With a dream cast featuring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan and Adam Scott (“Party Down” fauxunion!), a wedding-based milieu and Will Ferrell as a producer, the buzz on “Bachelorette” entering its Sundance Film Festival world premiere on Monday night was decidedly deafening. Was this the next “Bridesmaids”?
“Did you wish that ‘Bridesmaids’ was populated by horrible, ugly fucking assholes who hate each other?” wrote writer Kate Erbland on Twitter. “Cool! Meet ‘Bachelorette.'”
The dark-spirited comedy certainly polarized the crowd at Sundance, causing some of the most visceral critical reactions of the fest.
Based on writer/director Leslye Headland’s own Off-Broadway play, “Bachelorette” focuses on three aging mean girls (Dunst, Fisher, Caplan, as Vulture surmised, kinda filling the roles of Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and, um, Lizzy Caplan from “Mean Girls”), who are invited to the wedding of the overweight girl they tormented in high school with taunts of Pig Face. High on coke and bitter with jealously, the girls do something mean (tear her wedding dress in a fit of mockery), and then spend the rest of the evening trying to get it repaired before the bride finds out.
“I saw [Headland’s] play and was blown away by how dark and awful she was willing to make people,” Caplan was quoted as saying after the screening. Unfortunately, that darkness wasn’t very appealing to many viewers at the premiere.
“I hated almost every minute of ‘Bachelorette,'” Moviefone’s own Mike Ryan wrote. “Well, more like 85 percent of the minutes.”
Echoed Slashfilm editor Peter Sciretta, “All of the characters in ‘Bachelorette’ are either mean nasty deplorable people or just stupid.”
“‘Bachelorette’ is poisonous and mean, most humor killed by the movie’s harsh tone,” wrote Katey Rich from CinemaBlend. “Lots of good performances, nothing supporting them.”
Even the positive notices were somewhat mannered.
“‘Bachelorette’ is a little messy, but it’s got some great moments,” wrote Movies.com editor Erik Davis. “Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher steal it.” Later, responding to a tweet from Rich, Davis noted that “there’s a great movie in there, somewhere.”
Of course amid all the teeth-gnashing, there was some sanity. “I didn’t hate,” noted EW’s Anthony Breznican, “but coulda laughed more.”
Look for “Bachelorette,” with that aforementioned cast and subject matter, to get some studio pick-up in the near future.
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