Film and TV

Bachelorette Is Not Bridesmaids Part 2

Just in time for back-to-school, the new comedy Bachelorette hits the silver screen on September 7. Okay, one thing has nothing to do with another. Last week the trailer for the new female ensemble flick, produced by the comedy team of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (screenwriter for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Other Guys and others), set off some waves as pretty much being a Bridesmaids rip-off. This take on the "something borrowed, something blue" genre finds Lizzy Caplan, Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher as three cronies who have somehow destroyed their friend's wedding dress.

As someone who once had a wedding, I will say right off the bat that I can't imagine any bride parting with her dress long enough for hijinks to ensue. This is your wedding dress, for holy sake; you sleep with that thing and take it to the bathroom with you. Taking a step back, and don't forget I have yet to see this film, I want good things to happen for this movie.

Isla Fisher is a wildly funny actress, and Kirsten Dunst needs a nice career bump as of late. Of course, then, there is Lizzy Caplan, whose mere presence invokes warm fuzzy memories (where you been, girl?) of Party Downs of yore. There is even a total tease in the trailer of Caplan and Adam Scott together again, as they should be. Additionally, the male lead is played by James Marsden, who has proven to be quite the charming comic as Liz Lemon's goofy boyfriend on 30 Rock.

Now let's get back to that Internet grumbling. When Bridesmaids was released, the initial murmurs were it's The Hangover for chicks. Kristen Wiig and crew proved to the world that this was not a takeoff of the raunchy male comedy, but something new and a breakthrough for female comedians. Bridesmaids was a huge success, financially and otherwise, catapulting Wiig into a seat held by very few funny ladies. Sure, not everyone was gaga over the movie, but you would be hard-pressed to say its impact wasn't significant. All of a sudden, women were witty again (for the 100th time).

So why should we not applaud a take two? Judging by the trailer alone, Bachelorette is not Bridesmaids at all. This movie is The Hangover for chicks, but if the best jokes are in the trailer, then we are in for some trouble.

There are the same caricatures we saw in the male version, complete with foul-mouthing and sex-driven motivation, just not as funny. Not only are the characters seemingly stock, but the actresses portraying them are completely typecast. Isla Fisher as the horny party girl reeks of Wedding Crashers, and let's give Lizzy Caplan another part to play, shall we? She has so much potential to do greatness, why shove her in a consistent suit of snark? Most surprising is that this screenplay comes from female writer Leslye Headland, who is known for her biting comedic plays. Bachelorette is based on her popular "Seven Deadly Plays" series, which was produced and premiered by the IAMA Theatre Company.

It seems like every time women get a leg up in the world of comedy -- which we can continue to debate about whether it is a man's world or not -- they are ultimately pulled back down through potty humor and sex-as-scandal jokes. When will we learn, ladies?

You judge for yourself.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig