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Movie review: Bridesmaids go bad in 'Bachelorette'

Published September 20, 2012 2:59 pm

Review • Actors sink their teeth into these nasty characters.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The title "Bridesmaids" was taken. So was "Mean Girls." Either would be equally appropriate for "Bachelorette," an angry and raunchy comedy by first-time writer-director Leslye Headland that premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Control freak Regan (Kirsten Dunst), party girl Jenna (Lizzy Caplan) and ditzy Katie (Isla Fisher) all panic when the fourth and least-popular 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. Jenna deals with her ex, Clyde (played by "Parks and Recreation's" Adam Scott, Caplan's "Party Down" co-star). Katie is pursued by puppy-dog Joe (Kyle Bornheimer). And Regan meets her match in the boorish and equally power-playing Trevor (James Marsden).

Headland's script will draw inevitable comparisons to the Oscar-nominated "Bridesmaids," and it does match the Kristen Wiig hit (in which Wilson played an obnoxious roommate) in raunchiness. The key difference is that the characters here (except for Wilson's Becky) are uniformly nasty and unlikable.

This isn't an impediment for Dunst, who seems liberated in playing this shrill, tightly wound woman who comes unhinged when her dreams of a perfectly staged wedding — even if it's not her own — start slipping away. She's well matched by Fisher, hilarious as the dim-bulb Katie, and Caplan, whose performance as the tragic, wounded Jenna may resonate longest after the credits roll.

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HHH

'Bachelorette'

A pre-wedding night goes all wrong in this funny, angry comedy.

Where • Brewvies Cinema Pub.

When • Opens Friday, Sept. 21.

Rating • R for sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use.

Running time • 87 minutes.