Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Natural Raunchiness in 'Bridesmaids'

Just listened to Paul Feig with Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment.

Feig says that, to him, one of the most important things in comedy is that characters come off real, that they're something the audience, real people, can connect with. Looks like he succeeded with 'Bridesmaids'. It has a flow. Like these are everyday people who just happen to be in a movie.

Like this scene:

Rings true. You know these two people are friends.

Even when the setup is conventional the energy works. It's not like a line-reading.

When I first saw this I braced myself for that point when the schtick would get uncomfortable to watch. It didn't happen. It never became schtick. Rose Byrne stays sincere, real, the whole time, and because of that it's funny. You feel for her. She's so determined, and a little sad and lonely. It's touching and comic.

But, the flick isn't a touchy-feely exploration of friendships (between women). It gets pretty raunchy, as gross as anything from the Apatow boy's club. (If anything, more so).

'Bridesmaids' doesn't pull punches like a by-the-numbers girly comedy (I won't offer any titles but there's a non-stop parade. They're sterile, predictable, safe, with fakey cutesy scenes that nobody can get invested in without feeling like an ass, and they fail again and again).

This scene would usually have that vaudeville feel -- as if each joke is followed by an unheard ba-dum ching drum shot:

Plays great. Just rolls. Sick funny, but also real and natural. I can't think of another recent comedy that features women in central roles that goes there, pulls that off.

Audiences have responded. There's good buzz. 'Bridesmaids' may have legs.

I put this up earlier today, but it fits here, so I'll post it again:

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