Movie of the Week – Bridesmaids (Plus Two Awful…

Yesterday I went to see Bridesmaids.  Before reading reviews of the film I was convinced that given its all-female cast (including Kristen Wiig, who has managed to be in a record-setting 117% of all Saturday Night Live sketches) and Judd Apatow association, the movie would be unfunny and extremely long.  Allow me to say I was wrong on the first part.  It was solidly funny.  Not great, or classic or even in the class of The Hangover or Old School (for my money the absolute best of the frat-ensemble style comedies of the last decade), but there were plenty of funny moments.  Sadly, many of the funny moments seemed Apatow-ish in the inability to leave the audience wanting more.  Several scenes, including one in which two friends compete in outdoing each other’s engagement party toasts, exhibit an inability to stop at three funny jokes and instead go for nine.  Like microcosms of Apatow movies which always seem to go on about twenty-five minutes too long, the scenes demonstrate that there can be too much of a good thing.  I won’t spoil the film, but I will say that it is a funnier movie than it is a quality movie which, for a summertime comedy, is probably more important.

Not bad. I'd give it a B

But rest assured, just because I was not given enough from Bridesmaids to be angry about doesn’t mean that my movie going experience was a total wash.  I saw two previews at Bridesmaids that represented a new low for Hollywood.  The first was for a new film called Warrior.  Here is the trailer:

Every sport was around for decades before inspirational movies came out about it.  Rocky was 100 years in the making, Hoosiers was 40 years, but MMA gets its Rocky approximately 7 weeks later (rough estimate).  But given its rich tradition of 3 pay-per-view events and some backyard brawls on YouTube they are ready for their close up.  Granted, the movie is a genius marketing strategy (why wait for the sport to earn the movie, we’ll make the movie and bring movie people to the sport), but it is also obvious that the movie has to be a piece of sh*t.  Here’s why:

1) It tells you the entire story. Any movie that tells you the entire plot in the preview is a bad movie.  This is an ironclad rule that has been 100% accurate ever since the preview for Macaulay Culkin’s “Ritchie Rich.”

2) MMA is not inspiring.  Sports that take about ten minutes time to end do not have the requisite time build up for inspiration, no matter how heavy-handed the soaring violin music is in the preview.  Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman doing the soundtrack for Bloodsport would not have made it The Natural.

3) Lights Out Syndrome – The movie looks exactly like someone copied the plot of the FX series Lights Out.  Although I liked Lights Out, copying a series that got cancelled after one season does not seem like a blue print for success.

The other notable movie preview was just flat out insulting.  It was for the new Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake tour de force – “Friends With Benefits.”  Here is the preview:

You may recongize this as a remake of a movie that came out 4 months ago:

Which was inspired by part of a movie that came out two months before that one:

Most geeks thought it absurd when The Hulk was re-made/re-booted a mere five years after the Ang Lee disaster.  Well, apparently the romantic comedy audience appears much more tolerant.  These movies pretend to flip the romantic comedy on its head and make it more modern, but it is the same story over and over again with the same happy ending (the modern exception being 500 Days of Summer, the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen and the only known antidote for the poison that is the three above films).  I guess my weekly movie advice would be two things I did not expect to write: go see Bridesmaids, but skip the trailers.

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