‘Bridesmaids’ Airplane Scene

The most laugh-out-loud movie of the past year, Bridesmaids, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig, follows Wiig’s Annie as she is chosen to be her best friend Lillian’s maid of honor. Rife with hilarious hijinks and unforgettable punch lines, Bridesmaids is a sharp and honest depiction of life’s wrong turns and spinouts, achieved only as comedy can. Lillian’s march toward the aisle finds Annie, a recently single thirty-something, hysterically coming to blows with the dynamics of modern womanhood. Forcing Annie to confront and content herself with her own shortcomings, this disastrous maid of honor’s duties make for one raucous bridal party.

This scene finds Annie near the end of her ridiculous wits, pushed to the verge by mounting pressures and seeping jealousies, mostly the cause of Lillian’s new, near-perfect friend, Helen. The culmination of these boiling troubles is triggered by Annie’s flight anxiety when the bridal party sets out on a doomed flight to Las Vegas. While the other bridesmaids and Lillian ride first class, Annie—and her terrible anxieties—is trapped in coach. Quickly unraveling, Annie accepts a little help from Helen in the form of some sleeping meds and a glass of scotch. But as Kristen Wiig would write and perform it, this only impels Annie to ever more outrageous extremes. Annie’s instability with not only her role as maid of honor but also her trying life situation manifests in this scene’s flight-grounding catastrophe. The simplicity of the plane setting allows Wiig’s sidesplitting performance to speak for itself, taking the audience to new heights of hilarity.

I love this scene for obvious reasons: it is, without a doubt, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. As a devoted fan of both Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, I found Bridesmaids almost too good to be true. But upon viewing it again and again (which I’ve admittedly done), the honesty of the film’s narrative is just as present as (and with) each laugh-out-loud moment. Annie’s anxieties are real and recognizable—everyone has, at some point, felt that a relationship is jeopardized by change.

Furthermore, it is important to point out that this film (especially with its recent Oscar-nominated attention) marks a significant achievement for modern female comedians and filmmakers. In the face of two Hangovers and other male-driven comedies, Bridesmaids struck audiences and critics alike with its fresh and decidedly smart perspective.

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