Sundance review: "Bachelorette"
Published: January 24, 2012 11:18AM
Updated: January 24, 2012 08:20PM
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Isla Fisher, Kirsten Dunst and Lizzy Caplan (from left) star in the comedy "Bachelorette."

“Bachelorette”

Premieres

*** (three stars)

The title “Bridesmaids” was taken. So was “Mean Girls.” Either would be appropriate for this angry comedy by first-time writer-director Leslye Headland. Control freak Regan (Kirsten Dunst), party girl Jenna (Lizzy Caplan) and ditzy Katie (Isla Fisher) all panic when the fourth member of their high-school clique – Becky (Rebel Wilson), whose obesity prompted the cruel nickname “Pig Face” – becomes the first in the group to get married. The three reluctant bridesmaids go through self-inflicted hell the night before the wedding, with a damaged wedding dress, a trip to a strip club and other misadventures. There's also a guy for each girl, with Jenna dealing with her ex Clyde (Adam Scott, Caplan's “Party Down” co-star), Katie being pursued by puppy-dog Joe (Kyle Bornheimer), and Regan meeting her match in the boorish Trevor (James Marsden). Headland's script will draw inevitable comparisons to the Oscar-nominated “Bridesmaids,” but the key difference is that the characters here (except for Wilson's Becky) are uniformly nasty and unlikeable. Even so, the comic performances, especially by Fisher and Wilson, generate plenty of laughs before things turn really dark.

-- Sean P. Means

“Bachelorette” screens again: