There was a time when nobody vomited in the movies, and nobody defecated, or urinated or even broke wind in an audible way. I don’t guess those days will ever come again. I blame the Farrelly Brothers, who saw the rich comic potential of the excretory functions and cashed in big-time.
Still, if you’re going to show somebody taking a dump in the street, I credit Bridesmaids with doing it in a way that is kind of funny. I had heard about this scene beforehand, and was expecting something a little less subtle. Maybe “subtle” is the wrong word. Bridesmaids does wade in and out of the Farrelly Brothers gross-out pool, but mostly preserves a certain — I don’t know, call it “authenticity” — that makes the jokes funnier than they might otherwise be.
I guess that’s another benefit of women writing a raunchy comedy about women. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are not bashful, but neither are they cruel. As cringe-inducing as some of these scenes can be, I have a feeling they’re mostly rooted in something real — or at least something better than the instincts of drunken frat boys sitting around lighting farts. Let’s just say it’s pretty good writing. Put it with Kristin Wiig’s great comic instincts, and this summer comedy, as lightweight and lowbrow as it is, blows away anything the Farrelly Brothers have ever done. Props also to Melissa McCarthy, whose Megan character will probably soon have a movie of her own.
Bottom line: It will not make you forget Citizen Kane. But it’s better than Something About Mary. It’s a lot better than The Hangover and its unfortunate sequel. You are instructed to check it out.