Moviegoers could be forgiven for experiencing deja vu after seeing the trailer for “Bachelorette,” which hit theatres on Friday.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.
It’s an empty, ugly wannabe Bridesmaids: Though “Bachelorette” goes out of its way to shock audiences with gross-out humour, 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 favour, and watch ‘Bridesmaids’ again instead.”
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.”
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