Always the “Bridesmaids” …

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

When the name Judd Apatow is mentioned, whether he is producing or directing, it’s usually associated with films such as “Knocked Up”, “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” or “Superbad” — films typically centered on a group of men and their problems with picking up women. In “Bridesmaids,” due for release on May 13, director Paul Feig teams up with producer Apatow to show that an all-female cast can hang with the guys as they usher in what could potentially be this summer’s best comedy.

The film stars “Saturday Night Live” veterans Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph as two best friends, Annie and Lillian. Annie (Wiig) is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged woman trying to find a more fulfilling job and the perfect man. When her best friend Lillian (Rudolph) gets engaged, she chooses Annie to be her maid of honor. Chaos ensues when Annie meets Lillian’s other bridesmaids, played by Rose Byrne (“Get Him To The Greek”), Melissa McCarthy (“Gilmore Girls”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Reno 911!”) and Ellie Kemper (“The Office”).

Each bridesmaid’s personality feels pretty typical for a movie with Judd Apatow involved. There’s the beautiful rich bitch for the main conflict, the possible lesbian one for the bathroom humor, the sex-obsessed mom who hates her kids for the perverted jokes and the smiling innocently oblivious one to look uncomfortable when hearing these jokes.

It’s unfortunate that most of the supporting women have very little screen time to deliver their jokes. Nevertheless, they all make the most of it to provide a variety of humor throughout the movie.

Wiig shows she is capable of bringing her experience from smaller movie roles and SNL to the big screen, a difficult feat for previous SNL cast members. Consistent SNL viewers will recognize the traits of her reoccurring characters, molded into one person, work surprisingly well together. Wiig’s character is easily likable but has just enough crazy in her to keep audiences laughing, seen most notably during a sequence in which Annie breaks almost every driving law imaginable to get the attention of the loveable cop, Rhodes, played by Chris O’Dowd, who could easily be Paul Rudd’s Irish cousin.

“Bridesmaids” provides a nice break from the typical summer comedies produced in the Judd-Apatow fashion of the “bromantic” relationships between men and shows that there is a certain amount of untapped humor that comes with having an all-female cast.

However, the conflicts within the film seem pretty standard. Old friend competing with the new friend for attention. Best friends ending their friendship. Being uninvited to the wedding. It all seems a little too familiar.

Ultimately, this film has enough for the guys and the gals. It balances the humor while still having those important “aww”-inducing moments. If you’re looking for a break, not only from the male-centric comedies, and from the major blockbuster summer cash-ins (ahem, “Pirates 4” and “Transformers 3”) look no further than “Bridemaids.” Its entertainment value just might rival last week’s royal wedding.

Rating: 4/5 Stars