“Bridesmaids” is a genre so rare
it is practically in a category by itself: female
buddy-movie raunch comedy. Those who
are aficionados of television’s “Saturday Night Live” will recognize
veteran comediennes Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph.
They play best friends, Annie and Lillian, who can tell each other
anything, including the messy details of their love lives.
The men may come and go, but their friendship endures, and has since
But all that relational history is
suddenly threatened by Lillian’s surprise engagement.
It seems she’s marrying into money.
(The groom is virtually nonexistent in this elaborate wedding, which
is an extreme absence even for a unique chick flick.)
She’s made new friends now, connected with his family, and Annie
has been too self-absorbed to notice the growing distance between them.
Annie has endured a lot of failures recently:
her pastry shop went belly-up, and the fiancé who partnered with her
disappeared after the bankruptcy. Annie
works in a jewelry store now, but her heart isn’t in it.
She keeps being scathingly honest to potential clients, which is an
amusing use of put-down humor, but doesn’t endear her to her boss.
She’s fired from that, and from her lease with her roommate, too,
and, humiliated, she has to move back in with her Mom (Jill Clayburgh, who
shows us all how to look good even after the magic age of full Social
Security benefits). Annie has a
“friend with benefits” (OK, they don’t even use that euphemism), Jon
Hamm (always the charming cad but this time more of the latter and less of
the former), but Annie fully realizes that’s going nowhere.
In fact, her life is pretty much going nowhere right now, and to make
matters worse, she gets pulled over for her taillights being out.
You guessed it.
The cop flirts with her, and maybe things are starting to look up a
little. But Annie is considerably
adept at self-destruction. She even
manages to sour that serendipitous relationship, then lets her testiness
about being displaced in old friend Lillian’s life get the better of her,
as Annie launches off into a profanity-filled, throw-and–break-stuff
tirade at Lillian’s engagement party. Now
Annie’s really isolated. And nobody
It would be pretty sad, this self-pity
party, except the screenplay here is determinedly and consistently juvenile.
Bathroom humor abounds. And
sex humor. (But no nudity, please,
we’re mature women with body image issues.)
In the end, it’s about the strength
of long-term BFF relationships, and the men are, if not obstructionists, at
the very least, irrelevant and incidental.
Not so in “Hop,” which is
everything “Bridesmaids” isn’t: sticky
sweet, child-friendly, cute, sappy, and well-meaning.
The Easter Bunny is like Santa at the North Pole:
overseeing a candy-making operation that has to churn out enough, er,
nourishment for literally everyone in the world---or at least, those who
expect the Easter Bunny to arrive. Interesting
that religion is never mentioned, though the term “Easter” is used
frequently: herein lies the complete
divorce of the secular from the religious meaning of Easter.
“Hop” is an animated movie with
good heart: the heir apparent Easter
Bunny is a nice friendly rabbit who really wants to be a drummer in a rock
band. Fred (James Marsden is also a
nice guy--- an underachiever who still lives with Mom and Dad, but dreams of
doing something big---like helping the Father and Son Easter Bunny to
reconcile, and thus making the dream happen once more to delighted children
all over the world. Well, it’s
terminally cute, and insults no one, if you ignore the excising of religion
Both movies are silly, on their own
terms. One you can take your
grandmother to see with you, the other you don’t want to admit to your
grandmother that you not only saw it, you laughed your decorum off and are
still chuckling about it.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor,
United Presbyterian Church,