Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: "Bridesmaids" Anne T. Donahue

Alright, alright, alright! (Said like Matthew McConaughey in Dazed And Confused.) We’ve got some big news in these here parts:

WEDNESDAY THE 29TH WAS MY 27TH BIRTHDAY.

Crazy, right? Where does the time go? What did everyone to do celebrate? Did you feel that exciting change in the air? Did you feel like everything was right, and you had the biggest craving for cake and maybe wine and probably a lot of pizza? I hope so, you guys. Because that means you really did celebrate in the only way that matters.

So because of the big 2-7 and me being the Michael Scott equivalent in terms of birthday celebrations (“You didn’t know it was my birthday.” – “Oh, I guess I forgot.” – “Well then I guess I forgot to give you a donut.”), I am changing the rules of this column for just. one. night/day/evening/morning/etc. This week, we will watch not only one of my FAVOURITE MOVIES EVER but one I feel accurately reflects the last 365 days.

Bridesmaids, everybody! Can you go wrong? You cannot. And even if you COULD, you wouldn’t say anything because IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY, OKAY?

So let’s do this. We just missed the opening scene, but we’ve still got a lot to work with! HERE WE GO.

1. Maya and Kristen’s breakfast pep talk

Well right off the bat this is brilliant. Why? Because this is ACCURATE FRIENDSHIP, EVERYBODY. I can’t tell you how many times me or one of my friends have sat across from each other and said, “Any guy would be PSYCHED to be your man.” Right? Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be?  (Yep.) Even when some dude acts terribly and/or we discuss why he should not be a contender for anything beyond saying hello to if you see them in a public space (and you are being FORCED to talk to them by like, your boss or maybe somebody famous), it’s always, “He’s an ____, Annie!” And it usually applies even more because MY name is “Annie” (as far as my parents and a few very close friends are concerned) and let’s be completely honest about the last year: nooooootttt the greatest decisions in terms of having crushes on guys worthy being crushed on. BUT LIFE LESSONS, RIGHT? It’s fine! We survived, everyone. We’re all here.

2. “You cannot trust, anybody… ever.”

Are we laughing yet? Obviously. We’ve been laughing for the last 10 minutes, duh, but this is one of those times where we laugh really hard because does this phrase apply to everyday life? Well, no. I hope not. But it’s still fantastic. Though not QUITE as fantastic as:

3. “It’s for free!”

DAMN. First off, Rebel Wilson in this movie? GET ON BOARD, EVERYONE. Also, Bachelorette so soon and the one with the singing? REBEL, YOU GO, GIRL. Also, as a poor person, I embrace anything that is “for free” and the only way to make it seem better or more interesting is to say it in a British accent and as though you are describing a complimentary tattoo. Now, I have zero tattoos, but if I got one, I would absolutely get it for free out of the back of a van and it would be a Mexican drinking worm just kidding that would be a nightmare.

But enough about that! Let’s throw some frozen peas on there!

4. MAGAZINE AND WINE PARTY OOOH

Is now the way my friends (WHO GET ME/THIS MOVIE) will describe our plans in any capacity. Here’s an example:

Friend: “What are you up to on Saturday?”

Me: “I don’t know. Magazine-and-wine-party-ooh?”

Friend: “I’ll bring the house red.”

JUST LIKE THAT. Although I have yet to get an engagement sprung on me in a magazine-and-wine-party capacity, mostly because all the friends I have magazine-and-wine-parties with and I are similar in that none of us are getting married anytime soon. So friends, if you’re reading this, and we have magazine-and-wine-party-oohs, do NOT tell me if you’re getting engaged at what I’ve branded a safe zone.

5. Truth: you have to hit bottom

So since I’m using a new movie as my birthday present to myself, I will tell you that there are a million reasons I love Bridesmaids, but one of them is because like Annie — full disclosure — 26 was the year I ALSO hit bottom. Correct: it is exactly as terrible as it looks in this movie. But even more correct: you really DON’T have anywhere to go but up! For me, I ended up being totally broke and losing my apartment (FUN!) and moving back home (YAY) and having negative dollars, BUT listen. It got better! As things do. I mean, we all cite Fall 2011 – Spring 2012 as “The Sad Time”/”The Dark Time”/”The Dark Ages,” but now it is a solid six months of hilariously terrible stories that we are all now safe to make fun of.

Case in point: I once had to make $7 last for a week, so I’d eat dollar store canned food for dinner. One night when I went to get it, it started to rain. The rest of the time I just ate canned spaghetti sauce and pasta. I also had mice.

6. Megan may be the greatest character in the history of all time?

I mean, I don’t think I need to tell you how fantastic Melissa McCarthy is. I know I don’t. We ALL saw the movie and we all watched Gilmore Girls and we all love laughter and amazing comedic talent, so DUH here is the official Melissa McCarthy appreciation post of the year. HOWEVER, shout-out to Megan, who gets her own time to shine because she is who I’d like to grow up and be. Just the greatest human. Nine dogs and hat and pearls and all!

7. And we all know a Helen

We do. We just seriously do. And it’s fine, and we all get along, but when we first meet those people who seem to have it all together and have money and good hair, it’s always on the day that you somehow got caught in the rain after buying dollar store canned dinner yet she’s still like “Oh hiiii! Aw, you look cute” and you’re like, THAT IS A LIE. I DO NOT LOOK CUTE. Luckily, it eventually all smooths out and everything’s okay and you USUALLY end up becoming great friends in your own right, but at first it’s always on the worst day, when you look your worst, and you were supposed to make a good impression but instead were wearing stretchy pants buying discounted chocolate at the drug store.

8. Officer Rhodes! Just the greatest

WHAT a great opposite to Jon Hamm’s The Worst Possible Guy In The World! (Jon Hamm’s character, not Jon Hamm himself — obviously you guys not Jon Hamm himself! Imagine? I don’t even know him COME ON.) Seriously, just the best. The cakes and the carrots and the buying of baking ingredients … WHAT A NICE GUY. Which is the best. No more awful guys, please. Goodbye Teds of the world.

9. Okay, but I don’t blame Helen for not eating the meat

It’s time to be honest with everyone: I COMPLETELY understand Helen for not eating the meat. I am a super freak in terms of eating meat at weird, random places, and I usually don’t JUST BECAUSE I don’t trust it and I don’t know how they cooked it and etc. etc. etc. Also, once I got food poisoning after eating chicken at a very well known chain, and honestly, that was my personal hell. I hate even thinking about it. And because of that chicken, I will only eat chicken in nugget or finger form and none of these drumsticks or quater chickens or any of it. Not fried chicken, either. None of it. NO CHICKEN.  NEVER.

So Helen, I hear you. Though I’d also stay away from the raw vegetables at the place too and probably just get fries. (This is my life, guys. I really wish I was making these neurosis up.)

10. THE FOOD POISONING SCENE

Alright, so let’s just admit it to ourselves and everyone we care about: WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE. We as human beings. All of us. Every. Single. One. We may not have been that sick at a bridal shop, but we have almost all certainly wanted to die after eating something terrible. And THAT’S what makes this scene so funny. Of course, what else makes it funny is how funny it is. IT IS SO FUNNY. Kristen and Annie Mumolo did the most superb job in the world writing this movie, and it honestly kills me that it didn’t win an Oscar. THIS SCENE ALONE.

“In fact, I’m hungry, and I would like a snack.”

11. The poverty! Yay!

And SPEAKING of being there, here is someplace else we have all been, am I right, friends? Well this year, my friend was married and that was great, and I was in the wedding which was awesome. What was NOT awesome was trying to be a fun bridesmaid while also using rolled coin to make 1/4 of my minimum Visa payment. It was bleak. And everyone was accommodating and nice, but I can’t even count how many “Guys I’m sorry I just don’t have the money” emails I sent. So when Rita and Helen and Megan and the gang get psyched over Vegas, I GET Kristen Wiig’s feeling of, “But … no.”

Also, though, why in the world is Helen hijacking this thing for real? I would just be like — and I was — “I’m sorry, I don’t have the money. I can meet you someplace else…? But no, I definitely can’t afford to go to this-and-this-place.” And if Helen doesn’t understand that, then SHUT IT BAD TOO BAD. Unless Helen wanted to pay for her/me, and in that case, I would ABSOLUTELY take her money because I have zero amounts of shame.

12. The first time I flew was EXACTLY like this minus the drug and drinking influence

Well I have had some time on planes, let me tell you. Mostly the first time I flew I was 22, and when I get nervous I laugh, so I held onto the arms of the chair and bega laughing manically while the person in the same row as me was like, “What’s wrong with you?” I mean, she was nice, but I 100% freaked her out, and I was flying by myself so I looked like even more of a psychopath. Then, later that summer, I got the stomach flu or food poisoning in Vancouver (not from chicken — just another fun, unrelated time) (wait — oh my GOD, I actually DID eat chicken! I HAD CHICKEN FINGERS. I KNEW IT. That’s it. I HATE YOU, CHICKEN.) and had to fly home despite being on death’s door. I called my Dad at 5 a.m. Vancouver time and started crying and he was like, “You have to just take all the drugs you can and get on that plane.” So I did. That’s exactly what I did. I took EVERY POSSIBLE stomach drug you could take, and then I sat in that plane seat and just counted down the five hours until I could be at home again. After my flight was delayed by two hours. Now I know I can do anything.

Anywho. Annie on the plane. The way she acts is actually the reason I don’t drink hard liquor BECAUSE I actually turn into that exact same “REAADDYYYY TO PARRRTYYYY” person. Only more yelling and sometimes crying and sometimes fighting. (High school, everyone!) (REMEMBER: DON’T DO WHAT I DID.)

13.  “Help me I’m poor.”

Is actually the life creed of anybody I’m close friends with right now. I mean, I have some close friends who are NOT “help me I’m poor,” but they are a little bit older and they’ve been through their share of the equivalent of my age 26 (read: “the sad time”), and they deserve NOT to be “help me I’m poor.” Me, however, and everyone else I’m close friends with, are. And we just find new, creative ways of having fun! Like playing board games and drinking tap water while making minimum debt payments.

14. BUT SERIOUSLY THIS PLANE SCENE IS FLAWLESS

It is. IT JUST TOTALLY ONE HUNDRED PER CENT IS. All of it. Every single line. “You are more beautiful than Cinderella! You smell like pine needles and you have a face like sunshine!”

For a long time my Twitter background was LITERALLY a colonial woman on the wing.

15. The best part is that they don’t make it to Vegas

That’s what makes all of it. ALL OF IT. Nobody wants to watch The Hangover 25925825, so how do we avoid that? We have Annie COMPLETELY ruin the bachelorette party EVEN THOUGH it’s not really her fault. Seriously, it’s not like Annie decided to take those pills and drink that drink on her own — Helen gave them to her. She was obviously having an adverse reaction, and why is nobody seeing that? All of us can! Maybe Lillian needs to just relax and dial down the lecture and shame and be like, “Why would you give her those pills, Helen?” Instead it’s “No, you’re not my maid of honour anymore, Annie.” Whatever, Lillian. ANNIE, WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE*.

*I mean, nobody here actually take sides, please. There are no sides to take. Let’s just be cool. Their friendship is still the most wonderful.

16. OKAY I love Rhodes, but … dude, she’ll bake when she’s ready, you know?

I LOVE RHODES. Obviously. He is so great. But I can also understand why Annie would feel a little “um…” about the situation. I mean, DON’T LEAVE, ANNIE. Maybe just say, “Ahhh I totally appreciate you doing this, but that whole ‘losing my business’ thing is going to need a little more recovery time.” And then he would have understood! Or they could have baked together? I don’t know. Just DON’T LEAVE ahh too bed she just left. And now we’re onto the wedding shower. Let’s get psyched!

17. Just kidding! She has to hit bottom/bottom first!

I FEEL YOU, ANNIE. Basically, this movie happened at the exact time things really started to go south, so imagine my joy when Annie gets to her Mom’s house and says, “This is bottom.” In May 2011 I was like, “Well at least I won’t have to move home!” and then I did. I did have to. Truthfully, by that point I just wanted to be able to afford real food again, so February 2012 was great in that there was an end in sight of having to choose with bill to pay. (Now I can pay all of them!) But the decision? Still so hard to make. A good decision, but oh boy. Just. Like. Annie. I FEEL YOU, FICTITIOUS CHARACTER.

18. THE SHOWER UGH

Everything Annie says DO WE NOT ALL FEEL? I would be LIVID at Helen. SERIOUSLY? Like, what is the point of stealing Annie’s thunder? What is going on here, Helen? Why can’t you just be cool! JUST BE A NICE PERSON. We have all wanted to have freakouts like this. Every single one of us. But we don’t, and if you’re me, you call a best pal and you say everything Annie says in public to only that one person who just nods along until you’re a normal human being again and says, “Maybe you should just talk to the person who’s making you so mad…?” OR they just nod along like the little girl at the shower who says, “This is so awesome!”

Seriously, that little girl rules.

19. And then Megan drives by with the nine dogs

First, Hole’s playing. The only band anybody wants to hear when everything is the worst. And then Megan drives by pointing to the dogs, and just YES. YES, MEGAN.

But now just the worst part in the movie is about to happen, and …

20. MY HEART. POOR RHODES.

Seriously this scene is too hard to watch. So he shows up, and she tries to say something to him that will repair the damage, and then freaking Ted shows up with “BOOM!” I mean, granted, Annie DID totally do all of this to herself, but POOR RHODES YOU BEAUTIFUL PERFECT LAMB OF A MAN. But it’s okay! I mean, SPOILER ALERT it works out! But this part? Right? Doesn’t your heart just absolutely break and then get back together when you hear every word that comes out of Ted’s mouth? (Because we absolutely know at least one person like that and he is THE WORST.)

21. “Wilson!”

Even if you’re not hitting bottom, it is a scientific fact according to me that you will watch Cast Away and weep when Wilson floats away. Also, did anybody else TOTALLY TEAR UP in the movie theatre at this part? Because I did. I really and truly did and then I pretended I wasn’t by eating a lot of popcorn. But enough about that because we need to acknowledge…

22. Megan’s speech

PREACH IT, MEGAN. Can I be real? Can I tell you that even when I was like, “AHH I AM EATING MAC AND CHEESE FOR THE FOURTH STRAIGHT DAY” I would just remember what Megan — a character who is not real — said to Annie? Is that weird? Should I not be admitting that to you? Anyway, that speech is absolutely true and probably one of those things you hear and think, “Yep. Stop the pity party. Deal with it.” forever and into eternity, SO if anything, age 26 brought me the wonderful gift of, unlike previous years, this dialogue which (I hope) keeps me from turning into a withering ball whenever things go awry.

So THANK YOU, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo for writing a really great movie.

23. And see? Then Lilian talks to Annie about what’s going on with her, and GREAT FRIENDSHIPS ALL AROUND

Seriously, this is one of those scenes where actual real-life friendships are depicted perfectly. Friends have disagreements and falling outs! They happen. People mess up and blah blah blah “tell us something we don’t know Anne,” but look! Look how everything gets solved with COMMUNICATION. The greatest word. Let’s all use it but not the actual word, let’s just practice it? If anybody wants to get me anything for my 27th birthday, make it that: avoid those terrible misunderstandings where nobody admits they’re wrong. Apologize! Say why you’re upset! Fix things! Fighting’s so draining. Which is exactly why I love this part.

24. AND THEN THERE IS WILSON PHILLIPS

Performing a song that is SO GREAT it has literally withstood the test of time. In fact, last summer — shortly after the release of Bridesmaids – I liked one of those ill-advised gentleman callers I described in the first or second paragraph of this article, and Steph and I wrote the lyrics to Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” on my Facebook wall because really, what else are you going to do in those types of situation? Exactly. You do that. That’s what you do.

25. SO THANK YOU FOR CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY WITH  ME, GUYS

Now I know we’re not technically reading this ON my birthday (MY BIRTHDAY IS AUGUST 29 NEVER FORGET IT), but we are reading this FOR my  birthday which is basically the exact same thing. So thank you! Writing these pieces has become something I really, really love to do, and were especially welcome in an era we all coined — say it with me! — “THE SAD TIME.” Obviously I’m going to keep writing these for as long as I humanly can because there are 5925825 million movies we haven’t even got to yet but THANK YOU for reading all the same. 26 was quite the year! A lot of great stuff happened, and a lot of not-so-great stuff, but what’s the point of anything if things aren’t a bit of a roller coaster? So 27! A new year! A new time! A blank 365 days in which to gather stories and life experiences and WHO KNOWS what will be happening this time in 2013

WHO. KNOWS.

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  1. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, ANNE!! I’ll also be turning 27 in a few weeks (you’re a Virgo too, then right?) and I also ABSOLUTELY ADORE Bridesmaids to pieces. It’s one of those movies that just comes in at the right place and at the right time in your life. While I’m fortunate enough to say that I’ve been afloat, my younger sister (who’s been staying with my husband and I), hasn’t been as fortunate and did truly hit bottom recently. We watched Bridesmaids countless times during these tough months and just…relating so much with Annie and the gang has really helped us through and has helped us laugh through it all. She’s a lot better now and this movie will always be there to remind us that things really DO improve when there’s nowhere to go but UP!

    ANYWAY, I LOVE your Old Lady series…all of the movies you describe are truly awesome…and can’t wait for the next one! Here’s to turning 27!! ;)

  2. Happy belated birthday, Anne!!! I love your Old Lady series and I adore Bridesmaids! Thank YOU for being so awesome!

  3. I hope you had a great birthday,and I’m glad that the sad time is coming to an end. Thanks for another fun article to read.

  4. I LOVE Bridesmaids!! Seriously, my best friend and I have it planned to have some sort of choreographed version of the “Hold On” scene at my wedding. Because, well, it has to happen! Happy belated birthday, and thanks for this awesomely funny (and oh so true) post! :)

  5. This was such a fun article to read! And totally relevant. Who doesn’t love Bridesmaids?! Thanks so much, Anne! :)

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