‘Bridesmaids’ Offers Life Lessons

I have a confession to make. I may or may not be a huge fan of the recent chick-flick, “Bridesmaids.” There, I said it.  I also may or may not have seen it three times in the theater (forking over $10 each time) and then memorized the exact day it came out on DVD. It is a truly phenomenal movie, and I’m not afraid to say it. It’s been my secret for most of the summer, not wanting to emasculate myself by admitting to loving a movie primarily targeted at women.

Recently, I’ve discovered there is a huge movement of men sneaking off to the theatre to see the movie again, often with their best bros. Movie reviewers even have gone as far as to mandate that every man needs to see it. Its box office performance has surpassed everyone’s expectations, and it is slated to become the best comedy of 2011. The point is: “Bridesmaids” is a good movie for so many reasons.

Despite lacking a true, A-list lead and instead relying on a cast of B-list TV stars and raunchy jokes, “Bridesmaids” breaks the mold in so many wonderful ways, perhaps fueling its loyal following among American audiences. While delivering on numerous inappropriate jokes and awkward, in-your-face comedy moments, Bridesmaids is a well-written movie with a focus on real-world issues and believable, identifiable characters representing something new and different in the comedic genre.  That’s all great, but why should you love this movie? It’s because “Bridesmaids” finds the humor in the worst moments in our lives and reminds us that there’s always a silver lining no matter how bad things seem.

Take Kristin Wiig’s character, Annie, who just can’t seem to catch a break. It would have been really easy for writers to paint a picture filled with two-dimensional characters and squeaky clean, happy-ending moments. Instead, we see Annie’s life unravel piece by piece as she struggles to find love and her place in a new and changing world.

Her problems are so relatable. We’ve all had those times when it seems like everything is going wrong, and when we’re down for the count, everything doesn’t magically get better. In the movie, Annie has just lost her business, a bakery that she sunk her savings into, only to have it taken away and replaced with a big “for rent” sign. Financially devastated, Annie has to live with awful roommates, drive a wreck of a car and settle for a less than satisfying relationship after her boyfriend dumped her when the bakery closed. On top of it all, her best friend’s life is moving towards a fairytale ending while Annie’s is steadily becoming the complete opposite.  As Annie’s world came to a crashing mess, I was on the edge of my seat.  I felt her pain at feeling unwanted, out of place, and searching for meaning amidst the chaos of her life. I laughed at how ridiculous things seemed and suddenly realized I was able to laugh at myself, finding the humor in the crazy things in my life.

As Annie’s experience can attest, life is messy. Sometimes things don’t always work out the way we planned.  We make fools of ourselves in attempts to please others, and our friends may move on to greener pastures when we need them the most. It’s times like this when it’s easy to become our own worst enemy, standing in the way of our happiness.

But, like Annie, we can’t give up. We struggle and then find our place again and make the best out of even the worst situation. When the going gets tough, we just have to hold on for the ride, knowing that things can and will get better. Don’t be afraid to take risks, sometimes it’s exactly what we need to do.

In case you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it. Let’s just say that it has the makings for a happy ending, but we’re never given a full answer. Instead (as in life), we’re left hanging, hoping that everything will work out for the best. Sometimes, that’s the best that we can do.

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