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Friday, March 8, 2013

Bachelorette DVD Review

Bachelorette is about four girls who were friends in high school and have remained somewhat close, and how three react to the news that the fourth is getting married. Most of the film takes place the day and night before the wedding. This is not, however, some sweet romantic comedy about a couple getting married, or about supportive friends. They’re very self-involved girls, totally horrible to other people, and clueless that they’re horrible. The film is deliciously harsh, and at times surprisingly funny, and rarely sweet.

Becky (Rebel Wilson), is the first of the group to get married, which surprises the others, as she is certainly the least conventionally attractive (she was called Pigface in school). Of the three not getting married, one is a blonde, one is a brunette and one is a redhead. Regan (Kirsten Dunst), the blonde, is the one who seems the most successful, at least outwardly. When introduced, she is talking about working with kids with cancer, but it’s clear that her work is not coming from any true place of compassion.  Gena (Lizzy Caplan), the brunette, is more outwardly a mess, spending her time with various men and drugs. And Katie (Isla Fisher) is ditzy, incompetent goof, who miraculously doesn’t get fired from her job.  They’re exaggerated types, and so you enjoy the situations they get into without really caring too much about them as people. A lot of the comedy comes from the interactions between these types and the more real supporting characters they come into contact with. It’s almost like cartoon characters unleashed on the “real” world, and having to cope.

The girls end up insulting Becky at the party the night before the wedding. Becky tells Gena and Katie not to show up at the wedding unless they can act like people (though this isn’t really brought up again). So the three girls are left on their own to drink and do cocaine, and to amuse themselves. Katie and Regan decide to get into Becky’s wedding dress together so they can take a funny photo, and of course it rips. So they’ve got to get the dress fixed before morning. How can three people who are basically complete messes get one rather simple task performed in a brief time (while on cocaine)?

In the commentary, writer/director Leslye Headland mentions that people told her this story was like a female After Hours. However, Bachelorette is not nearly as extreme. And though this film has several things go wrong over the course of the night, we’re not emotionally connected to these characters. While watching After Hours, you start to feel anxious for Paul (Griffin Dunne). But in this film you’re a bit removed; you’re never all that concerned for these girls. And I found myself not caring about the dress at all. In fact, the girls themselves often don’t seem to care about the dress. The enjoyment comes from watching how the react, and interact, and the insane choices they make.

We see the groom and his friends too, but we don’t really care about them until later when the girls interact with them. And some of the funniest stuff comes from those interactions. Such as Gena saying to her ex, “We got pregnant. I took care of it. You made mix tapes about it.” And when Joe says to Katie, “I got so fucked up once on shrooms that I started a Fight Club with my cats.”

The film uses that great song by The Cars, at which point we get the slow motion shot, an obvious reference to  Fast Times At Ridgemont High. And then later they actually mention that movie by name, and talk about a scene from it. And for those keeping track, there’s also an extended My So-Called Life reference.

Bachelorette is writer/director Leslye Headland’s first film, and it's based on her play.

Bonus Features

The DVD has three bonus features. The first is a commentary track by writer/director Leslye Headland. The second is “Bloopers,” which is approximately two minutes of flubs and deleted bits. The final bonus feature is “Behind The Scenes Of Bachelorette,” a four and a half minute feature that begins with the main actors discussing the film at what must have been its premiere. There are also bits of interviews with Carly Hugo (a co-producer) and Doug Emmett (the cinematographer). And there is some behind-the-scenes footage on the set.

Bachelorette is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 19, 2013.

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