Bachelorette is stacked with outrageous situations and facing the necessary repair and clean of a ripped and stained wedding dress; the women take to the streets in a desperate early hour’s mission to save their friend’s big day. It feels like an escalator ride into new realms of zaniness and though many scenes will leave viewers cringing in disapproval (there’s cocaine snorting, binge drinking and candid sex chatter aplenty) there should be plenty of big laughs too. With their friend Becky (Rebel Wilson) set to marry her sweetheart, Dale (Hayes MacArthur), the remaining members of her old high school clique – Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) - reunite in New York City for the wedding and what turns into a wild eve bachelorette party.
In short, Bachelorette is a film about unpleasant people doing unflattering things. If that doesn’t sound like your thing then you probably won’t enjoy it. The women are genuinely loathsome, though certainly sympathetic on occasions, and their pratfalls draw mixed emotions of bewilderment, disapproval, contempt and amusement.
Up until the final act, which disappointingly falls into a sentimental trap and allows these messed-up characters a free pass, writer/director Leslye Headland maintains the relentless barrage of crude gags and rampant self-deprecation. The film’s jarring mean-spiritedness, unexpected repulsiveness and blunt honesty is established early and if you weren’t sure what sort of film you’re in for then you should know immediately following Lizzie Caplan’s monologue about blowjobs to a complete stranger on a plane.
The groomsmen also out and about on the town and played by James Marsden, Adam Scott (who has a knack for giving every film a lift) and Kyle Bornheimer - are a trio of stereotypes but work as an amusing complement/opposition to the ditzy dames.
Dunst is on fire. She is an infuriatingly fake bitch, bitter with jealousy, convinced she deserves to have all the happiness that her ‘fat friend’ has found. Caplan (also great) is essentially a child within a woman’s body – at one point remarking: “Don’t call me Mrs. I’m not married and I’m not an adult” - and relies on self-deprecating sarcasm to socialize. Fisher, easily the most ‘ditzy’ of the three, sleeps with whoever takes her home and indulges in dangerous levels of substance abuse – in her intoxication she nails some of the film’s best lines.
Bachelorette was conceived and written well before Bridesmaids (Headland adapted the screenplay from her own stage play), so it is unfortunate that many might dismiss this as a blatant rip off. It is actually not like Bridesmaids at all, but a Hangover-Young Adult hybrid. It is certainly as crass, and for me it was as consistently funny as those two.
While a lot of jokes don’t stick this is a crazy, well-cast and well-acted film; Headland gets points for a snappy script and the hubris to ‘go there’.
[rating=3] and a half stars.
Andrew Buckle - follow Andy on Twitter here: @buckle22
Directed by: Leslye Headland
Written by: Leslye Headland
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson
Bachelorette is released in Australia on the 1st of November 2012.
Andy Buckle is a passionate Sydney-based film enthusiast and reviewer who has built a respected online voice at his personal blog, The Film Emporium. Andy will contribute reviews, features and be our resident film festival, and awards expert.