Right off the bat, it is easy to tell that the majority of people will be comparing Bachelorette to two highly successful films of a similar nature: Bridesmaids and The Hangover.
In order to enjoy this movie, you might as well end the comparisons there. Sure, there are little bits of each of those films interspersed into this one, but it is a different movie, and does not really try to be either one of those, but something on it’s own. There is even a message in this movie, if you care to look for it.
The raunchy comedy stars a really strong cast of Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, James Mardsen, and Adam Scott. The women have been friends since high school, and are brought back together for the surprising wedding of Wilson, whom they all assumed was the least likely to be the one to get married first. Each of the bridesmaids are forced to look at their own lives, which are in various states of disrepair, and they each fill a archetypal role within their group of friends.
Dunst plays Regan, the alpha-female who thought she had done everything right in life, but was still not engaged to her never-present med school boyfriend. Regan is angry and terrifying, becoming the Bridezilla even though she was only the maid of honour in this wedding. She wants to ensure that everything is perfect for her friend, even though she has constant doubts about her own life, by seeing her friend get married first. She has a darker past, as do they all, and her perfect exterior hides secrets such as bulimia. Dunst is quite strong in this role, again showing the promise she had as an actress not so long ago. It seems like forever ago that she was one of the hottest actress on the planet, and seemed like she would be lined up for life with great roles and awards forever.
Caplan, always darkly humorous in whatever role she undertakes, plays a promiscuous party girl who never really sorted things out in the 15 years since high school. Her life is pretty rudderless, and she still pines for the boyfriend she had back in the day. This leads us to several scenes with her and Adam Scott, who are always great together. If you haven’t seen them in the great show Party Down, you are missing out. Caplan has her own issues, such as never getting over an abortion she had to have when she was 16, and a little bit too much love for cocaine.
Isla Fisher plays a role that is fairly similar to the one that she plays in Wedding Crashers, only more extreme. She is a hard partying girl, and as flighty as they come. Her air-headedness provides a good number of the laughs in the film.
The girls main purpose in the film is to try and fix their own lives, while trying to save the wedding dress that they ruined after the bachelorette party, where they indulged in a lot of champagne and a lot of cocaine. They are three hot messes, and they need to fix what could be the biggest mistake of their friendship. They are not good people, but don’t try and come across as such. They are mean to one another, mean to other people, but that is what makes them succeed as friends. They have bonded over their cruelty, and their us against the world mentality.
If you are expecting a comedy that is as slapstick or laugh-out-loud funny as Bridesmaids, you will be disappointed. Many of the other reviews of the film that I have read make this direct comparison, but because the subjects are similar, does not mean that the comparisons need to be made. Bachelorette is much darker than those films, and the humour comes across as such. It is less needing to use the bathroom in the middle of the street, and more insulting strippers and doing so much coke that putting two people in one of your best friend’s wedding dresses seems like a good idea. It is less attacking fountains, and more overdosing on Xanax. The lives of the girls are pretty grim, but that is the point of the film. It is having a dark past, and moving past it, to try and be a better, happier person.
I quite enjoyed this film, because of the darker humour, and because of the women in the three lead roles. They were all pretty great, in my opinion, even if you found it hard to like them because they are such messes, and because they are such bad people. But I liked them because they were deplorable people. It works, and Caplan, Dunst, and Fisher make them all work.
If you can forget about making the comparisons to the other pre-wedding films, there is something quite enjoyable about Bachelorette, and it is well worth a watch on Netflix. You may not laugh out loud, but there are definite humorous moments throughout the film. I’d say it is worthwhile.