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Is “Bachelorette” the Next “Bridesmaids”?

August 2, 2012

I’m still not quite sure what a meme is, but apparently I helped create one earlier this year when I asked “Is Friends with Kids the Next Bridesmaids?” My blog post was aggregated by The Week along with reviews of six other movies that had been slapped with the same moniker, among them The Five Year Engagement (coming out in an unrated version on DVD next week) and—weirdly—American Reunion, Wanderlust and Bad Teacher. Another of these alleged Bridesmaids wannabes, Bachelorette, was declared a “Sundance breakout,” with costar Lizzy Caplan explaining “we’re all huge fans of Bridesmaids [but our comedy] comes from a much darker, more independent place.”

Having gotten a sneak peek at Bachelorette, which arrives on VOD next week ahead of a limited theatrical release, I can definitively say: It is not the next Bridesmaids. And by “a much darker, more independent place,” Caplan must mean “a much less funny place.” She stars along with Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher as mean girls who throw a wild pre-wedding bash for a former high-school classmate (Rebel Wilson of, yes, Bridesmaids) they used to call “Pigface.” Unfortunately, first-time writer-director Leslye Headland (adapting her own play) isn’t any wittier. Predictable sitcom high jinks ensue—what will the girls do when they rip the bride-to-be’s gown?—but with a nasty tone that renders the movie even more distasteful than your average bridesmaid’s dress.

Fisher throws herself into the movie with the same breakneck spirit she brought to The Wedding Crashers, but Dunst’s forte clearly isn’t comedy; she’s more suited to Melancholia. And I must confess I’ve never understood the brittle Caplan’s appeal; I know people who loved her on Party Down, but I prefer her ex-costar on that Starz sitcom, Adam Scott, who’s the best thing in Bachelorette as her dickish ex-boyfriend (perhaps not coincidentally, he was also the best thing about Friends with Kids).

In fact, the men in the movie—who also include 30 Rock‘s James Marsden and former Worst Week costars Kyle Bornheimer and Hayes MacArthur—get more laughs than the gals. Now that’s something Kristen Wiig & Co. would’ve never allowed. But since a Bridesmaids sequel is apparently a non-starter, we’ll just have to settle for these proverbial cinematic bridesmaids.

Will there ever be another Bridesmaids? Speak now or forever hold your peace!

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