The Hangover Part II vs. Bridesmaids

When I saw the trailer for Bridesmaids a few months back, I thought: The Hangover, with women. Turns out the trailer is just a bit deceiving and Bridesmaids is not about a whirlwind bachelorette party trip to Vegas. Once the rave reviews started to come out about Kristen Wiig’s pet project (as co-writer with Groundlings partner Annie Mumolo) and my friends started to report back about its must-see status, I tacked the title onto my movie list. For the record, I wasn’t the only one who thought it would be like the Hangover and won’t be the only one proven wrong.

Hangover ( I and II) and Bridesmaids really are very different movies and I glad the ladies (and director Paul Feig) strayed from the genre of Todd Phillips’ sequel franchise.
I enjoyed the first Hangover much more than its copycat second installment because it was fresh and new and I’d never seen anything like it. Now, I’ve seen it twice. It’s OK though, I knew what I was getting and came out satisfied overall. The Wolfpack is in Thailand this time and have a drink before Stu’s wedding day and well … you know what happens from there. Zach Galifianakis saves the show with his returning role as Alan, Bradley Cooper plays Phil well enough (and isn’t bad to look at) and Ed Helms overall kept me interested by his unexpected badass character, but at times was just trying a little too hard.
The Hangover Part II stays true to all its signatures and manages to get away with offensive humor and onscreen visuals while keeping audiences lining up at the box office. Whether at the theater or at home, it’s safe to see this sequel and not expect total disappointment. The rumored third installment, though, I’m not so sure.
Now on to the main event. All hail Bridesmaids! I just saw it today and am in a, yeah, I’d see that again type of mood. Down-on-her-luck Annie (Kristen Wiig) finds out her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and goes through a “little” bit of a downward spiral as the wedding approaches. What I liked most about Bridesmaids is the backdrop of real human emotions they used in between the bridal shower drama and ups and downs of Wiig’s character.
On screen, Wiig and Rudolph talk to each other like real women do and even improvised some scenes that ended up in the script. The writers also ensured plenty of laughs for a nice balance to the more sappy moments.
Including Wiig and Rudolph, Ellie Kemper (Erin from the Office), Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Wendy McLendon-Covey, round out the wedding party and aren’t afraid to throw in a little un-ladylike behavior while wearing bridesmaids dresses and on the plane to Las Vegas.
McCarthy especially took it to the next level and the movie just wouldn’t have been the same without her Guy Fieri-inspired character.
Having now seen Bridesmaids, I can attest to the fact that male and female audiences alike will be entertained. So pick your poison, and choose your battles. If your main squeeze wants to see Ed Helms make big mistakes and convincingly shout “What the hell is going on?” just do it. Or if Bridesmaids is on the agenda, take the chance. You’ll be surprised, much like I was after the first Hangover. Bridesmaids is my pick out of the two as for which one I liked better overall. What sealed the deal for me besides the solid cast, acting, humor, strong storyline? Both Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II used a cameo musical performance at the end, and Bridesmaids definitely wins there.

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