"“Though subverting the genre somewhat, Headland also abides by various aspects of it...”"
Though enjoying Bridesmaids for being the hilarious and original comedy feature it was, there is always a downside, and in this instance, it's the various amount of imitators attempting to live off the comedy's critical success. This leads us towards Leslye Headland's Bachelorette, and though originally a stage play – and certainly bearing the occasional moment of sheer ingenuity, it's far too reliant in surviving off the Bridesmaids hysteria, truly without its own distinct identity in the cinematic field.
It's the night before Becky's (Rebel Wilson) wedding, and her three old high school friends and reluctant bridesmaids Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) have united to take the bride-to-be on a wild and memorable hen party. Irresponsible and impulsive, the girls seem more concerned about scoring some cocaine than anything else – and when Becky distances herself from the event in favour of an early night, the trio are left to their own devices, which is when matters start to get out of hand, as they are forced to question their own lifestyles in the process.
On the surface it's very easy to pass Bachelorette off as a shallow, run-of-the-mill wedding comedy (we've seen a few of those before), but this has a sardonic touch to it, playing on the notion of marriage and romance and turning it on its head. Not afraid to laugh at itself, Headland ensures that her tongue remains firmly in her cheek, parodying hysterical people who get so enthused by such grandiose occasions. However, she repeatedly shoots herself in the foot, as though subverting the genre somewhat, Headland also abides by various aspects of it, getting exceedingly predictable in parts, undoing much of the good work to fall for conventionality and stereotype.
That said, it is fun to see the role reversal, with women leering over men and being crude in their approach, with a welcoming shift of emphasis to what we so often see in such films. In a similar mould to farcical, disaster comedies such as Superbad, the picture takes place mostly across just one night, with a deadline of the following morning where all matters must have been resolved, as it becomes fun to try and work out just how all of these various elements will come together before the big day.
Sadly, however, none of the characters are particularly endearing or likeable, which prevents the audience investing in their cause and rooting for their success. On the other hand, it's refreshing to see Wilson play something of a different role than usual, not making jokes at her own expense, but instead having some actual depth for a change. Plus they've made her character American, which certainly changes things up a little.
Also finding a role for Adam Scott – the compulsory chick-flick mascot – you can understand why Headland decided to adapt her own play to the big screen, given the unexpected success of Bridesmaids, it would make sense to catch that similar audience while you still can. However this is just lacking that same innovation and consistent humour as what has come before. There are so many wedding comedies recently it takes something a little more unique to stand out from the pack, and regrettably this just fades comfortably into the background.