Written by: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief
It might be difficult but try to go all the way back to last summer when a little film called Bridesmaids came to theaters. Remember all the films that that tried to capitalize on being the “next version” of that film? A film that was already using the marketing of being a “female version of The Hangover?” Bachelorette itself is marketed as a “raunchy take” on Bridesmaids and while it has the raunch it lacks heart, character, or any substance making it akin to The Hangover: Part II. If you’re a fan of Keeping Up With the Kardashians or enjoy movies about the perils of being a hot girl with big boobs who loves to do coke…then I guess you’ve found your new favorite film but for everyone else it’ll be hard to sit through 90 minutes of these “b-faces.”
Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Jenna (Lizzy Caplan), and Katie (Isla Fisher) have been best friends since high school where they ruled the school as “the b-faces.” When their other best friend Becky (Rebel Wilson) announces she’s getting married the trio is horrified as they all mocked Becky in high school and can’t believe she’s getting married before them. On the night before the wedding the group gets together for Becky’s bachelorette but everything goes wrong once the wedding dress is ripped causing the three bitchy friends to go on a journey throughout New York to find a solution.
To reiterate, Bachelorette attempts to cash in on being a scandalous version of Bridesmaids but it’s hard to do that when your three “heroines” are different versions of the high school bitch that never grew up. And why for an R-rated movie where every line is “fuck” or discussing blow jobs do they call themselves “b-faces?” Considering how many times the word bitch is actually used, oddly enough by Kirsten Dunst, it’s laughable that they don’t use the word for their group. That’s the main problem with Bachelorette, why would I want to spend 90 minutes with a group of women who do nothing but snort coke, talk trash, and have absolutely no reason to be friends with each other?
I take that back, they have absolutely no reason to be friends with the character of Becky. I felt so bad for Rebel Wilson (who was in Bridesmaids); because it’s apparent she was only cast because of her appearance. Regan’s plotline is that she hates Becky because Regan should be married first whereas Katie and Jenna can’t believe Becky found a good-looking rich man because she’s so unattractive. One of the “jokes” in the film is built on Katie telling a male stripper friend of hers that they used to call Becky “pig face” so of course the stripper calls Becky that during the lap dance! Becky is never given a character other than “fat girl getting married and everyone hates her!” We live in a time where weight isn’t necessarily an issue, certainly not enough to prevent someone from getting married so why the hatred? You’re supposed to side with our three ladies but why? Apparently because they’re skinny and hot. No one mentions through the entire 90 minutes what they love about Becky, no one, making their friendship seem all the more sadistic. By the end the characters don’t seem to like Becky anymore then they did but yay happy ending with them all dancing together?
The lack of characterization doesn’t just end at Becky; in fact the plotlines of the three stars are equally shallow and in a few instances, use other movies to get their point across. Regan has an absentee boyfriend whose literally only mentioned by name once before he’s forgotten. She also had some battle with bulimia in high school that the script gives reverence to like its still happening? Jenna was the school slut who had to have an abortion and her boyfriend Clyde (Adam Scott) didn’t show. Jenna even refers to Fast Times at Ridgemont High to make her point. And Katie is the idiot. That’s it. She’s hot, her boobs hang out of her dress and she’s an idiot.
If you think the men fare better you’d be wrong as aside from Becky’s fiancée they’re all fairly annoying. The exception is pot dealer Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) who looks and acts exactly like Seth Rogen to be a caricature. He’s the sweet, sensitive, fat guy (what is with all the hatred on fat in this movie) who falls for Katie and refuses to sleep with her because he’s not in love with her. Yes, the only characters who are decent people are the fat ones….original. James Marsden plays a total cad and while I’m all for Marsden cursing a little here and there he goes over-the-top to Fifty Shades of Grey territory for no reason. It’s like he’s trying so hard not to be a nice guy he comes off like a date rapist. Not even Adam Scott could get me involved in this movie and I’d watch him read the phone book. He’s also a quasi-nice guy but the movie gives him no other character trait aside from “he didn’t show up to an abortion ten years ago.”
The film’s views of nostalgia seem to be what topples over the house of cards that is the plot. The characters have not grown an iota since high school other than the aforementioned heavy characters and the guys. The three girls spend all their time discussing high school with “Remember when…” or “It’s just like that time in high school…” I have memories of high school too but I don’t constantly rehash them every single time I see friends. Even the soundtrack is made up of 90s songs like “I Will Walk (500 Miles),” “Slide,” and other songs you’ll hear on the 90s Sirius station. There’s never growth to these characters and considering they’re already hateful bitches they just seem to be hanging on to the thin thread of high school.
Much like our leads, this film peaks within the first ten minutes. While it’s funny to hear Kirsten Dunst curse so much, there’s got to be better roles for her, Caplan, and Fisher; three women who are usually great. Bachelorette is just too mean to have any merit. The plot is simple but it’s populated by characters that either lack humanity or friendship. I was surprised that Regan, Katie, and Jenna didn’t just eat Becky as a sacrifice to the wedding gods! It gets a pass unless you hate your friends.
Author: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief
Kristen Lopez is the editor-in-chief of CC2K and a freelance pop culture essayist. Her work has appeared on Roger Ebert, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Daily Beast. When she’s not burning down Film Twitter she runs two podcasts, the female-centric film show Citizen Dame, and the classic film-themed Ticklish Business.