In 2011, audiences were treated to a brand of comedy that hadn’t really been seen before. Women trying their hand at a raunchy sex-comedy in BRIDESMAIDS. While Bridesmaids wasn’t the first film to make this effort, it seemed to be one of the first ones that people really noticed. It even garnered an Academy Award nomination for one of it’s player’s. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and while every film should get the benefit of the doubt in that it’s direct influence wouldn’t come from another movie, it’s hard to make that defense with BACHELORETTE. But that shouldn’t be a deterrent to anyone who automatically dismisses this is as a ripoff of last year’s hit. It’s very much a different film. If Bridesmaids were a normal, well-rounded person, Bachelorette would be it’s slutty, coke-head cousin, but with a good heart.
Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gina (Lizzy Caplan), and Katie (Isla Fisher) are three friends who have been asked to be bridesmaids in the wedding of a friend they mocked in high school. Back in high school, Becky (Rebel Wilson) was called Pig Face, and while she’s matured as they’ve all gotten older, Regan, Gina, and Katie have not. On the night before the wedding, after already having made a bad impression on the entire wedding party, the three embark on a booze and cocaine filled night that neither of them will ever forget.
It’s worth noting, that while this comparison is inevitable, it cannot be stated enough that this isn’t Bridesmaids. If anything, Bachelorette makes good on the promise delivered when Bridesmaids was announced. The film focuses on the night of the bachelorette party and every disastrous moment that comes with it.
At a brisk 87 minute runtime, there’s no time to breathe and the pacing is frenetic. You won’t see an awkward 5 minute rehearsal speech where one girl keeps trying to one up another girl until the joke wears painfully thin here. Every joke hits, and every moment works the way it needs to and nothing ever feels forced.
The short pacing is also benefitted by a smaller cast. The three main characters are given plenty to do, and they carry the film effortlessly. It’s amazing that Lizzy Caplan isn’t more of a star already, although she’s been in a lot of great indie films the last couple of years. She is always capable of delivering absolutely fearless performances that are a blast to watch. Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst, as well as the rest of the male cast, made up of James Marsden, Adam Scott, and Kyle Bornheimer all deliver as well and there isn’t a lazy performance to be found.
Sometimes movies with similar plots and themes happen, and it shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing all the time. Bachelorette played at Sundance to enthusiastic crowds back in January and it’s now available on VOD through various platforms and will be released theatrically on September 7th. Lizzy Caplan continues to impress by showcasing a wide range with the characters she’s played in films the last few years, her and Isla Fisher are worth the price of admission alone.
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