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Hangover in heels

Weddings—like bachelor parties, deflowerings, and parenthood—have long been creative fodder for comedies. The pleasure is in the way the filmmakers reimagine the form. Bridesmaids, out this month, is the product of an unholy comic union among the father of the bromance, producer Judd Apatow; his pal (not in a gay way) director Paul Feig, creator of Freaks and Geeks; and Saturday Night Livestandout Kristen Wiig, who both stars and makes her screenwriting debut (with Annie Mumolo).

The marriage of Apatow, who built his career on the sloped shoulders of dorky slacker boys fumbling through the classic male rites of passage, and Wiig, whose quirky script focuses on the friendship among the women rather than on the ceremony, creates a new genre: the womance. With its stellar ensemble cast, featuring Maya Rudolph (as best friend and bride to Wiig’s maid of honor on the verge) as well as Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids resembles nothing so much as The Hangover in a thong and pearls. Not pretty (indeed some bits are quite hairy), but when Wiig has license to do her thing and vamp (her impression of a penis—Apatow’s inevitable penis trope—is a particular delight), it’s engaging. The challenge here is that for the Bridesmaids stars to succeed they must follow Apatow’s lead, take the form of the sensitive guy in wolf’s clothing, and, like Ginger Rogers, do everything their male counterparts do (including vomiting in one another’s hair) but backward and in high heels. Catch me.

© 2011 Elissa Schappell, VANITY FAIR.