Film / Film with Female Lead / Philosophy / Review

Bachelorette (2012)


Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die” ― Carrie Fisher.

I know how ludicrous it must seem to attempt to philosophically analyse a movie that has anything to do with Will Ferrell, and a film hailed to be the next Bridesmaids or The Hangover. Despite the trashy exterior and shallow performances of Bachelorette, I did manage to look deeply (very, very deeply) and find some gems of thought.

Image Source: http://www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Bachelorette-Poster.jpg

Bachelorette begins with a conversation over lunch, where the audience catch a brief but incredibly telling glimpse into the lives and personalities of the clichéd Type-A character Regan (played outstandingly by Kirsten Dunst) and one of her best friends from high school, Becky (Rebel Wilson). Becky, the same overweight size as she was in high school, is still called ‘Pigface’ by her high school friends, a clique made up of the hilariously damaged nymphomaniac Jenna (a show-stealing performance by Lizzy Caplan), and airhead Katie (from an underwhelming Isla Fisher). Together, the four women make up the B-Faces; significantly unhappy females in their 30s who are each washed up and suffer from painful necks as a result of looking over their respective fences. The grass isn’t greener on either friend’s side, so they decide to gather together for Becky’s shock wedding.

The shock? The shock is that not only is Becky ‘Pigface’ the first one to be married from the B-Faces clique, but the other women are left on the proverbial shelf. Regan, in particular, suffers to accept the fact that she won’t be the first from the clique to get married, as her childhood friends would always predict. This drives Regan, with ambiguous motives, to plan Becky’s wedding as her Maid of Honour and with a great deal of strength must override her personal pain and focus on getting Becky married.  Of course, this being a Will Ferrell movie, an indescribable amount of obscure and often misplaced humour is included. I will say that Bachelorette is, at its best, mildly amusing. It certainly lacks the heart and simply, the wit of its revolutionary predecessor Bridesmaids, but it is worth a one-time watch.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner” – Nelson Mandela.

The women that comprise Bachelorette are, I assume, meant to be symbols of modern womanhood. Sexual freedom to the point of promiscuous, barely-conscious sex, expletive-laden wedding speeches, and battling with everyday doom and gloom. Couple all of these with the inherent problems that come along with being a woman, and you’ll get a taste of what goes on in a woman’s world. On MadTV.

Here’s a taste of the modern-day woman in Bachelorette world:

Jenna – “I just realised the guy I’m sleeping with sucks.”

Regan – “I’m not gonna watch Becky Archer walk down the aisly in my dream dress. I’d rather lick this sidewalk.”

Becky – “I’ll get the burger and fries, just maybe with [Regan’s] bacon and her cheese. And do not bring me the dessert menu. I already know I want that cheesecake – the brownie cheesecake.”

Katie – “I want to date a guy who has a job.”

The best aspect of this film is the surprising performance from Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Cloverfield) as Jenna, who, despite spluttering some of the most grotesque and carnivalesque lines of 2012, shines a light on an otherwise dull and frankly, pointless film. There is no sense of adventure (as, for example Superbad), a rushed and false sense of sentimentality between the four friends and definitely some misplaced romance.

I must give enormous kudos to writer/director of Bachelorette Leslye Headland who, in an interview with Huffington Post Entertainment very wisely muses:

“What I wanted to do was I wanted to take a character like Becky (the bride) who I saw as really beautiful, not just outside but also inside, and I wanted to surround her with three glamorous women who are saying to her what society is saying about her. I felt that this was a way to confront body image and the pressure that people put themselves under from different sources; whether from the magazines, films, or the porn industry. Not to begin pointing fingers, but just the idea: What if three really hot, really smart, funny chicks did this? Would you realize how truly shitty it is, and would you notice it in real life the next time someone was doing it?”

A question I have always asked myself in life is, do physically/aesthetically beautiful people escape social norms and restrictions because of their beauty? Can they really get away with anything because they have a nice face?

Ok, this is clearly some girl shit that I don’t understand so may I just be very, very diplomatic and say, LET IT FUCKING GO.”

Pros

  • Memorable performances from Kirsten Dunst and Lizzy Caplan. All the smiles I managed to crack came from either one of these two actresses, who delivered some otherwise standard lines perfectly.
  • Despite my peeves with Bachelorette, it does reach its expectations perfectly. A simple, deliciously vulgar and fun-ish film, Bachelorette makes a great weekend movie.

Cons

Final Verdict

6/10

Bachelorette’s philosophy is almost just as bare as its plot, but as a Saturday-night-movie, I think it does a sufficient job. What the women learn, if anything at all, is that when you’re able to bypass your own insecurities and differences for the sake of another, you can achieve just about anything. Even if you’re motivated by cocaine, alcohol and a raging sense of jealousy.

A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it” ― Lionel Shriver

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