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‘Bachelorette’ is a poorly constructed and uninspired comedic mess

Written by Leslye Headland
Directed by Leslye Headland
USA, 2012

Leave it to Bachelorette to be the first true dumpster fire attempting to live up to last year’s Bridesmaids; a film so crass and tiresome as to feel overlong at a skimpy 90 minutes. As a whole, its biggest crime is that it doesn’t fully utilize its cast in the proper way. Sure, Kirsten Dunst is probably miscast in the lead role, but one would think having Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Adam Scott, James Mardsen, and Rebel Wilson would merit some comedic value. The cast is mostly game for director/writer Leslye Headland’s material, but it’s often mind-numbingly shallow and familiar, alienating the viewer into a vortex of been there done that, race against the clock profaneness.

It’d be a mistake to think the film was acting as a carbon copy to Bridesmaids measured and effortlessly staged raunchiness. There’s a consistent mean streak surrounding the film that increasingly fails to register as true or insightful. We’re painfully subjected to the shenanigans surrounding three friends who are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used ridicule back in high school. The three friends: Regan (Dunst), Gena (Caplan), and Katie (Fisher), are dead in the water on arrival as they share little chemistry with one another from the onset. Their friend is Becky, played by Rebel Wilson from Bridesmaids. Becky is little more than a footnote throughout the film, playing second fiddle to the aforementioned trio’s drug-riddled and dim-witted antics. Most of the so-called humor revolves around low-grade oral sex jibber-jabber, cocaine binges, and taxing offensiveness that probably looked good on paper, but play as bland and juvenile.

Originality and creativeness aren’t objectives here, as the narrative follows the attempts of Regan, Gena and Katie to successfully fix Becky’s wedding dress after they accidentally ruin it the night before her wedding. Not only do they drastically tear it during a drunken attempt at slapstick, but the dress is also stained with blood (another cocaine gag) and semen over the course of the film. Not to pick on Isla Fisher, she’s actually been serviceable before, but her character here is so astonishingly trite, as to corrupt almost every scene she’s in. The same goes for Dunst and Caplan, but to lesser degrees. What is Dunst doing here? After Melancholia, it may have been time for her to relax and play it easy, but her Regan is underwritten to the point of obscurity. Lizzy Caplan, who was so affective in Party Down, is just lost here, partially out of place and underutilized.

The construction of the film is horrendous. Where some complained that Bridesmaids was perhaps overlong at 125 minutes, Bachelorette sidesteps any and all character development and runs rampid without the slightest hint of structure or authenticity. The male characters outside of Adam Scott have little to offer or purpose to serve. All of the stock motivations are intact once again: Strip clubs, getting laid, and packing Xanax to name just a few. The latter of the three is actually heavily relied on for comedic effect after one of the main females encounters it. What could have been a frenzied female Hangover-esque success, results in a film that you’ll want to steer clear of. Bachelorette is the cinematic equivalent of the belligerent guy at the party who doesn’t leave you or your friends alone. It’s not just bad, but atrociously awful and forgettable, a frontrunner for one of 2012’s worst comedic offerings.

Ty Landis