Thursday, December 13, 2012


Unhappy People

I suppose with the success of The Hangover comedies, which was essentially a guilt trip for the male demographics, someone's got to plug the gap for the females, and so we have films like Bridesmaids, which was equally insane in its treatment and comical moments. On the other hand we have wannabes such as Bachelorette, which tried but tried too hard, and while having its moments, turned out to be a little too contrived, with good ideas ultimately tanked by playing them out too safely, that it became horribly boring.

Based on a stage play by Leslye Headland, who adapted it to a screenplay and directed this film, Bachelorette had its casting against type working for it, albeit for a while before the novelty wore off as the movie went on. The one who will catch your eye amongst the cast list will be Rebel Wilson, whose presence was such a boost in films like Pitch Perfect, and even her bit role in What to Expect When You're Expecting was funny as hell, but here, it's quite unfortunate she got relegated to the side for the most parts, playing the unlikely bride who's about to get married, and with that big day looming over the next 24 hours, decided to not spend too much time with her high school chums, played by Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher, whose characters call themselves the B-girls.

And boy are they B-grade alright. I haven't seen Kirsten Dunst in a film where she had to curse so much, and sure it was a cast against type, but somehow this bitchy demeanour her character Regan is, doesn't really get delivered with aplomb by the actress. The de-facto leader of the group, she's maid of honour, but clearly has plenty of envy issues swirling around, that I suppose any girl can identify with. She's one of the most unlikeable characters for the surface hypocrisy displayed even amongst friends, but ultimately, for the sake of team dynamics, I guess you can't really leave someone like this out of any group dynamics, one who's bossy and having a say in everyone's actions, although when push comes to shove in the most stressful of times, she's probably the one with all the right solutions.

Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher play the other two bachelorettes Gena and Katie, both who clearly have a drink and drug issue, spending most of the time in the story high and drunk, never refusing a chance to light something up, or gulp something down. Granted this was probably to get the characters saying some kinky/nasty/funny stuff, but after a while it gets stale, and you'd wonder how long it'll take before they can sober up. Headland obviously has the best lines reserved for these two characters, but the "best" just didn't deliver. You know the lines are meant to be funny, but they'd hardly elicit any laughter because of deadpan delivery, and that they just didn't make the grade. And making things worse for the film, is that neither of these Bachelorettes are actually endearing, with the characters seemingly distant from anyone you can probably relate to or identify with.

Then again, I may not even be in the right target demographic to begin with. The story revolves around the perennial screw ups the girls find themselves in when they accidentally rip apart the bride's gown in the middle of the night, and spend the best part of the next few hours trying to find solutions to get it repaired on time before they ruin their best friend's big day. They agree, they disagree, they get together expecting a good party, but got more than they bargained for when their friendship gets put on the line, while at the same time tackling various guy issues courtesy of the ensemble on the groom's side - James Marsden as the slimy best man Trevor, together with Gena's ex Clye (Adam Scott) who's looking for reconciliation, and Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) who's encouraged to get into the pants of a dead drunk Katie.

Bachelorette as it turns out, is more of an exploration of women issues, and their insecurities and fear when you put a group of women friends together. The story perpetuates the notion of the intricacies behind each girl group, where one can be smiling outside while at the same time cursing big time on the inside. The opening sequence when the girls learn of Becky's upcoming marriage is testament to that, especially with Regan's ultra negative reaction, and that forms the emotional roller coaster ride that lasted until the final frame. It isn't pretty, nor funny, but really repulsive by the time the end credits roll.

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