Bridesmaids - A Warning, Not A Review
by Phil Boatwright

R (for some strong sexuality, and language throughout)

Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne. Universal. Comedy. Written by Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo. Directed by Paul Feig. 125 min.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.

COMMENTARY: I have not seen Bridesmaids, so this should not be misconstrued as a review. It is merely a little exposition on R-rated movies meant to amuse. Again, it is not a review, though you could take it as a warning.

I refused to screen this R-rated comedy, because after twenty three years of having to sit through the American Pies, There’s Something About Marys, and anything made by Seth Rogan (He couldn’t even make the Green Hornet without being offensive), I’ve declared a self-moratorium on R-rated humor. In years past there have been exceptions to the rule, wherein R-rated humor also contained insight and clever wit (Network, Thank You For Smoking), but generally, R-rated humor is cheap, and usually devalues humanity.

The R-rated Death at A Funeral and it’s remake have a scene where an enfeebled old man needs help onto a toilet. That scene leads to the most graphic depiction of excrement I can remember seeing in a movie (copied in nauseating detail in the remake). As gross as that sounds, a pretty, stylish-looking young woman sitting behind me laughed with the intensity of one who has just heard Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First. I weep for the future.

Shock value has been done to death throughout this era. Rather than trying to outwit their predecessors, countless moviemakers from this generation merely try to out-gross them. As for filmgoers, they sit in a theater watching and listening to objectionable material as if that’s the only venue from which laughs can be mined. Well, lately it is.

Now, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on Bridesmaids. I was just turned off during a recent trailer from the film. The commercial came across as a charmless answer to The Hangover, allowing the female of the species the cinematic equality of their male screen counterparts. Women can now be just as tasteless and offensiveness as men. Yeah, you’ve come a long way, baby (as the cigarette ad once declared).

Trouble with this allowance: if women are just as obscene and insensitive as men, then gals can no longer find fault in guys. Once women are what men are perceived to be, then they must finally declare what My Fair Lady’s Professor Higgins knew all along – We are a marvelous sex.