Bridesmaids

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Bridesmaids poster 1466.jpg

Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live fame and co-produced by Judd Apatow. Wiig plays Annie, a single, late-thirties woman stuck in a dead-end job and a dead-end relationship. She faces a new source of anxiety when her old friend Lillian (played by fellow SNL alum Maya Rudolph) gets engaged to a rich guy and seems poised to leave Annie behind for her rich, fancy new friends, especially Lillian's prospective new best friend, Helen (Rose Byrne).

Designed as something of a Distaff Counterpart to The Hangover and other films of its ilk, and was a massive success.

Tropes used in Bridesmaids include:


  • The Ace: How Helen appears most of the time.
  • Acrofatic: Megan is a bit chubby but is very flexible.
  • The Alleged Car: The sad little vehicle that down-at-the-heels Annie is forced to drive around.
  • Alpha Bitch: Helen later crosses into Lovable Alpha Bitch when we find out she doesn't realize how her over-the-top gestures are affecting people and that she harbors no ill will towards Annie.
  • Always Someone Better: Helen is seemingly this to Annie. She constantly attempts to one-up Annie and is often successful. She is also rich and attractive, and Annie feels threatened by her budding friendship with Lillian. Played with, in that it's revealed Helen has her own problems in her life and has been overshadowing and muscling in on things more as an (admittedly rather thoughtless) attempt to over-compensate for her own unhappiness rather than maliciousness towards Annie or deliberate attempts at oneupmanship.
  • And That Little Girl Was Me: Lampshaded.

"And by Megan, I mean myself."

"Velcome to Germany! Auf wiedersehen, asshole!"

  • Gratuitous Spanish: When Annie attempts to continually upstage Helen at the engagement toasts, she eventually runs out of meaningful things to say and tries to tell her something in Spanish, which comes out unintelligible.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Annie and Lillian.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: TIM HEIDECKER
    • Officer Rhodes: better known to British viewers as idiot-savant computer-geek Roy in The IT Crowd, his casting as an Irish-American cop who is socially competent, can function at an advanced emotional level, and who can actually get the girl... sorry. Weird.
  • Humiliation Conga: The movie might as well be called Annie's Humiliation Conga. She's lost all of her money in a failed business venture, is working in a dead-end job, living with a weirdo and his weirdo mooch sister, and is in a Friends-With-Benefits relationship with the aforementioned Jerkass. And that's at the start of the movie. It Gets Worse.
  • Hypocritical Humor:

Rita (to her sons): Shut your filthy fucking mouths!

  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Lillian's wedding dress, designed by a famous designer in France, went a little too far.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: One of the bridesmaids wants to throw Lillian a Pixar-themed bridal shower.
  • The Ingenue: Becca.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Annie's effort to deal with her fear of flying has unfortunate consequences.
  • Jerkass:
    • Jon Hamm's character.
    • Annie's male roommate
  • Karma Houdini: Helen. Despite the fact that she is the antagonist in the film, she never seems to get called out on anything and continues to upstage Annie at the end of the film. This is possibly because Helen is gradually revealed to be quite sympathetic herself, and not entirely the antagonist Annie imagines her to be, being more thoughtlessly over-eager rather than actively malicious.
    • Our first glimpse of Helen's true nature comes when we see how her stepsons treat her.

Helen: You guys need a ride home later?
Stepson: Fuck off, Helen.

  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Once Helen and Annie are left by themselves at the dress shop, Helen, seeing Annie sweating and visibly trying to keep from throwing up, slowly makes her eat a candy-coated almond while taunting her about the entire scenario.
  • Ladette: Megan.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Hinted at with Annie's mom and the car mechanic. "Don't I know you from AA?" A surprise hookup is revealed at Lillian's wedding: Megan and the air marshal.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Annie's made-up boyfriend, George...Glass.
  • Mile-High Club: Megan attempts to join this on the plane.
  • Milwaukee: About half of the plot takes place here.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: A la Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Wiig keeps her bra on for sex with Jon Hamm.
    • She does get topless later on when she's trying to get Officer Rhodes's attention in finding Lillian.
      • ...but you don't get to see anything.
    • She wears a straight example later after she's had sex with Rhodes.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer and ad campaign is all about the bridesmaids as a group despite that not being the case in the movie overall. The second trailer actually portrays the movie much more accurately than the much more shown first trailer. The second trailer chooses to focus more on Annie and Lillian's friendship.
  • Nobody Poops: Gloriously averted in a scene where the bridesmaids get food poisoning from a Brazilian restaurant.
  • No Social Skills: Helen (over) plans lavish parties to make up for the fact she has very few female friends.
  • Officer O'Hara: Unusual modern example of a Discredited Trope with Officer Rhodes, although to be fair, he's not very Oirish outside of the accent.
    • Which is strange, considering that the actor is Irish. It looks more like a case of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping in the beginning, transitioning into Not Even Bothering with the Accent. Rhodes being non-American is briefly Handwaved ("I didn't know that you could be a cop here if you weren't a citizen") but the lack of explanation and generic Anglo name does suggest he wasn't originally written as Irish or even foreign.
      • For what it's worth, most Americans struggle to tell the difference between a genuine Irish accent and a strange American one.
      • The questionable accent is arguably lampshaded when John Hamm arrives to pick up Annie in his car.

"That cop talks weird."

    • What makes this even stranger is that in Friends with Kids O'Dowd showed that he's perfectly capable of talking with an American accent.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: A jilted Rhodes snapping at Annie to get her her fucking tailights fixed! Doesn't she understand how badly she can hurt people?...with these broken lights?
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Lillian's dad is in both of his scenes.
    • Annie's Crazy Awesome mother as well.
    • Annie's roomates count as well
  • Out of Focus: After being major supporting characters in the first half of the film Rita and Becca are more or less Demoted to Extra for the second half - they still appear but have very few lines and no plot importance.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Annie and Helen trying to one-up each other on their speeches about Lillian at the engagement party.
    • In the gag reel, Megan tosses off around thirty different options for the shower. Eventually it just sounds like word salad.
    • Annie's many attempts to get Rhodes' attention in the car.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Annie tries to sneak into First Class wearing a pair of sunglasses. It doesn't work.
  • Posters Always Lie: The posters (like the one at the top of this page) show the bridemaids in dresses they don't wear in the film. They wear purple, not strapless ones in the film.
  • Potty Failure: In the street and in a sink.
  • Power Walk: Boarding the plane to Vegas.
  • Precision F-Strike: Annie at the bridal shower, which then transitions to a Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Lillian unveiling her clownish wedding dress. "Don't. You. Dare. Laugh."
  • Rage Breaking Point: Helen stealing Annie's idea for a Parisian bridal shower. Annie bites her tongue... until Lillian is presented with a bona fide plane ticket to Paris.

Annie: What woman gives another woman a trip to Paris?! Am I right? Les~bian!♪ We're all thinking it, aren't we?
[the guests shake their heads unconvincingly]
Megan: I was.

  • Real Life Relative: Air Marshal John, the man Megan (played by Melissa McCarthy) hits on during the plane ride and whom later is shown attending the wedding with Megan and hooking up with her during the credits, is played by Melissa McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone.
  • Reality Subtext: This was Jill Clayburgh's (Annie's mom) last film, as she was secretly fighting leukemia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Annie gets one from Megan,after Annie's meltdown at the bridal shower leads her to get un-invited from the wedding. Megan is hoping to inspire Annie to "fight for [her] crappy life" rather than sitting around and feeling sorry for herself.
  • Rich Bitch: Subverted
  • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Rhodes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signs of Disrepair: "COCK BABY."
  • Stalking Is Love: Annie repeatedly trying to rouse Rhodes' attention by performing illegal maneuvers in her car. This includes speeding, tossing litter at his window, swigging booze, talking on her cell phone, doing donuts beside his car, blasting gangsta rap, and going topless. It takes bumping Rhodes' police car with hers to get him to acknowledge her.
  • Stepford Smiler: Helen.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Annie has an epic one at the bridal shower.
  • Toilet Humor: The first sign that trouble's brewing at the dress shop is when Megan lets an enormous fart, apologizes, and adds "I'm not entirely sure which end that came out of."
  • Transparent Closet: Becca's husband, Kevin, is implied to be either gay or asexual, as he insists on having sex in the dark, under the covers, and only after they've showered...separately -- and half the time, he pretends to be too tired afterward.
  • Twitchy Eye: Annie, when forced to choke down a snack in the midst of food poisoning.
  • The Voiceless: Dougie shows up in two scenes in the movie and despite being mentioned a lot, only has one line: "I do."
  • Volleying Insults: Annie starts one of these fights with a teenage girl at the jewelry store.

Annie: I feel bad for your parents.
Customer: I feel bad for your face.
Annie: Okay, well, call me when your boobs come in.
Customer: You call me when yours come in!

  • Viva Las Vegas: Subverted; the girls get kicked off the plane because of Annie's antics before reaching Vegas.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Rita sprays vomit on the toilet and wall before she can get the lid up, and then Becca pukes in Rita's hair.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Lampshaded in the opening scene, when Annie tiptoes into the bathroom to freshen up while Fuckbuddy is asleep, in which we discover that during sex, she wears not only a blue bra but also pink knickers. Truly sex for film actors and actresses follows different rules and realities...
  • Wedding Day
  • The Windy City: The other half of the plot takes place here.