Gloomy, like the hen night for Festen

The film Bachelorette is a caustic comedy that never completely achieves what it sets out to do (which, in and of itself, is not entirely clear), much like the women we watch running around on screen.

Bachelorette is written and directed by Leslye Headland, adapting her play into a bawdy, crude and ridiculous story. Three bridesmaids, friends of the bride from high school, show up for the wedding weekend. Regan (Dunst) is the weary maid of honour, Gena (Caplan) is a worn-out party girl, and Katie (Fisher) is a ditzy party girl.

While mocking the fat bride-to-be, the women accidentally rip her wedding gown and spend the rest of the night trying to fix the dress, amongst other adventures. Rebel Wilson is woefully underused as Becky the bride, even though she’s a comedic goldmine − most of the film’s laughs come from her. Always appearing in minor roles, Wilson continually delivers hilarity and it’s time someone cast her in a bigger role.  

However, it doesn’t entirely make sense why these women were ever friends or how they came together in the first place. That being said, the script has potential − if only for how real the characters feel. There are women (and men) who feel disappointed with life, feeling that they’ve followed all of the rules of life, yet didn’t get what they deserved (while someone else did).

While there are moments of comedy in Bachelorette, it’s truly a drama and should have proceeded as such. By attempting to explore such serious issues as light-hearted, Bachelorette is sometimes witty and insightful − and oftentimes a bit depressing.

Despite occasionally touching on some harsh truths about life, the ending to the film comes about predictably. It feels like a bigger shame in a film like this one: so close to being something truly different, and yet Headland felt the need to wrap it up at the end in such a clichéd manner. Contrasting these moments serve to emphasise the unrealistic plot and gives cheesy closure, trying to emulate so many romantic comedies before it, instead of giving us something new.

Bachelorette

Dir: Leslye Headland;

US comedy, 2012, 88 mins;

Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson
Premieres September 13
Playing nationwide