MOVIE REVIEW: BACHELORETTE
you’ve gotta fight for your right to hate your friends.
Thanks to the major success of Bridesmaids and the frank, biting humor of Girls, it's now okay to make an entire movie starring young women who aren't entirely likable, moral, or even (gasp) super-pretty. That's the "go" point for Bachelorette, the indie movie based on a hit Off-Broadway play by Leslye Headland. (She rewrote her script as a screenplay, and also directed.)
The comedy stars Kirsten Dunst (who is, of course, super-pretty - maybe even super super-pretty) as Regan, a waspy former Queen Bee who uses her Burberry trench coat as an isolation ward for all emotions. With Tiffany earrings as armor, she seethes through Maid of Honor duties for her former friend Becky, whom the girls still call "Pig Face." Becky's husband-to-be is sweet, handsome, and boring -- but that doesn't stop Regan from fuming, "I'm pretty, I exercise, I have a boyfriend in med school... I'm the one who has all my shit together, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing!" Regan's coolly cruel outlook is both hysterical and "incorrect," and that's what makes her awesome to watch. "You know how there's serial killers and then there's Hannibal Lecter?" asks the groom. "Well, there's girls, and then there's Regan."
Dunst may be playing the heroine in a wedding comedy, but she isn't haplessly klutzy or adorably goofy (or in love with her best friend / her sister's boyfriend / insert Julia Roberts / Katherine Heigl here). She's just wounded, and intelligent, and mean, and really well accessorized. Her co-star, Lizzy Caplan, is kind of impeccable. She's funny when she needs to be (ie: reciting a monologue about blow jobs). She's sad when the situation requires it (ie: dealing with major ex-boyfriend baggage on two hours of sleep and two bags of cocaine). And through the whole thing, she manages to exude the exotic intelligence of an outsider who's managed to make herself fit in. (Caplan's most famous role, as Janis Ian in Mean Girls, had her doing the opposite, with equally spectacular results.) Isla Fisher brings up the rear as Katie, the perpetually high airhead who (literally) needs saving after a wild night numbing everything except her eyes, which stay Minnie-Mouse huge the whole time.
As for Rebel Wilson, who gets the mostly thankless role of Becky and spends the majority of the movie in Laura Ashley pajamas, she's great - as usual - but in this kind of comedy, we wouldn't expect the best scenes to involve the character who's already taken a step into the great unknown of kinda-maybe-sort-of adulthood. Also, fair warning: An old-school mixtape is involved in this movie, and you may dance by the end. Like, really dance...
Bachelorette is soon in select theaters nationwide and available now on iTunes; $9.99.