(Paul Feig, 2011)
Extremely funny, but filled with an interesting dose of bitterness and pain, Bridesmaids is the film which finally makes Kirsten Wiig a star. Perhaps fittingly, given the elastic nature of her talent, here she plays a recognisable, three dimensional woman with emotional issues aplenty, and yet she finds the humour there, then pushes it just about as far as it will go. But the darkness of her characters situation is what gives the comedy so much bite.
Wiig, like Steve Carrell, for example, is a comedienne whose comic persona allows her to display her skills as an actress, as opposed to the likes of Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler, who have to move into entirely different registers to do any "acting" beyond their usual schtick. So here her character is depressed, self-destructive, angry and afraid, and all of that is evident in her behaviour. The films great strength is making all that humorous. The relative emotional realism of Bridesmaids also allows characters like Rose Byrne's Helen, the closest the film gets to a villain, to be given more depth and humanity, preventing it ever slipping into Hangover-style cartoonshness. And Wiig and Director Feig are never afraid of going lowbrow in search of laughs, as the food-poisoning scene in the Bridal boutique proves.
It helps that the supporting cast are so strong across the board, from John Hamm enjoying himself in a nasty cameo, to Chris O'Dowd being nice, Melissa McCarthy getting all the best lines and Maya Rudolph just as complex and true as the bride as Wiig's Maid of Honor.
Feig's direction is unobtrusive, the script - though way overlong in the patented Judd Apatow manner - is occasionally brilliantly sharp, and it delivers consistent laughs.