When the first of a close-knit group of high school friends is set to get married, the others from the group fly in to be part of the wedding party. However, these girls aren’t exactly the sweetest loving of friends and they bring their own agendas, issues and hang-ups from the past, to what turns out to be a far from smooth lead-up to the big day. Review of Bachelorette after the jump.
When Becky (Rebel Wilson) announces her engagement, her high school friends are rather shocked. Becky was not the popular, pretty or confident girl – how is it that she is the one that has found happiness first? Becky’s friends are quite frankly, a whole lot of hot mess. Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is a tad on the controlling side and finds it hard to veil her astonishment and disappointment that it’s her “fat friend” getting married, and not her with the college degree and med-school boyfriend; Gena (Lizzy Caplan) hides her lack of self-esteem with a string of one-night stands and booze-filled benders; and Katie (Isla Fisher) parties her way through life and has no idea how to form real connections.
When Becky ops for a low-key bachelorette party the three girls decide to make their own fun, which leads to them making a mistake of monumental proportions. The three girls who are drunk, high and so self-involved in their own problems have to somehow get it together to fix the problem before the bride realises what they have done, and the wedding (due to take place the very next day) is potentially ruined.
While there are obvious similarities to Bridesmaids, Bachelorette is based on a stage play (also written by writer/director Leslye Headland) which was already being performed when Bridemaids was being created. In fact, Bachelorette is ruder, cruder than Bridesmaids (and even The Hangover) and goes to very dark places. These women are not very nice people, let alone very good friends. Their lives are a mess and they have very little respect for themselves or each other – that’s the only way I can explain their repulsive and self-destructive behaviour.
There are plenty of laughs in this film, and I found the running jokes throughout the film very funny. There are some extremely impressive comedic set-pieces involving many of the cast that are executed to great effect. The pace of the film is snappy, and at 87 minutes it is a quick and wild ride. Performances are extremely good, with the four leads in particular being very well-cast. Dunst is excellent as an uppity woman who barely keeps her temper in check, while Caplan is the portrait of a washed-up party-girl in her 30s. This is the first film I can honestly say that I’ve liked Rebel Wilson in – she was allowed to be a real character with dimensions, and not just the amusing overweight friend.
However, this is not a very nice film. These woman are nasty people and they do horrible things. While I laughed a lot, I felt really bad about finding much of this funny. If my friends were as self-destructive as these woman, I would be seriously concerned about their well-being. Cocaine jokes can be funny, but when a character jokes “I’ve had so much coke I should be dead by now”, it’s far more worrying than amusing.
Bachelorette is an amusing film, but it left me with a bit of a moral hangover.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Leslye Headland
Writer(s): Leslye Headland (screenplay)
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson
Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date(s): Australia: November 1 2012; USA: September 7 2012 (limited); New Zealand: no date set