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Why 'Bachelorette' Is Like the Dirty Cousin to 'Bridesmaids'

Bachelorette
The Weinstein Company

If you though "Bridesmaids" was a riot, just wait until you lay your eyes on "Bachelorette," playwright Leslye Headland's filthy, lewd, crass and totally hilarious film debut starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fischer as three best friends who like doing very bad things.

A hit at the Sundance Film Festival where it premiered earlier this year, "Bachelorette" centers mostly on Regan (Dunst), a privileged and high-minded young woman who is horrified to learn that one of her good friends (Rebel Wilson) — the girl everyone used to call "pig face" in high school — will be walking down the aisle before her. And, as luck would have it, said friend has picked Regan to be her maid of honor. Guess how she takes the news...

Cut to some months later, and Regan is joined by her two best gal pals — Gena (Caplan), a coke head party girl with some serious ex-issues, and Katie (Fisher), a ditzy retail worker — on the eve of the wedding for a rowdy night of boozing and cruising. The reunion takes a turn for the dour when the girls accidentally tear the bride's dress right down the middle, leading them on a wild goose chase around Manhattan, as they frantically try to solve their dilemma.

If that sounds like a whacky premise, then you'd be right. "Bachelorette" plays it hard, dirty and fast, with Headland's script throwing zingers (and twists) left, right and center. Lucky for her, she has a cast who are more than up for the challenge and fly with the material.

Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson in "Bachelorette"
Weinstein Co.

Wilson, so hilarious in "Bridesmaids" as Kristin Wiig's roommate from hell, plays the bystander here, leaving most of the fun for the trio of leading dames. Caplan makes good on the promise she showed in "Mean Girls" and her stints on "New Girl" and "True Blood" with a star-making turn as a woman who knows she needs to grow up, but won't. Fisher is a total coked out riot, making her "Wedding Crashers" breakout turn seem tame in comparison.

But the film arguably belongs to Dunst, who with this and her Cannes award-winning performance in "Melancholia," is having one hell of comeback, following her much publicized bout with depression. As Regan, the most bitter of the bunch, Dunst nails the character's acidic comic timing, while making her oddly likable: no small feat. She also walks away with the best scene in the film, where Regan, at her wit's end, manages to soldier on despite the dress fiasco, and get the show on the road.

Like all the leading ladies in "Bachelorette," Regan is immature and self-centered. But the three women all have another thing in common that unites them: they're each deeply flawed and they know it. With her ballsy debut, Headland has made a comedy that gives its male counterparts a run for their money in the laugh department. But unlike those films, "Bachelorette" wears its bruised heart on its sleeve. It's so good it stings.

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