Who's In It: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Wendy McClendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd, Jon Hamm
The Basics: Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph play best friends, one of whom is getting married soon. As Maid of Honor, Wiig is supposed to organize the pre-wedding parties and showers. But as her life spirals out of control financially and emotionally, she's unable to deal with the pressure. Meanwhile, "new best friend" Rose Byrne steps in to Type A herself all over everything and assume the role of closest female friend to Rudolph. In a lesser movie this would turn into the kind of horror show we've already been subjected to by hateful, stupid, anti-woman movies like Bride Wars, but here it winds up a story about the shifting, changing nature of adult friendships, with a little help from raging tantrums thrown using props like giant heartshaped cookies and chocolate fondue fountains to get the point across.
What's The Deal: I'm not interested in the "Is this the Lady Hangover?" or "Can a female-driven comedy be as funny as a male-driven one?" discussion. You'd think there'd never been a woman comic before until now, with the way people are suddenly talking about this being some sort of litmus test film. What I'm interested in is stuff that's funny. And this movie is funny both as physical gag-based comedy and character-built, smart-person comedy in a nonstop, laughing-over-dialogue, smart-stupid, sweet-gross, heartfelt-raunchy way that's perfectly in keeping with the Judd Apatow brand (he produced it) while giving you exactly what you've come to expect and want from hilarious women like Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig. My favorite funny film of the year so far.
The Essential Need For Good Puke And Diarrhea Moments In Comedy: Any five-year-old will tell you that poop and throw-up are the best things ever for a good laugh. And not counting the Jackass series, this one gives you one of the gnarliest body fluid gross-out moments committed to film in recent memory. Now, if you don't like that sort of thing then you could just leave when the cast enters the bridal shop to try on dresses and you'll be fine. It's over when it's over. But if you're a fan of the lowest form of joke-getting there is, then you'll wish there were a pause/rewind button in your theater seat's armrest.
MVP: Melissa McCarthy. She's currently starring on the not-so-great hit sitcom Mike and Molly, but for years before that she was being funny under the radar on Gilmore Girls. Watching her as the sweetly feminine but ditzy chef on that beloved show won't prepare you for the butch, bawdy badass she is here. She steals every moment she can and lays waste to everything around her. If she becomes a movie star thanks to this film then that's Hollywood's good fortune and they should send her a cookie bouquet of gratitude. Along with checks for millions of dollars.
Who Should Be Alive To See It: John Hughes. Imagine a movie called 37 Candles and this would be it. It remembers and expertly executes something he was always able to do so well: keep a comedy moving in a direction that's funny and heartfelt without one element trampling the other.