Monday, August 8, 2011

Bridesmaids



-a film for women?  Nope.
-a film written by women and starring, mostly, women?  Yup.
-a blisteringly funny, poignant, disturbing film that would even make Christopher Hitchens laugh?  http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701  I should fucking think so.

Unlike The Hangover, I actually didn't find this film to be totally wacked-out humor that, mostly, really humiliated its cast, used a baby's endangerment for cheap laughs, and showcased known nutter and spouse-abuser, Mike Tyson, as someone to respect.
Well, let me back up a bit and say that the humor was mostly wacked-out, and, sometimes, pretty crass, but that wasn't all there was to it. (Props to both K. Wiig and her writing partner, Annie Mumolo.)

The central theme of Bridesmaids is relationships.  And, primarily it's about how friendships between women change as they mature, find mates, and do or do not settle down.  Second to that, are the women's non-platonic lives, (I mean, duh, the film is about a bunch of bridesmaid and a bride!) and how, in the main, they are found to be not %100 fulfilling as perhaps initially thought.  

I hadn't realized that Jill Clayburgh, an actress who was all over the movie screens back in the 70s and who I absolutely adored, played Kristen Wiig's mom in this film before, sadly, succumbing to cancer.  To see her in this film was truly the icing on the cake for me.

70s Jill


I was a bridesmaid once...just once.  And, honestly, some of the shit we went through wasn't far off from some of the antics shown in Wiig's movie.

When my best friend from the teen years, K., decided to marry, I was asked to be her maid of honor.   Though I was very touched that she would ask, I felt that I couldn't commit to such an important role as I wasn't sure I'd even be in the country at the time of her wedding.  (Wishful thinking on my part as I wasn't able to make a prolonged trip to Ireland grow into anything more permanent.)  So, the MOH gig went to another high school friend, um, I've actually just blocked her name out...oh yeah, K2.  At 24-25 years of age, the same age as the rest of us, she was the single mother of a four-year-old, smoked like a chimney, and had various suitors in tow.

The lot of us packed up and relocated out of state for the wedding.  We girls were bunking together, from what I can remember, in a little motel near to the where the wedding would be held.  The next morning after our arrival, K2, whispering god-knows-what and making kissing noises on the phone with her boyfriend, couldn't be bothered to pay any attention her child.  The kid, not taking to being ignored, started "acting out".  The target of her upset was me, or, more specifically, my wrist watch.  K2's spawn had jammed my watch somewhere deep into the motel's cheap sofa cushions and wouldn't retrieve it for me when asked.  She giggled while keeping herself well positioned over the cushions.  Like an idiot, I kept trying to reason with her.  "So-and-so?  Would you please give me my watch now?"  "No!"  This exchange went on for a few minutes until it must've intruded onto the K2's love-call and pissed her off.  In an instant, she'd gathered the long, curly tresses of her daughter into her fist and yanked down, so that the child was bent over backward on the sofa wailing in both fear and, I suspect, pain.  "Give her her fucking watch back, so-and-so!!" said K2.  Sniffling, little k2 dug into the cushions of the sofa and, timidly, offered me my watch.  Silent with shock, I took it.

Later that day, I recall our going to the local mall together just to cool off from the oppressively hot, hot heat that was Spring in the desert.  K2 brought her child along, of course, as we had no child care.  K2's little off-spring hadn't fallen far from the tree, and, as we went from store to store, the little one lifted anything she could, dropping the ill-gotten gains into the pockets of her dress.  I was horrified; her mom remained seemingly unaware.  We were en route back to the car when baby k2 pulled out a string of beads from her dress pocket and dangled them in the air, giggling.  Mama K2 gave her a firm swat on the backside, prompting a crying fit, and then yelled at her for taking something without paying.  Did Mama K2 march back into the store, return the item and show lil' k2 how taking things without asking is wrong?  Nope.

Later that same evening, after the rehearsal dinner and attendant drink-fest, all of us save K2 made it back to the motel.  The next day, the bride was in a fit as her "right-hand woman" was no where to be found.  Apparently, K2 had shacked-up with the best man (so cliched) and was sleeping off a mammoth hangover in his room.  K2's kid, upset and whining, was with us.  Joy.

Although the bride was none too happy that her MOH ditched her for the BM, we two bridesmaids happily stepped in to apply make-up and curl hair for the bride on her "big day".

The ceremony was lovely.  The bride was lovely.  The venue was lovely.  What wasn't lovely: K2 being included so many "family" shots with the bride, groom, and attending parents.  Did she do anything to deserve that coveted spot?  Well, if you call fucking some guy you don't know, letting your kid steal from the mall, and racking up a motel phone bill (pre-cell phone, yo!) that you then didn't pay for, then, yeah, I guess she deserved it.

My only consolation came after the wedding at the restaurant where we'd all gathered.  Having ditched her kid, who was racing up and down the restaurant oblivious to both waiters and guests alike, K2 was well on her way to getting smashed.  At one point, I saw her saunter out of the ladies' toilet, having just tucked her dress into the top of her pantyhose, ass out for all the world to see.  If only a shot of that could have been included in the wedding photos!

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