DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: May 13, 2011
Rating: R (for some strong sexuality and language throughout)
Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 125 min.
Directors: Paul Feig
Actors: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Jill Clayburgh, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm

Thanks to a steady stream of less than lady-like language and a decidedly brazen streak of sexuality and scatological humor, Bridesmaids has already been labeled everything from the female answer to The Hangover to Judd Apatow’s (Funny People, Knocked Up) debut of the wo-mance since it’s the girls who inevitably lead the charge toward maturity this time around.

Funny thing is, while both are an accurate description in the movie’s most outrageous moments, Bridesmaids still aims for more than sheer shock value. Surprisingly enough, there’s some intriguing insight into the foibles of female friendship, not to mention a heart-wrenching object lesson featuring a likable thirty-something who’s settling for second best in, well, everything after her bakery goes belly-up and leaves her feeling like she’s cloaked in failure.

The only consistently good thing in Annie’s (Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig) life has been the unwavering friendship of her childhood pal, Lillian (Wiig’s real-life BFF, fellow SNL actress Maya Rudolph). No matter how low Annie feels (and trust me, there’s plenty to lament considering she’s sleeping with a cad, can’t pay her bills and has, hands down, the creepiest roommates on Planet Earth), Lillian’s always there to listen and make her laugh.

And since they’re both dating, albeit with different levels of success, they also have that common ground of not being fully committed to anyone else. That is, until Lillian unexpectedly gets engaged to her boyfriend, which kick-starts this whole crazy story into motion.

Naturally, Lillian asks Annie to be her Maid of Honor, which Annie happily agrees to. In fact, everything’s still going downright swimmingly until Annie meets her fellow bridesmaids, particularly Lillian’s hoity-toity new friend Helen (Rose Byrne). Gorgeous, wealthy and armed with a pitch-perfect passive-aggressive streak, she’s apparently made it her mission to outdo Annie in every possible way, something that hilariously plays out in several scenes.

While the idea that weddings often bring out the worse in people is certainly well-traveled cinematic territory (see Bride Wars, Wedding Crashers, etc.), the screenwriters (Wiig and her writer/actress friend Annie Mumolo) not only put their own quirky twist on things, but they actually manage to develop the leading characters’ backstories enough to make you care about what happens to them.

With that said, however, those more engaging elements are often accompanied with an unsavory blend of Apatow’s sexually charged humor (see Cautions listed below for more details). Proving the boys aren’t the only ones who can talk dirty, expletives and frank bedroom discussion (think a younger, hipper Sex and the City) are basically par for the course.

Admittedly, some scenes are so funny that you’ll end up missing the next five minutes of dialogue because the audience is laughing so loud. But like its fellow R-rated comedic counterparts, other moments seriously cross the boundaries of good taste—an uncomfortable compromise for many, even in light of more meaningful discussion.