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dir-scr Leslye Headland
prd Brice Dal Farra, Claude Dal Farra, Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Lauren Munsch
with Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Hayes MacArthur, Kyle Bornheimer, Ella Rae Peck, Andrew Rannells, Arden Myrin, Shauna Miles
release US 7.Sep.12
Wedding dress blues: Fisher, Dunst and Caplan
SUNDANCE FILM FEST
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Headland adapts her own play for the big screen, and the film's style is so similar to Bridesmaids that it's difficult not to draw comparisons. This one's sillier and simpler, but its loose, freewheeling style is funny and sassy.
When their high school friend Becky (Wilson) gets married, the "B-faces" reunite for the wedding. Maid of honour Regan (Dunst) is more than a little annoyed that she isn't getting married first. Katie (Fisher) is so self-involved that she barely notices a marriage is happening. And Gena (Caplan) is annoyed that her teen boyfriend Clyde (Scott) will be there. Then on the night before the wedding, they tear the wedding dress while making fun of how big it is.
This is one of those madcap odysseys in which people impaired by alcohol and drugs try to accomplish something important while dealing with individual issues. During their rude shenanigans, they run into the groom (MacArthur) and his pals, including Clyde as well as guys (Marsden and Bornheimer) with connections to Regan and Katie. This match-up is very convenient, turning the film into three rom-coms (the bride and groom vanish early on) that take different but equally predictable routes.
The script's fast-paced dialog is fairly nonstop, snapping with cynicism and a indulging in a zany plot that wanders all over Manhattan on this long, messy, Hangover-style night. Headland spreads the action all over the city, with a series of crazy encounters and mini-adventures in a wide variety of settings. There's far too much slapstick nonsense along the way, and we never really doubt where any of this is going, but its sharp wit continually catches us off guard.
What makes this watchable is an underlying intelligence that's genuinely amusing. It's not so much about the big comical set pieces as the characters confronting embarrassing truths about themselves. These men and women are all intensely stupid, but they're also likeable, thanks to the gifted cast. And it's especially nice to see Wilson in a more straightforward role. In many ways, this is exactly what a Sex and the City movie should have been - it's certainly funnier and more engaging than either of those films.
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© 2012 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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