This past weekend, the female-driven films Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road (Charlize is a badass) blew up at the box office, to the surprise of no one who’s been paying attention. Female consumers have made it very clear they will gladly spend their money supporting women-driven films, it is just taking Hollywood a while to catch up to the demand.
Back in 2011, Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids was a dynamite hit, grossing more than $160 million at the box office and making superstars out of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. While it was marketed as a “female Hangover,” it really does the film a disservice to reduce it to that. Bridesmaids had a sharp, compelling script (penned by Wiig and her writing partner, Annie Mumlo) about the struggles of friendship and adulthood, and was anchored by solid performances by the entire cast.
Ellie Kemper now stars in the Netflix hit The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kristen Wiig is expanding her repertoire to include more dramatic work like The Skeleton Twins and Welcome To Me, and Feig and McCarthy are teaming up for the third time this summer for Spy. Also, there’s that little film called Ghostbusters that the internet has no interest in at all. So, as we look ahead at what’s to come from this talented cast and crew, let’s remember some of the best scenes that made this movie so great.
The Engagement Party Toast-Off
The fancy engagement party is the first real sign of trouble for the friendship between Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Annie is in financial dire straits and immediately feels out of place at the formal country club event. To make matters worse, an unspoken feeling of competition over who is the actual best friend immediately springs up between Annie and Lillian’s new friend, Helen. The escalating toasts that ensue are cringe-worthy and hilarious as each tries to prove that they are in fact The Best Friend.
The Bridal Shop Disaster
Trying on formalwear is horrible enough on a good day — everything is expensive and runs small, so you spend the day stressed, emotional and unable to properly breathe. Add explosive food poisoning on top of that, and it becomes a truly nightmarish situation. This scene is revolting, but absolutely hilarious. Each person becomes increasingly desperate as their Brazilian lunch comes back to dance, and all decorum and decent behavior goes out the window. They have to go NOW, whether it is toilet, sink or street. Sure, the scene is crass, but food poisoning makes animals of us all, regardless of gender.
The Drunken Plane Ride
As the group flies to Vegas for the bachelorette party, Annie is once again made to feel apart because of her financial situation. Separated from the rest of the group back in coach, coupled with flying-induced anxiety and an ill-advised combination of pills and alcohol, Annie has a bit of a panic attack. Between screaming about a pioneer woman on the plane’s wing and repeatedly trying to sneak into first class, to say that she disrupts the flight would be an understatement. Eventually, they are all kicked off the flight and the bachelorette party is officially ruined, which leads to the further crumbling of Annie’s relationship with Lillian.
The Bridal Shower Meltdown
All of the tension comes to a head at Lillian’s bridal shower. Helen (Rose Byrne) steals all of Annie’s ideas AND upstages her heartfelt gift with tickets to Paris, and Annie finally explodes. However, the blow up really isn’t about Helen. Annie’s anger is really about her growing isolation from Lillian. Lillian is getting married, growing up, and seemingly leaving the stunted Annie behind. She obviously isn’t that angry over the stupid f*cking cookie. She’s angry because she is losing her best friend.
Annie and Megan’s Talk
While she spends most of the movie being the butt of jokes, Melissa McCarthy’s Megan is the one who can ultimately get through to Annie. Instead of letting her wallow, Megan slaps her in the face and demands that she stops feeling sorry for herself. Sure, her circumstances are pretty terrible, but Annie is her own worst enemy. After her talk with Megan, Annie starts to rebuild the shambles of her life, including her relationship with Lillian. She is there to stand up for her best friend on the day of the wedding, proving that real friendship can survive interlopers, diarrhea, and really ugly dresses.