Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bachelorette (2012) - Movie Review

Have you ever watched Bridesmaids and wondered what those girls would be like if they were bitchier and on lots of cocaine?  Bachelorette gives you a look at this world.

Four high school friends are reunited when one of them finally gets married.  Immediately, jealously starts to rear it's ugly head, as the others all thought they would get married before their 'fat friend'.  The only positive they seem to take from this is that it means they can have a bachelorette party.

Other than the actual bride, Becky (Rebel Wilson), it doesn't take long to figure out why the bachelorettes are still single.  Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is a Type A, pushy business woman, Gena (Lizzy Caplan) is a barely employable, druggie that sleeps around, and lastly Katie (Isla Fisher) is a ditzy girl that seems too dumb to function.  These girls call themselves 'B-Faces', which is short for 'Bitch Faces', a name they seem to have earned. Based on their self-absorbed behavior, one of the things I had a hard time wrapping my head around was how the bachelorettes were friends with Becky in the first place.  Their personalities don't seem to fit and these girls seemed like the type to make fun of her back in high school. Becky has grown up, but the others haven't.

Becky wants a low-key party, but the girls insist on partying it up and getting a stripper.  There's a incident with the stripper, and the bride and the rest of the girls go home, leaving the B-Faces to drink more, do lots of coke and complain about why they aren't married yet.  While screwing around, something happens to the wedding dress, and now they have to scramble to get it fixed before the wedding the following morning.  It's as if the movie knew we wouldn't be able to sit through 90 minutes of nasty girls drinking and doing coke, so they had to give them a goal.  Now we get to watch them run around frantically as they try to make things right.

Much of what you see in Bachelorette are cheap drug and sex related jokes that you've seen many times before.  There are some funny moments, but they were too infrequent to make up for the unlikability of the characters.  As the movie progresses, they try to show you that there's more to the bachelorettes, but the problem is that what I learned about them didn't make me sympathize with them more.  As I mentioned in my For a Good Time, Call... review, one of the things I enjoyed was how I could see myself being friends with those people.  In Bachelorette, I wouldn't want to know these people or hang out with them.  I was actually kind of surprised at how catty these girls were, and how willing and capable they were of stabbing their friend in the back.

What I could relate to was a wild bachelorette party and getting crazy, but think about all of the times you gotten hammered with friends.  It's funny to you, but you know how you tell someone a story that doesn't get a laugh and then say, 'Well, you had to be there.'  That's Bachelorette.

The positive I got from the movie was the good cast and the performances.  Kirsten Dunst continues her career renaissance playing flawed characters.  Lizzy Caplan is always great, but this is a role she can play in her sleep.  The same for Isla Fisher, who gets the majority of the laughs.  There's nothing wrong with either of their performances, but neither of them had to stretch much here.  Rebel Wilson seems to be a star on the rise as she continues to get roles in higher profile films, but she's more of a side character and doesn't take part in the festivities as the night goes on.  I realize the contradiction of liking the performances, but not liking the characters, but it was more that I didn't find them interesting or relatable.

Adam Scott and James Marsden are once again underused and these guys deserve better.  They are both on my "most under appreciated actors" list.

Written and directed by Leslye Headland, Bachelorette is a good idea, but it never quite takes off. I felt that the ending was too predictable and unearned, where they try to give everyone a happy ending and everyone learns a lesson.  A riskier, darker ending would have fit better with the tone of the film and been more satisfying, even if it wasn't a happy one.

Bachelorette isn't as funny as it thinks it is.  It tries to one up Bridesmaids, but it ends up being a less funny version of The Hangover.  It wastes a talented cast with tired jokes and bits, and then tries too hard to make you sympathize with characters that really don't seem redeemable. It's a rental at best.

2 (out of 5) Death Stars


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