The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

A happy surprise – or a sad disappointment

with 23 comments

Many of the film writers and podcasters I follow claim that they avoid to see any trailer or review about a movie before they have seen it themselves. While I don’t accuse them for lying, I can’t understand how they make it. Honestly.

There’s only one cinema in my city that doesn’t show any trailers – the independent, artsy one. They don’t run any advertising at all, so you’d better be on time for their shows or you’ll miss the beginning of the movie.

But everywhere else, running three or four trailers is a standard. And you can’t really avoid them by showing up way after the scheduled starting time for the movie, since it’s quite random when they start running the ads. Sometimes they do it early, sometimes they do it late. It has happened that the actual movie you’re there to see will start on the announced time, so you don’t want to take any chance.

The trailers are unavoidable as far as I’m concerned. The reviews are optional I guess – in theory. In reality I’m too curious, too interested in what people are talking about in the blogosphere and the world of movie podcasts, too eager to feel that I’m “updated” with what’s going on, to not read reviews about movies I have yet to see. I just don’t have that kind of self control, especially not since most of the movies come up a few months later in Sweden than they do in US or UK. In order to not spoil anything I couldn’t listen to or read anything more recent than six months old and that would feel pretty bad.

As a result of this, I had obviously seen the trailer as well as read the reviews of Bridesmaids long before I saw it myself. And the previews had given me certain expectations. The strange thing was that those expectations went in two opposite directions, and as a result, I’m also torn in my own response to the movie.

From one point of view I’m happily surprised. From the other point of view – I’m sourly disappointed.

Better than the trailer

The “this-was-better-than-I-had-expected” reaction is based on the trailer, which was terrible. It suggested that this was a classic example of PPP-humor (poo, pee and puke). It looked as if it was only one step away from having recorded laughter running in the background. They could as well put up flash signs after every joke. “Laugh here. It’s mandatory.” (Do I need to tell you how much I HATE that kind of movies?)

However. It wasn’t. Bridesmaids hade way more brains and story than the trailer suggested. Thumbs up from me!

Then there is the other reaction, “I’m a bit disappointed”. This is based on the reviews I’ve read and listened to. Regardless of the horrid trailer for it, I had quite high expectations on this movie. It got top grades from almost everyone I follow, including the UK podcasters Kermode and Mayo, whose views I normally tend to agree with a lot. The major morning paper in my country wrote a two pages long celebration article, claiming that this was a major breakthrough for female comedians on the movie screen. From what I heard and read I got the impression that I was about to witness something historical, something that never had been done before. I didn’t quite understand in what manner female humor would be different to the male equivalence, but it sure had to be quite something, following the enthusiastic exclaims.

Nothing revolutionary

And to be completely honest with you, I don’t quite get what this hullabaloo was about. I didn’t see anything particular revolutionary in Bridesmaids. What I saw was a decent piece of comedy – not bad, not at all, but average. It doesn’t stick out as far as I can tell.

Perhaps there were a few more ladies around than we’re used to, but haven’t we seen the types they did before? Has everyone all of a sudden forgotten characters such as Meg Ryan doing the explicit restaurant scene in When Harry met Sally? Just as one example.

On the other hand – I might be absolutely wrong. This could also be a case of  “it’s not about you, it’s about me”.

I strongly suspect that a lot of the humor in Bridesmaids is based on recognition. The more you’ve been in similar situations, the funnier you’ll find it. I suppose there are many women who can recognize themselves far more than I did. They’ve had a bunch of bridesmaids at their own weddings. They’ve been bridesmaids at the weddings of their friends. I’ve done neither, and as a matter of fact I’ve been to very few weddings and certainly nothing anywhere near what’s in this movie.

And to be painfully honest I’ve never really had any close female friend, so I think the theme that is dealing with the nature of female friendship is a little bit lost on me.

What I’ll remember
So what do I know? Who am I to judge this movie? Maybe I’m just a little grumpy, since I feel alienated, watching this female world from the outside?

In the end, I did have a few laughs and I guess that’s this makes it worth the ticket cost for most of us.

However in a few years time I suspect that the only thing I’ll remember from it is a particularly disgusting poo scene. It was quite spectacular. I’m not sure if it was good.

Bridesmaids (Feig, US, 2011) My rating: 3,5/5

Written by Jessica

August 8, 2011 at 12:30 am

Posted in Bridesmaids

23 Responses

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  1. Sometimes the trailer is all you need to see, especially those big blockbuster action movies seem to cram in all important turn of events into it and most of the one-liner dialogue too, and since you know the bad guys always lose in the end anyway there is really not much point in watching a prolongued version of it 🙂

    I hadn’t planned on seeing the Bridesmaids anyway despite its sparkling reviews, it just seems too pink and girly for me and I generally don’t find that fun. I guess I too have trouble identifying with the characters.

    Tessy

    August 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    • I agree about the action trailers. They show way too much of the plot. I wonder if this hasn’t actually changed over the last few years. I can’t remember trailers revealing that much back in the days. It boggles my mind why they do it. Don’t they risk that people lose interest in it since they think they already know the outcome?

      Re: Bridesmaids: it’s not quite as pink and girly as the poster and ads suggest. But yes, there’s a little bit too much of it for me to think that this is “sensational”, a completely new female version of movie comedy. I’ve seen movies that have challenged the views on women in a far more interesting and funny and provoking way before. This is too close to what’s expected.

      Jessica

      August 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

  2. Hmm. While it wasn’t a trailer, but the cover and the poster that did it for me, I avoided the movie “Secretary” like the plague for ages. I expected it to be Maggie Gyllenhaal doing a second rate slapstick Sandra Bullock style film. And then one night, I was sucked into this beautiful, funny, sad, quirky film being shown on television late at night. Which, much to my surprise, I discovered was “Secretary”. It was NOTHING like the cover suggested. It moved me so much that I snapped up a copy of the dvd the next time I saw it.

    “Bridesmaids” is doing this to me at the moment. The marketing is putting me off. I think I shall wait until I catch it late one night without knowing what it is.

    Alq

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    • I haven’t seen it but I’ll make a note about it as “something I ought to check out”.
      While Bridesmaids was a little disappointing compared to the glowing reviews, it’s definitely not bad. It’s a decent, pretty fun movie and from as stupid as the trailer suggests.

      Jessica

      August 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

  3. Recently I had the trailer/movie mismatch issue with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The trailer glosses over a lot of the depth in the film, and focuses more on the “violent apes!!” aspect. They do of course rise up in the end, but the vast majority of the film is exploring the effects of being an intelligent ape, the ethics of enhancement, and mankinds attitudes towards animals. I was planning on completely skipping the film until I read a few reviews from science bloggers mentioning how misleading the trailer was.

    Matt

    August 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    • Oh, I’ve seen that dreadful trailer and I definitely had no plans on watching the movie. But now that you say so… maybe I ought to give it a chance when it turns up.

      Jessica

      August 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      • Rise is a really good movie. I like the trailer (but I like the apes destroy things aspect of the movie, too), though it does gloss over what makes the movie great: the character of Caesar and his journey. The whole thing about trailers is that they’re only there to sell a movie to the widest possible audience. If they focused on the interpersonal (interchimpal?) things in the Rise trailers nobody would go to see it. You have to buy into a lot of that stuff and it’s hard to get that across in a minute or so without it seeming silly.

        I didn’t love Bridesmaids, either. I though it was mostly just a pretty good comedy movie. It’s nothing really special or anything.

        Alex Thompson

        August 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        • Yeah I realize it can’t be easy to make a trailer. And I have to assume that the guys who produce it know what they’re doing. That it does the job to make more people open their wallets. However more than once has it boggled my mind what they’re thinking about, how they can make a movie I like so much seem so appalling. And why on Earth they love to give away the entire plot just-like-that. A trend that I think is getting worse and worse, I don’t remember it being that bad before. I suppose I should try to just close my eyes when they trailers come up, but I’m just a little bit too curious for my own best.

          Jessica

          August 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm

          • I luckily seem to have a kind of specialized stupidity where I mostly forget what I’ve seen in trailers once I sit down to watch the actual movie. It’s probably connected to my inability to figure out any twist in advance, ever.

            Alex Thompson

            August 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

            • Oh, I*m blessed with a bad memory as well. Annoying at times, but sometimes it comes quite handy. Recently I saw the BBC version of Jane Eyre with my daughter and I honestly didn’t know how it would end, even though I’ve read the novel at least twice, if not more! My daughter couldn’t believe her mum had such a horrendously bad memory. I figure one books goes out from my brain whenever I read a new one. And the same goes with movies. For good and for bad.

              Jessica

              August 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

  4. I went to see Bridesmaids to support my boy Chris O’Dowd, who played Office Nathan Rhodes. He’s on a show called the IT Crowd which I watch religiously. It was a decent movie, I think if I was female I would of got alot more out of the film.

    theerivs

    August 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    • River! From High Latancy Life! Didn’t expect to see you around here. You’re most welcome though, take a seat and have a drink of your choice.

      I totally loved Chris O’Dowd’s character. Really sweet, isn’t he? Obviously it’s mostly a movie about women, but he played his role and made what he could out of it ever so nicely.

      Jessica

      August 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  5. I’m not sure if I will be seeing Bridesmaids, my initial reaction was kind of “too much pink”.

    I find that trailers in cinemas can be very annoying if I happen to go to the movies a lot in a short period of time – first viewing of the Super 8-trailer looked very cool, 3rd or 4th.. not so tempted to see the actual movie any more.

    On the bright side, trailers as they are can give some good laughs as well, I got some good laughs from how they treated it in the (1996 or 1997?) The Holiday-movie. Come to think of it, that movie also has an unmistakable pinkish hue, but it’s just so darn cute 🙂

    Syrien

    August 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    • They can definitely kill a movie by showing the trailer just too many times. Lately there has been an immense marketing campaign going on to get us to see a new Swedish movie about lesbian love. To be honest I wouldn’t have been all that interested in it in the first place, but now I’ll definitely not see it, I’m soooo sick and tired of it already. This is a little sad since it’s a movie that is struggling with the economy and since it’s actually gotten good reviews. But the over-marketing killed my curiousity.

      Jessica

      August 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      • I guess they kind of could make a point of it in the US with the The kids are allright, but lesbian love in itself isn’t really that sensational in Scandinavia these days? I mean, Show Me Love (F**ing Åmål) was at least 10 years ago… So saying “This is a movie about lesbian love” seems a little like saying “this is another love movie” to me. (In the end I guess it would be very much a question of how well I liked the actors, as with any other relationship-themed movie). You got me a little curious about the marketing though (how do they manage to say “you should see this, it is sensational cause it is just like all the others” or whatever they need to say to make it work?). What’s the name of the movie?

        Syrien

        August 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

        • I actually loved The kids are allright. What made it feel so fresh and true was that it had already passed the “woaah, look, they’re lesbians!” state. It was just a natural part of the movie. Truly, truly wonderful movie.

          However “Kyss mig” (“Kiss me”) seems to have very little more to provide than the “oh, she didn’t realize that she’s in fact a lesbian”. And some pretty soft pictures that looked like furniture shop or hotel marketing to me. zzzzz. (To answer your question, it’s marketed like a love movie.) But then again, I haven’t seen it. I only judge it from the trailer, which they showed over and over and over again. I swear it, I’ve seen it at least twice before any movie I’ve been to the lastest 1-2 months. Towards the end I wanted to screem: please let the goddamn movie come up now so they can stop showing the trailers!

          Jessica

          August 9, 2011 at 7:51 am

          • Agreed, The kids are allright worked as a relationship movie for me too because I liked the characters. (Reading through what I wrote, I did not mean that they made it the whole point of the movie or the movie marketing, more that it was a point that still kind of made itself, at least it seemed so to me when I saw reviews of it in the US, where I was at the time. Just like Show me love, which was a movie about how every teenager in every small place feel the place is too small, they are too strange etc etc – they did not have to brand it “Lesbian teenager love movie”, but that part still stood out back then I think. Whereas in Sweden today, I imagine it could almost be overlooked, so they either make it into an OMG LESBIAN MOVIE!1! or they have to actually convince that the story stands on it’s own).

            Syrien

            August 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

            • Well in the trailers I’m so sick of, there’s for sure a lot of weight put on the lesbian-thing. But then it IS a love moive, so I suppose it’s natural. It’s not like it’s an action movie where some characters happen to be lesbians. It’s more the central issue of the movie. A bit late, I can’t help thinking… not that provocative these days, is it?

              Jessica

              August 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  6. I guess one of the things making any romantic movie work is that there is some kind of hindrance to two people ending up together, and any kind of societal difference (race, class, homophobia etc) can provide a good part of the plot by being that hindrance. And I think you are right (again, in a Scandinavian context) that it is a little late for homosexuality to play that role unless you add something else to the mix (two male football stars being a couple could make for an interesting story, I suppose). But generally, to really have a taboo preventing an early happy ending these days seems to require one part of the relationship being a vampire or werewolf 🙂 (At least, I sometimes think that is why vampires are so hot in romance these days, it’s a nice stand in as a needed taboo making love something to struggle for…)

    Syrien

    August 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

  7. […] notes Two movies ended up just outside of the list: Super 8 and Bridesmaids. They’re not unforgettable, but still good […]

  8. […] Bridesmaids – contained a spectacular poo scene. But I don’t think it brought anything new to the view on women, despite the marketing. Funny at times though and gave me some laughs. […]

  9. […] var den som tyckte bäst om filmen men tyckte ändå att det blev lite mycket slisk, Henke och Jessica var mer eller mindre vagt besvikna medan Steffo blev förväntat […]

  10. […] Jessica at the Velvet Cafe takes the intellectual route: “I strongly suspect that a lot of the humor in Bridesmaids is based on recognition. The more y… […]


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