|The girls are back in town ...|
Alas, Annie can't compete with the ultra-rich, sophisticated, beautiful Helen. She botches the pre-wedding luncheon with the bridesmaids by bringing the women to a dodgy Brazilian restaurant where they contract food poisoning before a dress fitting; she is so disruptive (looped on drugs and booze) on the flight to Las Vegas for the bachelorette that they are thrown off the plane and must return to Chicago by bus; she freaks out at the wedding shower because Helen has gone to such absurd, exorbitant lengths to woo Lillian as a friend (and stolen Annie's proposed theme for the shower). Lillian is so frustrated with Annie's manic behavior that she kicks her out of the wedding party.
It is subtly and cleverly subversive about female rituals. Why should a bridesmaid pay $800 for a dress she will never wear again and that she despises? Why should she be bullied into an expensive overnight trip for a bachelorette? Why aren't her feelings of being left behind valid when the engagement is announced and things aren't going her way in her own personal life? The "mean girl" Helen is proven to be not so much mean as lonely and insecure and by the film's end there is a tentative rapprochement between Annie and Helen.
Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumolo dredge up every petty, unhappy jealous feeling that women feel in these situations but don't like to acknowledge openly (Mumolo also does a hysterically funny cameo as an unhinged passenger seated next to Wiig on the plane).
And Melissa McCarthy totally steals the show as Megan the groom's unkempt, profane, vulgar sister and fellow bridesmaid. Whether she is helping the air marshal (and her future lover) take down Annie on the plane or revengefully stealing puppies from the wedding shower or proposing a "Fight Club" theme for the bachelorette ... she has the exact right amount of innocence, vulgarity and charm for this role.The nomination is well deserved.
The mark of a great comic actress is fearlessness ... and Wiig has it in spades (as does Melissa McCarthy). She will make herself look disastrously unattractive (the food poisoning episode); undesirable (being booted out of Ted's bed when he wants to just sleep); jealous, crazy and vindictive (physically destroying Lillian's Parisian-themed wedding shower at Helen's home). She is unshakable in her determination to make us laugh no matter how she comes across.
|In the wedding boutique ... you don't want to know what happens next.|