Sam Cleveland’s guide to this week’s new releases ......
THE hysterical female-ensemble comedy Bridesmaids proved women could do gross-out humour as well as The Hangover guys.
The revelation led to a storm of outrageous, female-driven comedies, where foul language, upset stomachs and zingers abounded. The latest, Bachelorette, is a mix of Bridesmaids, Mean Girls and Bad Teacher in which humour and satire have, unfortunately, been confused with bad taste.
Instead of being outrageously funny and despite its top cast, Bachelorette is plain nasty.
The plot follows three skinny, pretty, self-absorbed women who 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 is the first of them to land a nice guy.
Their crazy bachelorette night begins 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. However, plans for Gena (Lizzy Caplan) to take a pic and post it on Facebook turn sour, when, drugged and drunk, they rip the dress down the middle. Their efforts to fix it lead them to copious amounts of coke and booze and eventually, a strip joint with the groomsmen – player Trevor (James Marsden), the nerdy Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) and Gena’s ex Clyde (Adam Scott).
Written and directed by Leslye Headland, and based on her critically acclaimed play, Bachelorette doesn’t translate well to the screen. The comedy is very dark, the characters and their jagged, biting humour unlikeable.
Efforts to redeem the women work for some. Dunst remains scathing and although you warm to them, Fisher remains dumb and Gena remains sarcastic.
Wilson, a rising star in Hollywood, 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. Instead, it’s mean-spirited comedy with fitful laughs.
Bachelorette opens today.
Above: Lizzy Caplan as Gena, Kirsten Dunst as Regan and Isla Fisher as Katie in Bachelorette.