Chef Erik Van Kley Flies Solo into Uncharted Flavor Territory
I love the movie Bridesmaids. The first time I saw it, I walked out of the theater with a feeling of relief—finally, a movie in which women are driving the comedy instead of just bearing horrified witness to whatever hilarious shenanigans the dudes are up to. As Kristen Wiig succinctly notes on a making-of documentary included on the new Blu-ray edition, "It's funny women being funny." Written by Wiig and Annie Mumulo and directed by Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig, the Blu-ray features an unrated cut, a blooper reel, and plenty of extra footage that didn't make it into the film.
The unrated cut adds only a few minutes of not-strictly-necessary footage—the roommate characters are more creepy than funny, and I could've done without that bonus scene of them taking a bath together. The extras, though, are worth exploring, particularly the alternate takes: Wiig and Jon Hamm cavort athletically through increasingly ridiculous sex positions, Melissa McCarthy shows off chops I didn't know she had, and Reno 911's Wendi McLendon-Covey gets a chance to shine, rattling off deadpan one-liners about just how bad her house full of teenaged boys smells. ("It smells like someone farted pizza into a litter box.") There's also a deleted scene in which Wiig goes on a blind date with Paul Rudd (!!)—it's not super funny, but you know. Paul Rudd. A short making-of documentary featuring Wiig, Feig, Maya Rudolph, and others is interesting, if congratulatory; my only complaint about it is there's not enough Chris O'Dowd. (This is a critique that extends to the rest of the special features as well. And my life.) The extras also offer a few dirty jokes from Jill Clayburgh, who played Wiig's mom, that were cut from the theatrical version—including a explanation of something called "bird-bathing," which involves stretching the scrotum to hold water and then lapping it up "like a little bird." Kristen Wiig cracks a little during this scene: "I'm just realizing that we're making you say this," she says to Clayburgh. Clayburgh died before the film was released; producer Judd Apatow reportedly cut some of her dirtier jokes from the theatrical version, so as not to have her final lines on film be about motor-boating.
The unrated cut is probably skipable, but—if you're a comedy fan—the Blu-ray extras really aren't. The collaborative, improvisational nature of the movie's humor is one of the things I like best about it, and as a comedy fan, the extras provide a great window into how that process unfolded.