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'Bachelorette' review - Locarno Film Festival 2012

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It is obvious to get what Bachelorette is going for. The new girls-behaving-badly movie unabashedly follows the formula of other popular adult rated comedies of recent years like The Hangover and Bridesmaids. The formula being: a dysfunctional group of friends gather together for a hedonistic night of celebration on the eve of a pal's big wedding. Hilarity and chaos ensue.

First time feature director and writer Leslye Headland and producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have enlisted the talents of an all-star cast, including Bridesmaids scene-stealer Rebel Wilson. Wilson plays Becky, a former geek who to the horror of her maid of honour and childhood friend Regan (Kirsten Dunst), will be the first of their old high school clique to be married.

Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher round out the now grown-up crew, each playing their own special versions of the 30-year-old mess. Dunst is leader of the group, resentful of her friend's upcoming nuptials but still determined to make sure the wedding is perfect. As one character puts it, she is the Hannibal Lecter of bridesmaids.

Comedy wise, the movie has as many hits as it does misses. Each punchline or visual gag is served up with all the finesse of a bored teen throwing wet toilet paper at a bathroom ceiling and hoping some of it will stick. And some of it does stick - mostly those scenes involving Mean Girls and Party Down star Caplan, who manages to play her foul-mouthed, drug-addled character Gena as less of a caricature and more of a balance between rude humour and poignant but not overly precious emotion.

Bachelorette is a fun movie, just not as effective as some of the similar comedies that have gone before it. It is, of course, always refreshing to see women on screen who are complicated, vulnerable, and maybe sometimes even a little unlikeable. The problem here is that the movie, whether it intended to or not, comes off as all too keen on capitalising on the new "women can be funny too!" trend.

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