Bachelorette Leslye Headland

Bachelorette Leslye Headland
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Unfairly dumped directly to video, playwright Leslye Headland's first film gig is a smart, honest and, yes, very dirty ensemble comedy. Even though the superficially Bridesmaids-esque plot is filled with broadly played sex and drug humour, the subtle emotional truisms running through Bachelorette are what makes the movie more resonant than many of its ilk. That same raw-nerve humanity is likely what gave the marketing team pause. Without a bull-in-a-china shop personality like Melissa McCarthy to deliver easy slapstick gags or the (inexplicable) appeal of the over-the-top, dark, imbecilic antics of The Hangover's Wolf Pack, there's nothing but story and characters to sell. While that's fine and dandy for a dramatic feature, this is still a bawdy comedy and the mixing of the two isn't exactly common practice — neither is giving a female-driven picture a wide release. But I digress. Disconcerting Hollywood gender stats aside, Headland provides the best description of the film's tone in her feature commentary track while relating early studio reactions to a scene involving Isla Fisher's coked-out party girl, Katie: the line she utters in a moment of lucidity is deemed too smart for a dumb girl. Headland links this to the notion she's trying to convey that it's incredibly presumptuous to assume superficial people don't feel deeply. That's just the tip of the iceberg of unflinching observations Headland has packed into a silly comedy about bitchy, drugged-out bridesmaids trying to fix their former best friend's dress hours before her wedding. All in fine form, Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher play the catty trio of screw-ups who are prompted to take stock of their lives when Rebel Wilson is the first of their high school crew to get married. Petty jealousies and old wounds flare up, dresses are torn, semen and blood are spilled, and much coke is hoovered up. As the primary males involved, James Marsden (Cyclops has found his calling in comedy, easily handling a satirical take on the tantalizing cocksure asshole archetype) and Adam Scott (who better to play the Judge Reinhold to Lizzy Caplan's Jennifer Jason Leigh? Party Down fans will be delighted) make strong showings in supporting roles. Full of affection for likeminded, quirky, thoughtful indie comedies (mainly from the '90s, though she does give a shout-out to Lee Toland Krieger's masterful The Vicious Kind), Bachelorette is the kind of sure-to-be-obscure flick movie lovers used to delight in discovering buried deep in the isles of Blockbuster. Hopefully Netflix will provide a similar opportunity for unearthing unexpected cinematic treats. Along with the frequently funny and exceedingly astute commentary by Headland, the DVD includes a standard "Behind the scenes" feature and a blooper reel bristling with some edgy improvisation. (eOne)