Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bridesmaids, Scream 4 and Horrible Bosses

Kristen Wigg is quickly becoming one of the funniest women in Hollywood and is exceeding well in a typically male dominated genre. Bridesmaids is different from the likes of Sex in the City and the Jennifer Lopez driven comedies because it is actually funny. Like many of Judd Apatow's produced comedies, it is crude but Bridesmaids keeps the film's heart and character intact. Annie (Wigg) is a single thirty-year old whose bakery business has collapsed due to the recession. Her no strings attached relationship with Ted is demoralising and the news of her best friend's (Lillian played by Maya Rudolph) wedding just makes her single life more painful. As Annie and Lillian have been best friends since childhood Annie is appointed maid of honour but a rivalry is born when Annie meets Lillian's new rich friend Helen Harris (Rose Byrne) who steals Annie's thunder. By calling Bridesmaids a 'female The Hangover' doesn't give Bridesmaids the praise that it deserves in fact it's quite condescending, as Bridesmaids is as equally funny as The Hangover, in fact it could even be better. There is plenty of crude, quite unpleasant comedy (the incident in the bathroom and 'there's semen everywhere. One blanket actually cracked'). These scenes can be amusing but Bridesmaids is funnier when relying on the script to produce laughs (a Fight Club style bachelorette party is a hilarious suggestion). The superb performances, assured direction and finely written script work against the cruder elements and the occasional joke overstaying its welcome producing a very entertaining comedy that will appeal to men and women. 


 Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson reunite as director and writer for the third time (Williamson was only the producer for Scream 3) creating the fourth film of the Scream series. Scream 4 concerns Cindy Prescott (Neve Campell) returning to Woodsboro to promote her new book. However as she returns two students are brutally murdered and her cousin, Jill Roberts (played by Emma Roberts) becomes a target of the killer known as Ghostface. Scream 4 pokes fun at all the tiresome sequels, reboots and remakes that  plague the horror genre, while the premise of Scream was ingenious fourteen years later the novelty has worn off. The endless (whether they were intentional or not) horror clich├ęs are boring and one cannot help but think that the Scream franchise (on its fourth instalment of course) is becoming exactly what it is parodying. It references to plenty of horror movies (there are far too many to name) and tells us all about the genre rules but forgets to be scary and suspenseful itself. There is some fun to be had, there are some good jokes (involving Bruce Willis) and some entertaining sequences but apart from the smart opening and decent finale the pace is slow and plodding and as a result Scream 4 is nothing more than a movie with a high death count as residents of Woodsboro get slaughtered. It says a lot when the funniest scene occurs when you are watching the characters watch Shaun of the Dead.


A promising premise always gets a film off to a good start and Horrible Bosses has that promising premise to be intriguing for many. Three men are bullied by their bosses; Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) despises his authoritarian style boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudekis) is frustrated with his coke snorting boss Bobby Pellet (Colin Farrell) and soon to be married Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) is constantly being sexually harassed by Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). They each devise a plan to kill each other's boss, surprisingly nothing goes swimmingly. Horrible Bosses easily surpass the six laugh rule with a number of very amusing jokes about sex offenders and CSI. Horrible Bosses is a very entertaining comedy consisting of four very impressive performances. The central trio share a remarkable chemistry and Kevin Spacey is rather enjoying himself as an authoritarian dictator but Jennifer Aniston is rather hit and miss and Colin Farrell is wasted. Some jokes are cruel but hilarious (the Professor Xavier gag is uproarious), some are sly and smart but some fail (Kurt Buckman's sexual antics fail to amuse). Plot wise it is minimal but Horrible Bosses is very good fun.



  1. I saw Horrible Bosses last night, enjoyed it about half a star more than you. Ioan Gruffunds cameo as the wet work man was quite funny. Haven't seen Bridesmaids, but I definately enjyoed Scream 4 much more. Great reviews though

  2. I thought Horrible Bosses was decent 3/5 but I found Bridesmaids funnier, still no more than a 3/5 for it. Nice reviews.

  3. What's "The six laugh rule"?

  4. The six laugh rule applies to comedies, they must have six laughs or more to be a succesful comedy. Any less, then it had failed.