‘Bachelorette’ Movie Review – A Heartless Comedy
My fears have now been confirmed…15 months later than I expected. It was tough for me to buy into the Judd Apatow-produced Bridesmaids last May, but I found the film to be very enjoyable. I expected it to be extremely cliché and wildly predictable. And while there were elements of both of those things, I thought the story had quite the heart.
Unfortunately, the Will Ferrell and Adam McKay-produced Bachelorette is exactly the movie I thought I was getting last year. Even though the actresses are great (especially Lizzy Caplan), Bachelorette doesn’t make it easy to root for any of the characters…even if there are some pretty funny bits.
When Becky (Rebel Wilson) gets engaged, three of her crazy high school “friends” come to town to celebrate the big day. But before she can walk down the aisle, their shenanigans accidentally destroy Becky’s dress. Racing against the clock, they set out to repair her dress as well as their lives.
Each of the three bridesmaids have reacted to growing up in a slightly different way, with Regan (Kirsten Dunst) becoming increasingly stuck-up and Gena (Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) becoming increasingly wild. Though they have different ways of dealing with their lives, they’re undeniably detrimental to the people around them.
It is the latter two who make the main characters harder to sympathize with. Even though Caplan dominates every scene she’s in, her character still isn’t that likable. Towards the middle, the film throws a bit of wrench into her character’s sympathy, but it still doesn’t justify any type of cocaine use (especially when it’s presented in a positive way). Likewise, Katie’s character is even less likable, making her looks the only thing keeping her in the film.
The movie, though, probably isn’t trying to be completely serious. As for the comedy, this definitely works to its advantage. Although the core conflict is repairing/replacing the dress, the relational humor is where the good stuff is. With the addition of Adam Scott (playing Gena’s ex-boyfriend), there is a cute little reunion of the Party Down relationship that is so lovable.
Still, the movie keeps backtracking on character development. When the bride gets closer to her wedding day, we see 180-degree shift in character over the span of two screen minutes. Likewise, Katie makes a contradictory choice moments after a pretty catastrophic event. And, Gena’s ex-boyfriend has a complete change from “cool guy” to bumbling idiot.
It’s moments like these that make the film harder and harder to like…much like the characters.
I do realize that argument via comparison isn’t fair, and I wasn’t expecting this to be like Bridesmaids. However, I was hoping it’d be like it on the macro level since the two stories don’t share much more in common than the wedding setting. I wanted to be wow’d with how they presented the story independent from other similar movies. However, Bachelorette turned into the movie I half-expected to see last year…and not in the good ways. Without great characters, the movie failed to keep me invested in the story, even if the humor kept me laughing.
Bachelorette opens wider this weekend after enjoying a fruitful run through Video On Demand services. Check out the movie to see if you agree or disagree with my take.
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