Moviegoers could be forgiven for experiencing deja vu after seeing the trailer for Bachelorette, which hits theaters today. The film, based on a play of the same name by Leslye Headland, superficially resembles 2011's Kristen Wiig-starring smash hit Bridesmaids: It's a comedy about the events leading up a wedding, it stars an ensemble cast of young women, and both movies feature actress Rebel Wilson in a supporting role. But does Bachelorette have the X factor that earned Bridesmaids rave reviews and massive box-office? Or is it just another failed example of Hollywood's cookie-cutter approach?
It's a darker, leaner Bridesmaids: Bachelorette will probably perform at least decently at the box office because of that other "female-driven, wedding-comedy," but it's a "brisker, cattier creation" than Bridesmaids, says William Goss at Film.com. Bachelorette is even "more of an ensemble effort," with stars Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan playing a trio locked into "a mutual superiority complex that has kept them friends after all these years." Though the film's more sentimental ending isn't totally convincing after its first two "manic" acts, there are plenty of "funny failures" along the way.
"Review: The free-wheeling women of Bachelorette throw a pretty good party"
It's an empty, ugly wannabe Bridesmaids: Though Bachelorette goes out of its way to shock audiences with gross-out humor, the most off-putting aspect of the movie "is how desperate the filmmakers are to exploit other people's ideas," says Elizabeth Weitzman at the New York Daily News. Bachelorette cribs liberally from Bridesmaids, but "where Bridesmaids had real heart," Bachelorette "is absolutely empty at its core." And even the film's few strengths are wasted: Though Bachelorette's "cast is uniformly strong," there isn't "a single character whom we can actually like. "Do yourself a favor, and watch Bridesmaids again instead."
"Movie review: Bachelorette"
It isn't the next Bridesmaids — and it's not trying to be: "It would be a mistake to call Bachelorette the next Bridesmaids," says Chloe Angyal at The Atlantic. In fact, it's not even really a comedy; Bachelorette is "a good deal darker," with a cynical tone that "comes at the expense of laughs and broad appeal." Over the course of the movie, Bachelorette's three main characters "confront serious issues like eating disorders, abortion, and suicide. And unlike Bridesmaids, there is no "best-friends-forever-no-matter-what" message to undercut the satire. Consequently, Bachelorette clearly isn't "destined to be the kind of global phenomenon that Bridesmaids was."
"Bachelorette: Too evil to be a Bridesmaids clone"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Gamergate might be gaming sexism's Waterloo
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
Subscribe to the Week