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Bachelorette


BachelorettePoster

We all have that celebrity crush that others question. It’s that celebrity who may not appeal to someone else, but really gets you, you know? Frankly, I think everyone has more than one because, let’s be honest, some of them you won’t admit to. How many tough men are going to admit to having a soft spot for Katy Perry? That line won’t be very long. Personally, I have a not-so-mild crush on Lizzy Caplan – I don’t mean the Mean Girls Caplan, though. I know many that agree with me, but I also know many who raise an eyebrow while throwing an inquisitive “really?” my way. The point is, I watched Bachelorette because it has a Party Down reunion with Caplan and Adam Scott; I won’t even lie.

Grade:

C-

Bachelorette could best be described as a darker Bridesmaids with (seemingly) wittier characters. Kristen Wiig’s Annie had real elements, but ultimately became more of a caricature of a person. For Bachelorette, we have Kirsten Dunst, (an underutilized) Rebel Wilson, and Lizzy Caplan providing more natural characters with more modestly overemphasized traits. We are provided with a solid core of leading ladies, but the film opens the gates terribly.

When the first few scenes are dominated by rom-com tropes that prevent any real plot template from being created, viewers will be lost. Such is the case here. I understand the need for a hook that will suffice beyond the initial introduction of the characters, but Bachelorette ignores any introductions in order to garner laughs. This tactic fails. Luckily, the story picks up and we are provided with slightly more depth than expected; it just requires some patience to reach.

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Wilson is the nice, genuine one of the group that is getting married, while her friends (Dunst, Caplan, and Isla Fisher) are stuck in depressing, superficial ruts manifested by their own insecurities. When the required awkward reception speech is finished and the girls alienate themselves from the group, the movie picks up and the story really begins.

The movie subsequently splits amongst Caplan, Dunst, and Fisher as they move along trying to mend the (secretly) destroyed wedding dress. I say all three, but realistically Fisher’s character is utterly pointless. I have no problems with her; I actually quite enjoy her in most of her films. Yet, in this case, she makes Katie such an incomprehensible mess of vapid shrieking and drug abuse that there’s really no point in following her progression. Sadly, her relevance is only present when ripping the dress and later, after she overdoses on Xanax.

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No, the strength of the film lies in Dunst and Caplan, who carry an otherwise bland story. Dunst plays Regan, a controlling, uptight snob who cannot be happy due to her own shortcomings. As the fulcrum of the plot, she is able to deflect the madness around her while also chancing upon some self-discovery.

Meanwhile, Caplan and Adam Scott provide the drama with a darker and more heavily emotional backstory than seemed appropriate for such a movie. In a way, the Gena-Clyde story could have been the focal point of the whole film, with the bachelorette party as a simple way to reunite them.

Ultimately, Bachelorette plays as a failed attempt at raunchy comedy. The potential for complexity and wit was present, but it was buried underneath the weight of standard Hollywood expectations. Bachelorette would have been better served to aim for a black comedy status rather than the raunchy rom-com genre.

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