Why the ending of Bridesmaids bugged me

Giant spoiler alert: If you couldn’t tell by the headline, this post is about the ending of a movie that’s still in the theater. So if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want me to wreck everything for you, why don’t you check out another post for now and maybe come back to this after you’ve laughed your butt off with Kristen Wiig & Co.?

If you’re still here, I’m going to assume you’ve either seen the chick raunchfest Bridesmaids or you don’t plan to at all, so we can get on with discussing the plot?

First, I loved that this was obviously a movie with women writers.

The moment where Lillian tells Annie she’s engaged, and Annie tries to fake being thrilled? The struggle to be happy for someone you love while realizing everything is going to change is played for laughs but the honesty of it comes through.

Helen and Annie competing to be Lillian’s best friend at the engagement party is so awkwardly, painfully hilarious, and felt so true to female friend insecurity I’ve experienced and witnessed.

I loved that for most of the movie, the focus was on the women and their relationships. We never really get to know Lillian’s fiance because we don’t need to. That’s not what the story is about. As many people have said, this is The Hangover with girls. It’s a movie about friends.

But then we get this stapled on romantic happy ending where Annie has treated nice guy Rhodes pretty badly, and for reasons that completely escape me, he comes back for her.

Here are two issues Jason Bailey on Flavorwire raised in a post headlined Open Thread: Let’s Talk About the Ending of ‘Bridesmaids’:

First, as much as I liked the two of them together (seriously — Wiig and O’Dowd have chemistry to burn), the force of their last roadside conversation fully convinced me that this was going to be a situation where Annie had just kinda blown it. They’re both good people (mostly), but the timing was wrong, and she acted badly, and he gave up, because she blew it. Here’s the thing: in real life, good people — charming, funny, attractive people — blow it all the time. But you never see that in movies, where every potentially successful relationship between charming, funny, attractive people must succeed, at least through the end credits. When was the last time the great couple at a romantic comedy’s center didn’t end up together? Oh yeah, that’d be in Annie Hall, the single greatest romantic comedy of all time. (Do not argue with me on this. I will cut you.)

And secondly, I guess I just resisted the notion that ending up back in the arms of Rhodes was what we, as an audience, needed as an assurance that Annie was gonna be okay. I, for one, did not need that last little piece to be tied up with a nice, neat bow; what was more important was that she’d made up with Lillian, and was over her Helen issues, and appeared to be in the process of getting her shit together. Isn’t that enough?

Ultimately, Bridesmaids reminded me a little of Sex and the City without the shoe fetish.

To me, the real love story in Sex and the City wasn’t Carrie and Mr. Big, it was Carrie and her girlfriends. These are women who’ve been together longer than any of them has been with their men, they’ve supported each other through cancer, unplanned pregnancy, infertility, divorce, death of a parent and general midlife ennui.

Spoiler alert here — but if you haven’t seen the first Sex and the City movie, are you really going to?

When Carrie’s best friends drop everything to take a vacation together because she’s called off her wedding, I think that’s the real romantic moment. That’s the love we aspire to.

Similarly, when Annie and Lillian overcome all the nonsense that’s transpired, when Annie comes to Lillian’s rescue and Lillian lets her, that’s the love story of the movie. They’ve been through too much to let their friendship slip away.

Girl loves bestie. Girl loses bestie. Girl gets bestie back.

The end.



Categories: creativity, lifestyle

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4 replies

  1. “Helen and Annie competing to be Lillian’s best friend at the engagement party is so awkwardly, painfully hilarious, and felt so true to female friend insecurity I’ve experienced and witnessed”.

    No, I doubt you’ve ever seen/experienced something like that scene. That was pure Hollywood. Hilarious however.

  2. “When was the last time the great couple at a romantic comedy’s center didn’t end up together? Oh yeah, that’d be in Annie Hall,”

    I’m going to have to push in 500 Days of summer here,
    500 days of summer was seemingly like Annie Hall in the sense of the jumping to different points in the relationship, which makes me wonder about how possible it is to make the couple not end up together without either a) using the jumping time frames to show not a love story but one of life(which would become generic and common) or b) being an awkward teen, indie, coming of age film, which there are far too many of.

    That said, the conventional “happily ever after” is overused, but perhaps we need films like “Bridesmaids” to make all the “Annie Hall”‘s noticed for the greatness that they are.

  3. You’re absolutely right! I basically loved the movie but it could’ve ended with Lillian and Annie.

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