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Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Kyle Bornheimer, Rebel Wilson, Hayes MacArthur, Ann Dowd, Andrew Rannells

Director: Leslye Headland

Happily director Leslye Headland's snappy screenplay cleverly avoids any hint of staginess despite being based on her off-Broadway play that, despite covering much of the ground covered in the hit film Bridesmaids, preceded that movie.

Headland charts the chaotic progress of a trio of bridesmaids who, reunited for the wedding of fellow high school student Rebel Wilson whom they used to call “Pig Face” embark on a night of feminine drink, drugs and all-round irresponsibility (including tearing Wilson’s wedding dress and then having to race against time to have it repaired in time for the ceremony).

Result? A cynical and witty comedy with acid coursing through its veins that showcases its female stars and relegates mere men like James Marsden and Adam Scott to supporting muscle.

Kirsten Dunst as the leader of the ladies gives one of her best performances as she battles to keep the hen night from exploding into total chaos while still finding time impressively to projectile vomit over the wedding dress. Isla Fisher, too, is first rate, as her coke-snorting cohort, while Lizzie Caplan doesn’t disgrace herself as the third member of the reveling trio.

(Male moviegoers beware! This isn’t your standard date movie unless, of course, you don’t mind seeing your sex being comprehensively relegated to mere on-screen support).

Alan Frank

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
87 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Aug 2013