When the movie Bachelorette was pre-released online two weeks ago, it rocketed to the number one slot on iTunes, buoyed by the promise of a great cast (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, and Adam Scott) and a plot reminiscent of the naughty nuptial franchise The Hangover. Now that that film is opening in theaters, however, a broader audience will soon be buzzing about what writer/director Leslye Headland’s “comedy” actually delivers—a depressing treatise on the petty jealousies and superficial bullshit that can tear female friendships apart.
Convening in New York for the wedding of their high school chum Becky (Wilson), maid of honor Regan (Dunst) and bridesmaids Gena (Caplan) and Katie (Fisher) immediately break out the cocaine and the snark, acting in ways that are so incomprehensibly cruel, it’s hard to understand how Becky could have ever been friends with them. In short, the bridal party is indignant that plus-size Becky is the first of the bunch to be getting married. The fact that her husband-to-be is handsome and sweet and nice and actually loves her only fuels their rage. Egging each other on, the trio fat-bash Becky mercilessly behind her back instead of supporting her on the night before her wedding. And in the midst of a drunken prank, they go too far, ruining something crucial to the ceremony that must be somehow un-ruined before Becky walks down the aisle.
What follows is a wacky race against time through the streets of the Big Apple, punctuated by casual sex, downward spirals of intoxication, and tsunamis of resentment that breach the levees of friendship and civility at every turn. Bridesmaids it’s not. Instead, Bachelorette will make viewers breathe a sigh of relief that the caricatures rampaging around on screen bear very little resemblance to the real friends that sustain women through the landmark moments in our lives. [Emily Rems]
Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.