes.

Way over her head in oh so many ways, Annie tries her best to compete with the glamorous Helen, but it’s pretty hopeless. Even her car gets her into trouble with a local police officer (Chris O’Dowd, Pirate Radio)—at least for awhile. But Officer Nathan Rhodes may be a white knight in cop’s clothing and pave the road to Annie’s salvation.

It’s a really rocky road with many pitfalls (and a few pitstops) along the way, but for us, the rocks are rare minerals. From a truly nauseating shopping adventure to select bridal attire and a nightmarish flight to Las Vegas, to a glitzy, over-the-top bridal shower that finally puts the frosting on the cake for poor Annie, each situation becomes a goldmine for this talented group of comic actors.

I think everyone can relate to Annie’s plight in one way or another, and setting the down on her luck Annie against the bridesmaid from hell (and a few situations from hell) Helen, sets up some insane funny comedy situations.

I really enjoyed Bridesmaids, as did my husband (which I suppose gives some credence to the hype that the movie is really a guy-movie in chick-flick’s clothing). The performances are all first rate, with Melissa McCarthy (Emmy-winning star of Mike and Molly) a stand out as the (shall we say) very peculiar sister of the groom.

The two-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray disc, a standard DVD—and a digital copy of the movie that can be downloaded to your device of choice. Presented in 1080p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the Blu-ray picture is incredibly sharp—a near cinematic rendering. The picture is richly detailed and the skyline shots of Chicago and Milwaukee (where the action takes place) give a great, three-dimensional sense of depth. The colors are all vivid, and the blacks and whites of the bridal attire come perfectly.

The lossless DTS HD audio is clear, and although most of it (as would be expected in a dialogue heavy film) comes through the center channel, the surround kicks beautifully when the film moves to large group scenes whether outdoors or inside. There is tremendous audio depth in these scenes; they are rich with sounds (and even amusing sound effects). 

The extras provided with the Blu-ray are extensive and a real treat. The set includes an unrated version of the movie as well as the theatrical release, in addition to nearly three hours of bonus features. Of course there is the obligatory commentary track, but this one is with a group of incredibly funny ladies (and the director Paul Feig), so it’s well worth the listen. And since this movie relied so heavily on improvisation, the gag reel, deleted scenes and alternate takes are all must-see.

“Made of Honor: Behind the Scenes of Bridesmaids” takes viewers through the making of the movie, with comments from the cast, director and producer Apatow. A couple of the scenes are explored further in compilations of bits from the plane ride to Las Vegas, and the out-for-blood tennis game between Helen and Annie (and their respective partners). An additional montage recalls the best and worst of Annie and Helen’s “frenemies” relationship.

I’d never seen Bridesmaids when it was in theatrical release, so I had to find out if all the buzz about the movie was right. It was. This is a funny, screwball comedy with a more than a touch of romance, and some excellent performances. I highly recommend it.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Bellaisa

    Good review. Makes me want to watch it even more.

    I just attended a wedding where I was the maid of honor and I know how stressful it can be so I imagine that this move will really hit home with me!