Bridesmaids: Achievement for Women?

by | May 18, 2011
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture

Ever since the movie Bridesmaids was announced, the feminist blogosphere has been abuzz with speculation about the first women-oriented “bromance”-style movie. The movie opened in theatres in Canada last Friday and I had a chance to go see it this weekend so thought I’d weigh in on the discussion.

Bridesmaids is a new comedy from Judd Apatow, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and directed by Paul Feig. The plot revolves around Annie (Wiig), a single woman who’s in a casual relationship with a douchey guy (Jon Hamm) and who’s struggling to get back on her feet after her bakery business folded. Things take a turn for the even worse when her friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks Annie to be her Maid of Honour. Annie accepts and joins the eclectic bridal party, including super-rich diva-esque Helen (Rose Byrne) and other bridesmaids played by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, and Ellie Kemper.

One thing that distinguishes Bridesmaids from other wedding-oriented romcoms is its yuck factor (including the food poisoning scene covered in the trailer):

The toilet humour moments and the number of sex jokes are part of what’s led to some calling Bridesmaids The Hangover for Women”. A lot of feminist and women’s blogs like Jezebel and The Mary Sue praised Bridesmaids for blazing a new trail for women’s comedy and succeeding where other women-centric movies have failed.

So first, the good stuff about Bridesmaids:

Now, the critique:

Bridesmaids isn’t an achievement for women. If anything, it reinforces the idea that women have to prove they can be as funny as men, in a style developed by men. That said, it was a nice break from the bromances and it was enjoyable and funny enough that I can still recommend it.


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