Cami and went to see Bridesmaids this weekend and at one point before the movie started, Cami actually leaned over to me and said “Thank you for seeing this movie with me.” I thought it was kind of odd at the time because 1.) I was already excited to see this movie and 2.) When do we ever get to leave the house to do ANYTHING together anymore?

Then again, she might have also been thanking me for letting her drag me around to a couple of department stores to look at blouses and shoes between our dinner and showtime.

* insert sound of whips here *

That said, I really enjoyed Bridesmaids and think it’s wholly deserving of the praise and strong reviews it’s received. If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to check it out.

Produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Paul Feig, Universal Studios has marketed Bridesmaids as the female response to films like The 40 Year-Old Virgin or The Hangover. If you’ve seen the TV spots, they all seem to be preoccupied with a scene where the girls contract food poisoning. It leads you to believe that you’re in for an outrageous, scatological good time.

As bombastic an hilarious as that scene is, I’ll go on the record right now and let you know that Bridesmaids is NOT that kind of film. It’s not interested in strictly using shock tactics to generate laughs. It has a lot more on its mind than that.

There’s a lot of needless controversy in comedy circles (mostly driven by sexism) about whether or not women are funny. For the record, I think women are hilarious. That said, Bridesmaids clearly has a different temperament than most big studio comedies. The audience is the benefactor from this shift in tone because the humor frequently derived from character motivation rather than misunderstandings or unfortunate circumstances.

That’s not to say that Bridesmaids don’t lean on these tried and true comedic devices. But the humor is amplified by our familiarity with the characters, their needs and limitations.

As Annie, Kristen Wiig has created a great comedic punching bag – a tragic character who lost her cake shop in the recession and has been falling further and further behind ever since. But catharsis doesn’t come easily for Annie because she is truly the architect of her own misery. She can’t be free of it until she confronts her role in it.

Of course, it’s Melissa McCarthy as the bawdy Megan that wakes her up to her reality. In an excellent exchange near the end of the film, Megan gleefully slaps Annie around. Encouraging her to “Fight! Fight for your crappy life!” McCarthy is a comedic powerhouse in this movie and practically steals it out from under the rest of the ensemble.

I guess if I could register any complaint against the film is that it doesn’t fully take advantage of the talent it has at its disposal. Wiig, McCarthy and Maya Rudolph all get sufficient screen time. But Wendi McLendon-Covey from Reno 911 and Ellie Kemper from The Office are almost completely squandered. In fact, I think Rebel Wilson and Matt Lucas as Wiig’s inconsiderate roommates get more time on screen. So the film is not quite the ensemble piece it bills itself to be.

But overall the film is smart, honest and touching. On the surface, Annie’s problems and her reaction to them felt more akin to a directionless 20-something rather than how a former small-business owner approaching 40 would handle them. But, in context, it indicates how hard Annie has been thrown for a loop. Annie is an anomaly among female comedic archetypes, but a welcome one. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bridesmaids became a game-changer for chick flicks, which I would celebrate.

Look, a little bit of Sandra Bullock or Kate Hudson is fine. But their movies fail to take risks and avoid any suggestion that the lives of their heroines (who, for some reason, always seem to be marketing executives) is anything less than perfect. Bridesmaids takes those risks and should be rewarded for it.

Did you see Bridesmaids this weekend? If so, what were your thoughts? Leave your comments below!

↓ Transcript
Tom, I just wanted to say "Thanks" for seeing Bridesmaids with me.

I know you don't like seeing "chick flicks," so I really appreciate this!

OHMIGOD, she thinks Bridesmaids is a chick flick?

Alright, STAY CALM. Play this right and you can use this as leverage!

Act like you weren't already excited to see Bridesmaids and you can guilt her into seeing Green Lantern later!