Review: Bachelorette


At first glance, Bachelorette seems like a more foul mouthed version of 2011’s Bridesmaids since it centers on a group of friends that are celebrating another friends wedding. However, Bachelorette existed as a play far earlier than that. Because of Bridesmaids, Bachelorette was billed as a comedy, so I was expecting snappy dialogue, a likable cast, and a general good time. 

That’s not exactly what I got. 

What I got instead was a film that leaned more toward the dramatic, and had one good thing within its giant sea of overwhelming flaws. 

Director: Leslye Hedland
Rating: R
Release Date: September 6th

Bachelorette is the story of four girls who hung out in high school (they refer to themselves as “B-Faces”) that are reunited when one of them, Becky (Rebel Wilson) announces that she is going to get married. Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is jealous that she is not the first to be married out of the group but becomes Becky’s maid of honor, Katie (Isla Fisher) works in retail and has a partying problem, and Gena (Lizzy Caplan) carries past baggage as she deals with he ex-boyfriend who is attending the wedding as well. Regan, Katie, and Gena then ruin Becky’s dress during a cocaine bender and start their wild night of shenanigans and self-exploration. 

Bachelorette is full of terrible, terrible people. Every character (with one or two exceptions) is just mean spirited toward every other character they interact with. It makes it really hard to root for anyone when no character showcases any reason to like them or support their endeavors. The unpleasant nature of character interaction infects the rest of the film as well as each scene eventually becomes harder to watch as they last far longer than they have any right to. 

While having terrible protagonists at the center of the story isn’t always a bad thing (the television shows Weeds or Dexter, for example),  it’s bad when there is no real reason to care what they are doing. Bachelorette tries to remedy this by exploring each woman’s past bit by bit as they branch off into their own stories, but ultimately fails at creating any substance for their terrible behavior. Out of the three women (the fourth I will discuss later), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) most likely has the most interesting story. She meets up with her ex-boyfriend Clyde (Adam Scott) to discuss their relationship issues. Unfortunately, slightly interesting as it was since it involved The Proclaimers, the reason for their separation and her broken nature is ultimately lacking. It seems unreasonable why she may have ruined her life and slighty ends up hinting at a negative view toward women in general.

Fortunately, women aren’t the only terrible ones. The men in Bachelorette are the stereotypical jekrs who belittle women. This is a nice little jab from writer/director Leslye Hedland since there seems to be an equality shared between the sexes as they are all broken in their own ways (even the one stereotypical “nice guy” (Kyle Bornheimer) was kind of a dunce). Equality is always a good thing. 

Where the film most suffers though, is the pacing. This might have been an after effect of being adapted from an Off-Broadway play, but there were a few quieter moments between the characters that ultimately served very little purpose. These moments were most likely for character growth but felt shallow because of the seeming randomness at which they were presented. At one point in the film, Regan (Kirsten Dunst) has an argument about the philosophies of WWII with her male counterpart (James Marsden). At no point before this was the audience told that Regan had any interest in these things, or was scholarly at all, and I feel I should note that this conversation takes place in a strip club after Regan and her friends got done snorting some cocaine. There’s no weight to their conversation. It just happens and then its over several grudging minutes later. 

Bachelorette‘s tone also changes dramatically throughout the film between humorous and dark. This flip flopping wound up a hindrance to the potential character building scenes. At some points, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or be disturbed by what I was watching (but the dialogue hinted that it was hilarious). While some may be into the dark humor, it may be getting laughs for the wrong reasons. 

While I may have sat here and bashed the film, Bachelorette has one good thing going for it. Rebel Wilson, as Becky, is charming, contagious, and effervescent. Although it’s a little weird seeing her in this (since she was also in Bridesmaids), she commands the attention during every scene she’s in despite her short time on screen. I really hope I see more of her in the future. We could all use a little more Rebel Wilson in our lives

In the end, Bachelorette is a comedy that isn’t funny, a drama that isn’t compelling, and is full of characters with awful, un-redeemable personalities. Some may like it (if they’re into cocaine addled antics), while most will not. Lizzy Caplan couldn’t even save this, and that is saying something.