Movie review: Bachelorette more nasty than funny
The argument that women aren't funny took a pretty swift blow with the success of the hysterical female-ensemble comedy Bridesmaids, which also proved that women could do gross-out, wedding humour just as well as The Hangover guys.
This revelation led to a storm of outrageous female-driven comedies, where foul language, upset stomachs and zingers abounded.
The latest on this list is Bachelorette, something of a combination of Bridesmaids, Mean Girls and Bad Teacher.
The only problem is they seem to have confused humour and satire with bad taste. Despite sporting a hugely talented cast, instead of being outrageously funny, for the large part Bachelorette is just plain nasty.
In it, three skinny, pretty, self-absorbed women are bridesmaids at the wedding of their overweight friend from high school, Becky (Aussie Rebel Wilson).
None of them, particularly maid of honour Regan (Kirsten Dunst), can believe Becky could actually be the first of them to land a nice guy and marry.
The whole instigator of their crazy bachelorette night is when Regan and the ditzy Katie (Isla Fisher) climb into Becky's wedding dress to prove that she’s so fat, two people can fit in it.
But their plan for Gena (Lizzy Caplan) to take a pic and post it on Facebook goes sour, when in their drugged and drunk state, they rip it down the middle.
Their efforts to fix it lead to copious amounts of coke, booze and meeting up at a strip joint with the groomsmen, including player Trevor (James Marsden), the nerdy Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) and Gena's old flame Clyde (Adam Scott).
Written and directed by Leslye Headland, and based on her critically acclaimed play, perhaps it's just that Bachelorette doesn't translate well to screen.
The comedy is very dark and whether you can enjoy it will largely depend on whether you can stomach such unlikable characters, who use jagged, biting humour, often to make themselves feel better.
As Cameron Diaz showed in Bad Teacher and Charlize Theron in Young Adult, it’s no easy feat.
Parts of it work. Gena and Clyde’s storyline, which sees them confront their history, connects and the inclusion of The Proclaimer’s I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is a plus.
Efforts to redeem the women work for some more than others.
Dunst remains scathing, Fisher remains dumb, and Gena remains sarcastic, although you warm to the latter two more.
Wilson, who’s a rising star in Hollywood and deservedly so, is under-used as the nice bride who’s the butt of multiple fat jokes (her friends refer to her as “pigface” - an old high school nickname).
With a cast like this, Bachelorette had the potential to be great, but the laughs are fitful in this openly mean-spirited comedy.
Bachelorette is out in Australian cinemas today.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Terrible three: Gena (Lizzy Caplan), Regan (Kirsten Dunst, centre) and Katie (Isla Fisher, right), in Bachelorette.