Friday, May 13, 2011

May Fools (Something Borrowed and Bridesmaids)

Summer is rearing her ambivelant little head early this year, crapping out the June brides a month in advance with two condescendingly pedestrian "chick flicks". Something Borrowed and Bridesmaids serve up the same stale cliches and hoary characters audiences have grown accustomed to having crammed down their throats.

Luke Greenfield is a paycheck director, having contributed two missable comedies, The Animal and The Girl Next Door. Naturally he was the perfect choice to bring to "life" bad t.v. writer Jennie Snyder's rote adaptation of a stinker "chick lit" bestseller. Something Borrowed is alternately boring, insulting and infuriating, never comical or romantic. Ginnifer Goodwin mugs and whimpers to no avail, and the excellent John Krasinski is utterly wasted. Kate Hudson is another case entirely-though playing a forced, deplorable and unbelievable character, she is easily the best thing about the affair. Yet another crushingly crushless miss.

Paul Feig displayed a daring penchant for unsentimental nostalgia and pathos with his cult comedy series, Freaks and Geeks. His career on the big screen has been a slow, sad decline. Bridesmaids, though displaying the Apatow touch and a rowdier spirit than the other romcom this month, falls into just as deadly traps of cliche and contrivance which hold the picture hostage. How exactly does one make the lovable Kristen Wiig unlikable? By writing her character as a one dimensional, punishing naif.

The screenplay is the first in a series of mishaps which kills what could have been good. A great supporting cast, including Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Melissa McCarthy and Jill Clayburgh add delightful distraction with some hilarious bits, from the unruly mess at hand. It's just never workably believable.

So from one bore to another mess, these May fools arouse our nostrils with a stench of bullshit, letting us know that the big bad Summer has officially arrived.

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