I did not expect this movie to be any good. Can you blame me? Look at the poster.
This was another free preview at Fifth Avenue Cinemas, much like when we saw The Adjustment Bureau. After that so-so film I was a bit wary about this.
And, again, look at the poster.
Basically I thought it was going to be The Hangover with chicks. And, in a way, it is – just not the way I feared. I thought some coat tail riding wannabe team would slap something together “[Fill in Blank] Movie” style (Epic Movie, Diaster Movie, etc). The epitome of laziness.
So I was expecting one of two things – over the top raunchiness and bathroom humour with zany situations – A Hangover knock off script where some genius just swapped all the genders – or a chick flick. Given the aforementioned poster, I voted for the former.
This, however, is not like that. Oh, sure, it has its share of cheap bathroom humour and crudeness, but the writers clearly did not just gender swap. Nor is it a traditional chick flick. In many ways it’s refreshing.
Why it’s refreshing is somewhat superficial. The women – with one exception – are not made out to be supermodel attractive. The lead actress, Kristen Wiig, is not leading lady rom/com material by the Sandra Bullock/Meg Ryan beauty standard. This is intentional, it wouldn’t be hard to pretty her up, hide wrinkles and all the rest. Her best friend getting married, played by Maya Rudolph, is a fine actress, but no stunner.
In fact all of the women are – by movie standards – average or less. Don’t let the poster fool you in this regard, it pretties them up. The only one who is a looker at all is the “miss perfect” antagonist, who obviously needs to be. Even the male love interest, Chris O’Dowd (of the IT Crowd, great series), is someone women would call “cute” or “sweet” rather than handsome.
Kristen Wiig also co-wrote this movie and I can see she made a conscious decision not to glam herself up. A move I applaud. I recommend this movie to people for that reason alone. But I don’t mean to harp on looks. Ultimately this movie is about different kinds of personal relationships, and it does so quite well.
Mellissa McCarthy is what you’d probably call the scene stealer, but in a deliberate way. She is in effect the female Zach Galifanakis from The Hangover – unbelievably odd and out there, all she’s missing is a beard. She quickly grows into something new and interesting, however. The scenes with her and the “air marshal” are worth the price of admission alone – especially at the end.
At 2 hours the version I saw will be considered too long by traditional movie goer standards. I’m sure part of the reason for the advance screening is to figure out what parts to cut, but I did like it, didn’t think it was too long, and that was surprise enough.