Thursday, September 6, 2012
Bachelorette is, ostensibly, a comedy. At times, however, it reads more as a comedy only in the classical sense that it "ends with a wedding." There's not much that actually registers as funny here. While the mishaps and mayhem of the plot belong to the genre, everything has been bent out of shape by writer/director Leslye Headland. Things that would be spun in cutesy directions in a Katharine Heigl movie arise from cruelty here, and the characters dare to make jokes about one another's disorders, disabilities, and weaknesses in a way that stings in its honesty. There were points at which things became uncomfortable enough for me to wonder if the dialogue was achieving something clever and fresh or if it was simply perpetuating the mean girl rhetoric it seems to want to tear down. I can't say I liked everything here, but I can say that I found myself admiring its tenacity. Bachelorette is an ensemble comedy that never feels like more of the same old same old. It's always dangerous enough to be interesting and cynical enough to shun conformity even if it's in favor of bad taste. So, in the spirit of weddings, let us offer a toast: may you never have friends like this, and may you never be part of this.