Dave White
Bachelorette Review

Dave's Rating:

1.5

The feel-rotten Girls Night Out movie of 2012.

Becky (Rebel Wilson) is getting married. Her three best friends -- Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Katie (Isla Fisher) and Gena (Lizzy Caplan) -- resent her for this and, during a cocaine binge, accidentally destroy her wedding dress. See, they decide to play a cruel prank on Becky (the second of two, starting with the hiring of a male stripper who gives her a lap dance and calls her "Pigface" while performing) that involves fitting two people into the gown, photographing it and tagging her name on Facebook. You know, the way your good friends will do when your back is turned on the eve of the happiest day of your life. The resulting garment disaster sets the ticking clock/one-crazy-night in motion. Will they get the dress fixed? Will they all overdose on drugs and die? Will they come to a mutual realization that they are resolutely awful human beings who hate Becky for no good reason?

I know this kind of mind-wrecking Mean Girls stuff goes on all the time. It happened to a female friend of mine, a woman who recently lost about 90 pounds but who, before that, committed the crime of being a bride while fat and who paid the penalty for it thanks to an out of control maid of honor. They're not friends anymore. Now, can that be turned into comedy? Absolutely. Does this film pull off that trick? Absolutely not. But then again, maybe it's not meant to be a comedy.

The laughs are few and far between and mostly involve Caplan's deadpan dialogue delivery and her fractured relationship with an ex-boyfriend (Adam Scott). Most everything else flying around in this tornado of ugly behavior and uglier relationships feels like standard-issue Hangover-style stunts meant to be shocking because women are the perps instead of the victims. Not counting Becky, of course. She's the designated dumpee who truly believes her friends care for her well-being even as they sneer at her and roll their eyes. Think Bridesmaids, if Melissa McCarthy were the bride and everyone else treated her like garbage to prove the point that people suck.

Point taken. But the question still remains: is it a crispy black laugh-downer or is it a comically accented drama about a specific set of women who've spent their lives brainwashing themselves into believing they're actually close friends while simultaneously acting out the weird untruth that women are meant to be locked in endless battle with one another? I don't know if I have an answer. Possibly because I'm male. Possibly because the movie doesn't feel like it knows itself enough to follow through with a clear agenda.

The latter seems most plausible, though, especially when Kirsten Dunst moves into clean-up mode in the movie's second half, forcing her fingers down Fisher's throat to make her vomit up a bellyful of pills. It's a moment of bitter, acidic, hilarious truth, made even more real and harsh by Dunst's explanation of how she got so good at inducing puke for her friends. It's like a clear beam of blinding light, one that exposes everything around it as sloppy and unfocused. But in the end it's just one shot in the dark, nowhere near high-powered enough to make for an easy path out of the muck.

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