Bridesmaids is the latest film to attempt a cash-in off the widespread success of The Hangover. This film in fact is being marketed as "The Hangover" for women. Personally I feel the message being sent out to potential filmgoers is incorrect. This movie, outside the pre-running wedding traditions used in both, is a much different film than the insanity that is The Hangover. However there are a few similarities between the two.
1. The above mentioned Pre-Wedding traditional ritual that is used as backdrop for both films
2. Each Film has a well cast, diversely scripted, group of Bridesmaids/Groomsmen.
3. Animals appear in both with The Hangover winning the comparison for comedic usage(s)
4. Each film had at least one breakout performance. The Hangover had Bradley Cooper and Zach Galafianakis and Bridesmaids has Melissa McCarthy.
I don't see Kristen Wiig as qualifying for breakout status. In my opinion she's pretty much already established herself. But I do feel this was by far her most layered as well as being her best performance. She's a quality actress in her own right, but having cowrote the screenplay certainly can't hurt syncing up with your character.
The Hangover was pure insanity from start to finish. It was one crazy antic running into the next. Bridesmaids wasn't the all out comedic assault like The Hangover, but it was a very funny film, with numerous laugh out loud moments.
Bridesmaids uses, Maya Rudolph's character,Lillian's Wedding as a vehicle for comedy, but more so as a structure for Kristen Wiig's character, Annie Walker( No relation to USA networks and Piper Perabo's Annie Walker in Covert Affairs) to unravel throughout the film.
Annie has had her share of tough times. A failed business, an inability to sustain relationships, (whether they leave her, she gets involved with complete idiots, or because of her past failures she doesn't know how to react when a good one does come along), to go along with self esteem issues. Each of her problems is nicely contrasted in the film.
The image of her failed bakery is shown a few times and mention a few more which really bolster her "defeatist" personality. Everyone she knows is in a relationship except for her best friend forever, and then she goes and gets engaged. Economic issues are highlighted throughout the film, again with the failed business venture, the british brother and sister who she shares an apartment with, and Helen, the well to do trophy wife that becomes her nemesis. Combine these issues and a deteriorating mindset and you can count on laughs to produce.
This film may be about Lillian's wedding but this film was about Annie. That said, this film would just be an average comedy if not for Megan, Melissa McCarthy's character, who completely steals the show and is worth the admission cost alone. McCarthy is everything Galafianakis is to the Hangover and perhaps, in a different capacity much more.
So while the comparisons are there between Bridesmaids and The Hangover they are superficial comparisons. The comedic activity in between the credits are much different, yet both work very well. I would recommend Bridesmaids to anyone that likes to laugh, because you will.