06th Oct2013

‘Bachelorette’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, Hayes MacArthur, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Kyle Bornheimer | Written and Directed by Leslye Headland

Bachelorette-cast

Having debuted simultaneously in cinemas and on VOD in August, Bachelorette finally comes to DVD and Blu-ray on Monday courtesy of Lionsgate. The film follows Becky (Wilson), who is set to marry her handsome sweetheart, Dale (MacArthur) and gets together the bitter remaining members of her high school clique, reuniting them for one last blowout in New York. Regan (Dunst) is an overachieving, uber-Maid of Honour who’s secretly smarting over the fact that she’s not the first to marry, while Gena (Caplan) is a whip-smart sarcastic who’s actually a closet romantic, and Katie (Fisher) is a ditzy beauty who loves the good life. But when Becky insists on keeping the bachelorette party tame, the three frisky bridesmaids proceed with an after-hours celebration of their own and find much more than they bargained for.

It seems Bridesmaids has opened the flood gates for female-centric gross-out comedy, and rightly so. After all, men having been getting away with rude, crude and OTT behaviour in movies for decades – it’s about time women got a slice of the proverbial comedy pie. Bachelorette picks up the baton from Bridesmaids but unlike the Paul Feig-lensed, Judd Apatow produced, gross-out comedy, this movie takes the laughs into much darker areas…

But that’s not the whole story. Bachelorette is actually based on a stage play by writer/director Leslye Headland which actually pre-dates Feig’s female-led gross out comedy. Perhaps the success of that film led to the production of this this one? Who knows? However if that is the case I’m glad that it did. This film easily surpasses the similarly-themed Kirsten Wiig film, feeling less like an attempt at creating a female version of The Hangover (which is essentially what I took away from Bridesmaids) and more like a madcap “late-night-in-the-city” flick along the lines of the fantastic After Hours, as the three leads trawl the city in an attempt to repair their friends wedding dress and rebuild their relationship.

Any film succeeds and fails on its cast and Bachelorette has, even though for the most part they are completely unlikeable characters, a great cast. Kirsten Dunst does bitch like nobody’s business whilst Isla Fischer plays one hell of a bimbo. Of course Lizzy Caplan is her usual loveable self – I have never seen the woman put a foot wrong in any of her roles and it’s no different here. But this is not all about the women. Bacherlorette has an equally great male cast: Adam Scott does what he does best, re-teaming with his Party Down co-star Caplan for most of the film, James Marsden plays the smarmy (and horny) best man to a tee, whilst Kyle Bornheimer does nice guy like no-one else.

Yes, Bachelorette does get a little schmaltzy in parts but this is still a funny, farcical screwball comedy that (thankfully) spends as much time touching on female friendship as it does cracking jokes. Give me Headland’s film over Feig’s any day.

Bachelorette is released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 7th courtesy of Lionsgate.

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