VOD Review: Bachelorette
When Bridesmaids hit theaters last year, it was poorly dubbed "The Hangover for women." But it wasn't. Though I cannot be counted as a huge fan of the film, I'll gladly admit it had a lot more heart than The Hangover and to compare the two was very misleading and a bit sexist. However, if someone said Bachelorette was "The Hangover with (not for) women" they wouldn't be far off...except Bachelorette simply isn't funny and has even less heart.
The film focuses on three of the bridesmaids of Becky (Rebel Wilson), who is considered the traditionally less physically desirable of the former high school quartet. After the stripper at the bachelorette party makes a crude reference to Becky's weight, Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) are left to their own devices as the upset bride-to-be calls it a night. Unfortunately the three friends are the most dysfunctional trio of "adults" possible, and the night proceeds to get worse and worse as they accidentally rip the bride's dress and try all night to (unsuccessfully) get it fixed. All while snorting coke and hooking up with the groomsmen (Adam Scott, James Marsden, and Kyle Bornheimer).
The lacking plot and the shallow cast of characters partner perfectly to make one truly despicable film. From the beginning, it is a large leap of faith that Regan, Gena and Katie would have been in a tight clique with the likes of Becky in high school. It's a mean statement, but it's true. But whatever contrived backstory writer/director Leslye Headland dreamed to make it believable (a backstory that is quite paper thin) it's ten times more implausible that they would have remained Becky's friend, or even kept up any contact, over a decade after graduation. So to see these threed flit about over Becky's wedding immediately sets up Bachelorette to fail.
Helping it fail further are the main trio. They are pitiful caricatures of women. They can be simply summed up with bitchy, slutty and stupid. But what makes Regan, Gena and Katie even worse is that Dunst, Caplan and Fisher are not completely talentless twits. In fact, it's sad that remnants of former appreciated performances of all three can easily be seen in their respective bridesmaids. Unfortunately, these characters have been taken down to the lowest common denominator so that they possess nothing other than what's on the screen.
Yet to add further insult to injury is lack of the titular bachelorette. Rebel Wilson is on screen for maybe fifteen minutes. Though she played it a bit over-the-top in Bridesmaids as Annie's dumb and creepy roommate, she was given just enough that it wasn't too much silliness. Here, Becky is much more grounded and relatable, but sadly she's no where to be found for 80% of the movie. And it's a shame, because in her few shining moments, Wilson is able to bring all the happiness and anxiety of what being a blushing bride is to the screen. It's actually quite touching when she confesses to Regan that she knows her rich, handsome groom is "too good" for her. But instead of more honest moments like this one, we're treated to endless references of lame 90's pop culture that add nothing to the film.
It's not terribly surprising that Bachelorette is such a mess. It's Headland's maiden voyage writing and directing a feature film. What is surprising are all the recognizable names attached trying to make heads or tails of the mess. Not only is most of the major cast somewhat known, but the film was also produced by comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. And unfortunately, it's the inexplicable association of all these names that's getting Bachelorette a lot more attention than it deserves, myself included.