I picked a random feel good movie on the Netflix suggest list and landed on the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids. And then I looked into what the internet had to say about it because the cast was interesting and it came out at an interesting time (just about the time Hangover came out). There’s some fuss about how Bridesmaids was intended to a female centric movie at a time when femininity was a rather un-experimented topic in Hollywood but I personally saw nothing that makes this movie a feministic one.
Sure, the movie is female centric, revolves around a wedding and themes of jealousy amongst bridesmaids who not so subtly compete each other to be the bride’s best friend. It goes to places that chick flicks usually don’t go and throws things like ugly food poisoning consequences at the girls that will make you flinch. Though I cannot agree much on this movie doing anything revolutionary for the female representation in movies, I can say there was one element that I liked enough to document it here.
Annie, arguably the protagonist of Bridesmaids is the first choice to be Lillian (the bride)’s maid of honour. And thereon it is a downhill road for Annie that just slides and slides. What it means for a woman in her thirties, unmarried and tangled with a playboy, with a business that ran out of business, with an apartment she is thrown out of, with a romantic connection she self-sabotaged; to even lose her best friend – is one fascinating element about Bridesmaids. Rock bottom redefined.
She’s drugged to act out on a plane and she loses her sh*t and acts out on her own at Lillian’s rehearsal dinner, which happened to be a sophisticated French themed event. It’s pretty much the worst a girl can do for herself. And at a point that would put rock bottom to shame, Annie doesn’t magically arise from the situation; but an underdog who has been making fun of herself throughout the movie comes to her rescue. Megan, one of the other bridesmaids played by Mellissa McCarthy, suddenly becomes the best character in the movie as she drops by and narrates her story. She was a girl who pulled herself out of rock bottoms her entire life to end up at a commendable place today and Annie suddenly finds a reason to brush her hair and start baking again.
Now that, could be a feministic story. They placed the strongest story at just one point and cleverly brought the underdog to limelight at the most needy hour. And from there Annie rises back up and everything falls to place. What stands out is how the women have their own epiphanies and pick themselves up from dark places in the absence of male characters. In a few ways, Bridesmaids is different and pleasant.