Every time we sit down to watch a romantic comedy — something that we continue to do despite the fact that the genre is basically moribund — we spot a cliché we not only wish we would never see again, but that we can’t quite believe a screenwriter or director allowed to appear in his or her film. We’re not talking about the fundamental clichés of the form — that the man you first hate is really your soul mate, or that the conversations where you actually get to know each other are best rendered in a musical montage — but the tired jokes and lines that anyone who watches rom-coms, let alone makes them, knows by heart. Jokes about how hard it is to change a baby’s diaper. Lines like, “You can’t help who you fall in love with.” Riffs about how heartbroken female characters binge eat junk food. There are so many more examples of these, dozens per rom-com, and every time we see one we just think, Can’t you just try a little harder? Just a little bit? Not to do this thing we have seen a million times? Please? This — and we are so sad to say it — is the feeling we got from watching the trailer for Bridesmaids.
There is probably not a movie coming out in the first half of 2011 which we are more excited about than Bridesmaids. We love just about everyone involved in this film — from Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote and stars in the film, to director Paul Feig, to co-stars Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, and obviously Jon Hamm. And we are open to the theoretical possibility that there is a way to make a good, funny, insightful rom-com about women and weddings despite all evidence to the contrary. But oh my god, we would willingly send Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding a check for $100 every year with “Smug Marrieds: Your Intellectual Property” in the memo line to never see another joke about how condescendingly non-single women treat their single lady friends.
Bridesmaids’s premise is that Rudolph’s character asks Wiig to be her bridesmaid. Wiig then has to corral the rest of the bridal party– McCarthy, Rose Bryne, The Office’s Ellie Kempner, and Wendi McLendon-Covey– into planning a bachelorette party, but only after the other women make jokes about how Wiig is single and wearing bad clothes. After that, the group of them appear to basically teleport themselves into a remake of The Hangover, complete with McCarthy channeling Zach Galifianakis. At least, thank the lord, there are no bridezillas.
When it was first announced Wiig said of the film, “We started writing this movie a while ago and then, all of a sudden, there were all these wedding movies (27 Dresses, Bride Wars). And then, it became this thing to be, like, a ‘wedding movie.’ And then, we were like, ‘oh, should we change the idea?’ But it isn’t really a wedding movie. It’s really about, like, our friendship.” We hope that this trailer is misleading, and when we see the movie in full, we’ll find out she was telling the truth.