'Bachelorette' an enjoyable but uneven blend of darkness, light

Rebellious Rating: 

By Film Editor Lisa Weidenfeld

"Bachelorette" tells the story of a group of high school friends who all come together for a wedding in Manhattan. Add a ton of cocaine, an abortion subplot, a suicide attempt and an extensive amount of cursing, and let the joke-filled fun times begin!

The movie’s mash of darkness and comedy makes it difficult to predict if audiences will like it. If you’re determined to find something redeemable about the characters in the movies you see, then you might not like this one so much. On the other hand, when the characters are played by actresses as appealing as Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Kaplan and Isla Fisher, you may find yourself rooting for them despite yourself.

The three are high school buddies of Becky (Rebel Wilson), and the movie never quite reveals how cruel the women were or were not to Wilson, whom you might recognize as Kristen Wiig’s chubby and bizarre roommate from "Bridesmaids." Someone came up with the nickname "Pigface" for Wilson, and a lot of the movie’s action stems from the trio drunkenly ripping Wilson’s plus-sized wedding dress after two of the bridesmaids try it on at once. But Dunst’s character Regan has a number of sweet scenes with Wilson, and it’s clear she’s helped plan the wedding to a T. So, Dunst is OK? But she’s not, really; she treats everyone like dirt.

Gena (Kaplan) and Katie (Fisher) show up at the wedding intending to drink their way through it. There’s underlying and occasionally overt rage from all three that their chubbier friend is marrying a handsome, nice man before any of them. Once the dress rips the night before the wedding, however, the trio refocuses its attention on getting the dress fixed before the wedding starts. They may not be particularly nice, but if you’re looking for something to admire about them, it might be the level of commitment they have to making sure Wilson’s day goes off successfully.

Over the course of the night, they bump into and separate a few times from the group of groomsmen, made up of the sociopathic James Marsden, everyone’s boyfriend Adam Scott and Kyle Bornheimer as the man still nursing a high school crush on the dim-witted Fisher. I had mixed feelings about the way the three men were made to fit with the three ladies. On the one hand, the movie passes the Bechdeltest with flying colors. On the other, did they really all need love interests?

But I’m beginning to suspect there’s a fictional universe where Adam Scott and Lizzy Kaplan are soulmates. I’m not sure if the director cast them because of their uncanny chemistry on the late and lamented "Party Down," but they continue to make uncommonly good screen partners. Here, he’s the high school boyfriend who broke her heart, but the actual events of the heart-breaking incident are not what you might expect. His character is less developed than it could be, and their plotline occasionally feels like it could be a separate movie on its own, but the two are so darn convincing as two people who should be able to make it work that I want to let it slide.

This is a dark and uneven movie with a lot of awkward moments. The first half, in particular, features a lot of scenes that will make the viewer cringe. Why are these people like this? I don’t think I know anyone quite as cruel and unpleasant as the people in this movie, and I don’t think I want to. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie.