Remember when Bridesmaids came out and the world braced itself for an onslaught of outrageous, gross-out female comedies? Well, That’s What She Said, a raunchy new film fresh from Sundance, will inevitably be counted by those taking measure of the Bridesmaids revolution. Directed by Carrie Preston—best known for her role as waitress Arlene Fowler on HBO’s True Blood—the movie is about a fraying friendship soldiering on through life’s difficulties against the backdrop of a hectic rainy day in New York City.
The story begins with Bebe (a pushover with a heart of gold played by the awesome Marcia DeBonis). She’s in her bathtub, razor in hand, doing some (ahem) personal grooming in preparation for a date with the first guy she’s liked in ages. Bebe is used to taking care of others, but today, she’s taking care of herself, and she’s asked her chain-smoking, sarcasm-spewing best friend Dee Dee (Anne Heche) to provide moral support throughout her day of beauty appointments. Of course, Dee Dee arrives hours late. And by the time the two meet up, Bebe has already taken on another project—a tearful, unstable young woman named Clementine (Alia Shawkat) whom Bebe consoled at a coffee shop and invited along on their travels.
Wackiness ensues, but much like the puerile genre of jokes the film is named after, That’s What She Said is often pretty unfunny (do we really have to watch Bebe frantically scratch at her razor-burned crotch in every scene?). It also, however, has moments of real laugh-out-loud, hug-your-BFF joy. Preston navigates the everyday crises of modern womanhood with a style of humor that is usually only applied to men (Ben Stiller movies come to mind). And Bridesmaids or no Bridesmaids, that still feels really new and cool.
By Phoebe Magee
This review appears in the Oct/Nov 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Aubrey Plaza. Subscribe now.