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The Weinstein Company
Blu-ray Disc Released: 3/19/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 3/23/2013
Through watching my children, I've come to understand that one must develop a discerning taste in movies. Up to a certain point, one simply loves a movie for the sake of it being a movie, especially if it's like nothing which you've seen before. (I can say from personal experience that many horror movies which I saw and loved as a kid now seem dreadfully boring.) While building the skills to truly judge a movie, one learns many lessons, among them being that a good cast does not guarantee a good movie. No matter how much you like a group of actors, or how respectable they are, putting them together in a movie doesn't mean that the movie will be good. Case in point, Bachelorette.
Bachelorette concerns a group of women who have been friends since high school, where they were known as the "B-Faces". Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is now a successful and uptight businesswoman who lives in New York City. Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) both live in California. Gena is a stoner and Katie works is flighty and works in retail. They've all come together in New York for the wedding of Becky (Rebel Wilson), the fourth member of their group. Becky is overweight and shy and Regan can't believe that she's the first of their group to walk down the aisle. Regan is overseeing the wedding planning and Gena and Katie expect a wild bachelorette party. However, Becky wants things to be low-key. So, Gena and Katie decide to have their own party, and Regan joins in. When an accident occurs which could potentially derail the wedding, the women must scramble to find a way to fix the problem. Their efforts are sidelined by a run-in with the groomsmen -- Clyde (Adam Scott), Trevor (James Marsden), and Joe (Kyle Bornheimer). Will Regan be able to salvage the wedding?
At first glance, Bachelorette may seem like a female-centric version ofThe Hangover, and I've seen it called as such in the press. But, that assessment was inaccurate. The Hangover started with a simple idea and then continued to escalate things until they were totally out of control. It took the viewer down one unexpected path and then would up the ante with the next twist in the tale. However, it remained consistently clever and it offered characters which were at least somewhat likable.
Bachelorette attempts to have a similar structure, but it keeps missing the boat. For starters, the story here by Writer/Director Leslye Headland (who based the script on her play of the same name) feels very "sitcommy" and way too much of it is played for slapstick. You can almost here the "ooooooooo" of the live studio audience every time something supposedly irreverent happens. The women's attempts to fix the problem come across as silly, and instead of become more and more shocking as the movie goes on (as it wants to be), it simply becomes more and more unbelievable.
In addition, none of the characters here are likeable, and I honestly don't think that we are supposed to like any of them, which is a huge mistake on Headland's part. I get the fact that everyone here is extremely damaged, but there has to be one character who can serve as an anchor to the audience and we don't get that here. If you do identify with anyone in this film, you need to quit reading this review and seek therapy immediately.
The other major issue with the film is its unbalanced tone. On the one hand, it wants to be a raunchy R-rated comedy, with constant references to sex and drugs. I can't remember a recent film that wasn't a drama where the main characters did drugs this much. But, Bachelorette wants to be a tender drama as well. Gena and Clyde were high-school sweethearts and the re-visiting of that relationship is mean to be poignant and touching, but it isn't. Instead, it's depressing and it brings the movie to screeching halt. As bad as the rest of the movie was, at least it had some energy and momentum. This subplot suddenly makes the movie too serious and feels out of place.
I thought that Bridesmaids was incredibly overrated, but it's certainly better than Bachelorette. From the outset, the film is trying too hard to be "in your face" (see Lizzy Caplan's woefully unfunny monologue in her second scene) and you quickly realize that it has more bravado than brains. The cast seems to be trying, but they can't overcome the painful dialogue and situations. Those who loved Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect will be disappointed to learn that she only has a very small role in this movie and isn't given much to do. Bachelorette offers a great ensemble cast, but they all should have eloped.
Bachelorette implies that Frank Sinatra was right about the sleeping habits in New York courtesy of The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at 25 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing on overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The image is somewhat soft at times, but otherwise the level of detail is good. The depth is adequate. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are good and crop up in crowd scenes and street scenes. These effects show good separation. The nightclub scenes provides both good surround effects and nice subwoofer effects from the music. This never overpowers the dialogue.
The Bachelorette Blu-ray Disc contains a few extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Writer/Director Leslye Headland. “Behind the Scenes of Bachelorette” (5 minutes) offers interviews with the cast from both a red carpet type setting and on-set. We also hear from the director and co-producer. In addition, there is some on-set footage, along with several clips from the movie. The final extra is a 2-minute reel of BLOOPERS.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.