Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bachelorette


WRITTEN BY: Leslye Headland
DIRECTED BY: Leslye Headland
STARRING: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Rebel Wilson
RATING: 3 stars

How can you have such a fantastic cast who give great performances and still have an only mildly funny and entertaining film? I'm still scratching my head thinking about it, but that's what we get with Bachelorette. Anyone who complains that Bachelorette is just a B-grade version of Bridesmaids should know that Bachelorette came first in the form of a 2008 play. Leslye Headland has adapted her own play to film but it's far darker than Bridesmaids, which is probably why it might work as a play, but not a comedic film. My main problem with the film is that the characters are so nasty. I'm all for romantic comedies depicting reality in a more accurate way, but having characters that have no redeeming qualities is just off-putting. How are we supposed to care about people who are so vile? Sure, give them flaws, but don't make them impossible to connect with.

When Becky announces she is getting married, her high school friends are in shock. Over-achieving Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is dating a medical student and always thought she would be married first. She immediately calls the rest of the gang including Gena (Lizzy Caplan) who likes to take drugs, party hard and sleep around, and Katie (Isla Fisher), an airhead who just wants to date a man with a job. Despite their shock at Becky's news, the trio decide it will at least be a great opportunity to have a fun bachelorette party. But, the night before the wedding, the trio accidentally rip Becky's wedding dress and spend the rest of the night trying to either replace or fix the dress before anyone notices. Of course, during that night they also face their personal demons of self-loathing and misery, which means they find the time to have sex, drink too much and snort too much cocaine while hanging out with other wedding guests including best man Trevor (James Marsden), Gena's ex-boyfriend and the source of her angst Clyde (Adam Scott), and Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) who has had a crush on Katie since high school.

I understand why someone like Becky would have hung out with these girls in high school to fit in, but why is she still hanging out with women who are clearly selfish and bitchy? Surely Becky has moved on with her life and doesn't need these women around anymore? She is after all marrying a rich, good looking man. Perhaps she's more of a bitch herself and wants to rub it in to Regan and co that she is getting married first and to a great catch? It's never really explained, but Becky and her groom still seem to be the only likeable people in this film. I also had an issue with Joe's character who seems to like Katie despite her ditzy personality but then we never learn what it is about her that he actually likes. It seems the guy that's supposed to be sweet and caring because he refuses to have sex with a woman on the verge of passing out (ohhh, look, he's not a rapist) is actually just interested in how attractive Katie is - just like every other guy.

Having criticised the characters themselves, I must say the actors play the roles very well: Dunst is great as a cold, snobby, control freak; Caplan has the hardest job dealing with dark, personal issues and does it well; Fisher is hilarious and zany; Marsden is a sexy jerk; Scott is charming and witty; and Bornheimer is suitably awkward. I would have liked to have seen more from Wilson though. Her comedic prowess is underutilised.

Bachelorette is a good first attempt from Headland. I'm keen to see what she learns from how this film is received and what she does next. Bachelorette is a fun film, but it's nothing groundbreaking.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great review, I wish I had of read it before I saw the film this week! Im with you, I thought with such a great cast this movie could have been a lot funnier than it was. Still it was a fun chick flick but nothing to rave about :)

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