Bachelorette Party

“It’s a lucky person who can read Pride and Prejudice and watch Bridesmaids in the same day. We are lucky.” – Lisa B. Hughes

On Monday night, we watched Bridesmaids (2011). Since the ladies in that film missed out on a rockin’ bachelorette party for Lillian, our “Setting The Table” group decided to throw one for our class.

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If you have seen the movie, what do you think the Vegas bachelorette party would have been like, if Annie hadn’t had them all escorted back to Chicago? Was the flight in fact the bachelorette party? Becca had “a class of alcohol” and explored her sexuality with Rita, Megan invited “not a air marshall” man to have sex with her in the bathroom, and Helen got Annie to get drunk/drugged and do something stupid. A flight is a strange, liminal space, as is Vegas (are we in Paris? Egypt?).

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Is there a Queen Bee in Bridesmaids? Who is it supposed to be? The bride? The maid of honor? Why is Helen such a Mean Girl? She doesn’t have a posse, she doesn’t even really have any friends. In Mean Girls, conflict between Regina and Cady begins when Regina “takes Aaron back.” Their female competition is over a man. Helen and Annie fight over a woman, Lillian. Does this change the methods of fighting?

Lisa explains that this is really a “sad breakup movie.” Does Annie and Lillian’s love and friendship die with Lil’s marriage? Is Annie really joking when she says “No I’m not [excited at the proposal]!”

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(on Sunday we had brunch at Lisa’s house. She baked us a cake of rainbows and smiles)

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Kendall Rock

My name is Kendall Rock, and I hail from Poulsbo/Seattle, Washington. I am a Film and New Media Studies major and English minor at Colorado College. I can't cook, but I love unicycling, knitting, and being outside. I will try my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

7 Comments

  1. Anna Naden says:

    I like the idea, discussed in class, that the plane scene in Bridesmaids is a shorter and more contained version of what would probably have played out in Vegas, and the fact that we don’t see that scene gives our imaginations to opportunity to expand on it. I also love how Megan’s (Melissa McCarthy) speech to Annie (Kristen Wiig) about turning her life around mirrors the Wilson Phillip’s song performed at the end of Lillian’s wedding ceremony- the song signifies their friendship, but more than that I think it relates to Annie’s life. Though it’s true that at the end of the film, the only problem of Annie’s that might be considered resolved is her love life, I don’t think the film closes the possibilities of more- particularly because of the song’s lyrics and placement at the end of Lillian’s wedding when Annie “loses” Lillian and stands of the verge of having to figure out her life without the constant support of her best friend. Just because the song’s music video is amazingly 90’s and I like it, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbXvaE39wM

    • Lucy Hartshorn says:

      Not only is the flight a liminal space, you could say that bachelorette parties in general are liminal. They mark the transition before marriage and the movement from female friendship relationships to a romantic one. An interesting discussion in class revolved around the melancholy tone of the airplane ride, the movie’s makeshift bachelorette party. Marriage for women is death, and the bachelorette party acts as a comedy to cover the melancholy nature of a woman getting married. Does the liminal space quality of bachelorette parties enable the true nature of marriage to be shrouded? The lack of an official bachelorette party in Bridesmaids emphasizes the breakup between Lillian and Annie. It is interesting to note then that a bachelorette party similar to The Hangover was written into the script and eventually cut out.

      • Ben Coldwell says:

        In class, someone mentioned that the plane ride was a microcosm for what a Vegas bachelorette party would have been, at least in terms of the characters’ actions: Annie had too many substances in her system and caused mayhem; Helen maintained a cool, collected attitude and accidentally (or not-so-accidentally) caused Annie’s craziness; Becca and Rita discussed their unhappy marriages and kissed; Lillian helplessly observes the whole things and is torn between her loyalty to the “perfect” Helen and her flawed childhood friend Annie. For me, these smaller-scale reactions were just as satisfying as Vegas would have been.

        Furthermore, Bridesmaids is already called “The Hangover for women.” An actual pre-wedding trip to Vegas would have solidified this label for a film that, in my opinion, is much funnier and more truthful to the human condition. Plus, planes are great set pieces for comedy in general AND THE HANGOVER DIDN’T HAVE A PLANE. (See Airplane!, 1980)

  2. Elizabeth Baker says:

    I would like to touch further on Kendall’s point of this so-called bachelorette party taking place in a liminal space. As an anthropology major, “liminal” is of course one of my favorite words but I do actually agree that it applies here, and that it applies to the movie in a larger sense. Lillian is in a liminal space in her life currently by definition. She isn’t single and she isn’t married, she’s engaged to be married. She’s standing on the edge of the cliff, about to jump, as Sappho would say. Annie is pulling one arm, trying to keep Lil in the world of wine and magazine parties and laughing at the Helens. On the other side, Dougie is pulling her into his world, the world of marriage and family and a real, live Helen. In the end, Lillian of course marries Dougie and enters her new world, which we really knew she’d do all along—Bridesmaids is a sad, breakup movie afterall, but about the death of a friendship as we know it, not about the death of a relationship. That kind of emotional drivel is obviously saved for your classic rom-com—which we know is a genre in which Bridesmaids isn’t exactly included.

  3. Susannah Ellis says:

    I think that it is interesting to think about if there is a Queen Bee in Bridesmaids. Some might argue that Helen is the Queen Bee and that Annie a Wanna Bee and is jealous of Helen for being beautiful, rich, and stylish. I however, disagree that Helen is the Queen Bee and that Annie is jealous of her for being everything she’s not. Annie is envious of Helen but because she knows that Helen will be able to spend more time with Lillian after she gets married. Helen’s husband and Lillian’s fiancee are friends and Helen lives closer to Lillian. If Helen was a true Queen Bee, Annie would be taking steps to be more like her by dressing like her or flying first class. Annie might be a Wanna Be in someways but so is Helen. This is seen when Helen tries to upstage Annie at the engagement party and when she uses Annie’s idea for the bridal shower but blows it way out of proportion. I think that the main difference between Helen and Annie is that Helen wants to be Queen Bee, while Annie just wants to remain Lillian’s best friend. For Helen, Lillian plays the same role that Aaron Samuel does for Regina in mean girls; an accessory that she needs to acquire to be Queen Bee, but Annie just wants to be close to Lillian because she loves her.

    • LBH says:

      Helen as a WannaBee is interesting. A QB is all about fertility with her (how many?) eggs. Helen’s step kids hate her.

  4. Katherine Perry says:

    To touch again on whether there is an actual Queen Bee within the film, I would argue that Lillian is the character who is closest to being a Queen Bee. She has her followers (her bridesmaids). Who are competing against each other to be Lillian’s favorite. As a bride Lillian is the center of attention. Similar to an actual Queen Bee, Lillian’s “worker bees” do all the work for her and feed her the “royal jelly.” Although Lillian is not as ruthless as other Queen Bees, Helen and Annie are fighting to be her best friend throughout the film. Also, one could also claim that Annie and Helen wish to be Lillian. Helen in her loveless marriage wishes to relive the days of being the bride while Annie wishes to find that special someone like Lillian has found.

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