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Stars: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Jill Clayburgh, Jon Hamm, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Ellie Kemper

Director: Paul Feig

A disappointing vehicle for TV comedienne Kristen Wiig that never builds up any comedy momentum. So, while some audiences may cackle happily at events in the build-up to a wedding, others may remain stony-faced throughout. One of its drawbacks is that Wiig, though a good supporting actress, is not funny in herself, unlike say, Tina Fey or, decades earlier, Lucille Ball. So she relies on a witty script. But this one, partly written by herself, lets her down. Sure there's fun to be had, but laughter itself is in short supply, as Wiig tries to sort out her personal life while trying to act as maid of honour for the wedding of her best friend (Rudolph).

The characters of the various bridesmaids are tired and obvious, no to mention dislikeable - the saintly bitch, the potty-mouthed fat girl, the naive newlywed and the overripe sexpot, and become very trying as the film wears on. Boy does it wear on, too, for more than two hours, with its attempts to be disgusting proving more turn-away-now than funny.

And, although the girls, Rudolph especially, throw themselves headfirst into the spirit of the thing, it's an uphill struggle to make anything here come up fresh for an audience already jaded by the failure of the only slightly inferior Hangover Part II to brighten up their evening. This one needed to be more biting, perhaps more outrageous, and certainly more original.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour (unspecified).
124 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 19 Jun 2011