Bachelorette Review

Film Still
  • Bachelorette  film still


Horrible people being horrible. Kristen Dunst stars in this icky post-Bridsmaids wedding dirge.

With its solitary aim to prove that young women can be as vile, self-serving, obnoxious and foul-mouthed as young men, Leslye Headland's Bachelorette must be deemed some kind of success. Taking place over a single dark night of the soul, a trio of revolting (though revolting in unique ways) bridesmaids cause miscellaneous mayhem in a Manhattan hotel when, during a monster coke sesh, they haplessly tear the dress of their plus-sized bride-to-be.

And lo, they must attempt to consolidate their their now-fetid mental capacities in order to fix the mangled dress (which later acquires a light glaze of blood and semen) and get it back to the church on time.

Top-lining a movie with non sympathetic characters is all well and good, but Headland has written the clique at the centre of Bachelorette as if they're the unwanted spawn of a gun-point three-way between Gordon Gekko, Nancy Spungen and Joseph Goebbels. So hard to get behind, and then some… Kirsten Dunst gets marks for playing against type as a racist, violently jealous hotel kitchen manager, though loses them all almost instantly for neglecting to base the character in any kind of relatable reality.

Her peacocky queen bitch struts around spitting invective and casual racial epithets towards all and sundry, and no-one bothers to call her on it, like Headland believes it's just too funny and throwaway to dwell on. You might almost see her character's lack of redemption as a gutsy dramatic move, suggesting that some mean girls don't see the virtuous wood for the tyrannical trees. But the film is so slipshod and random that it simply feels like Headland may have just forgotten.

Elsewhere there's championship chalker Gena (Lizzy Caplan) who – guess what! – is actually really damaged and fragile and depressed under that aggressively loose-tongued exterior. She is presented as quasi-psychotic, gabbing about her expert blow-job technique on a busy internal flight. Her 'thing' is nostalgia, meaning that we're forced to endure regular clammy diversions in which the events/dilemmas of the story are indelicately clamped on to spurious '90s TV references.

Mild respite arrives in the form of the reliably dotty Isla Fisher who is the only one attempting to make the film appear fun. That her character is not saddled with any bathetic back story helps, and it's quite something seeing this habitually hyperactive actor going over-the-edge in her wide-eyed appropriation of a wee hours drug frenzy.

Lastly, there's the bride played by Rebel Wilson. The repugnant script takes every opportunity possible to mock her physical size, even down to having a male stripper refer to her – for no discernible reason – as "pigface" during a dance. She takes offence and the party atmosphere goes sour, a feeling that occurs on a number of occasions while enduring the formless hate-dirge that is Bachelorette.

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