Kristin Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey Universal photo
Can women pull off doing a raunchy big-screen comedy? Kristin Wiig’s “Brides Maids” was previewed at the recent SXSW Film Fest to a chorus of agitated reviews, horrible to ecstatic, and attendee applause. Sounds like the kind of response that’s greeted other comedies with gross-out moments that sell lots of tickets despite critical loathing.
“I hope that other studios will start taking a gamble on funny girls, because we’re interesting,” declares the movie’s Wendi McLendon-Covey. “There are a whole lot of girls out there who aren’t afraid of making themselves look stupid, who aren’t vain, who can do what the boys are doing.” She adds, “We’re always seeing the same funny boys in the same types of movies, the manboy movies. Okay, but girls are funny, too.”
Some of those manboy comedies are, of course, the work of moviemaker Judd Apatow, who happens to be producing “Brides Maids,” which was cowritten by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and directed by Paul Feig (“Freaks and Geeks,” “the Office”). It has Wiig, as a put-upon maid of honor, teamed with Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, McLendon-Covey, and Jon Hamm as a hateful boyfriend. The flick (the late Jill Clayburgh’s last) is due for May 13 release from Universal.
McLendon-Covey reports that when she and her castmates first got together for a table read of the script it was 2007. The delay in getting it before the camera “might have been because of the reticence to finance anything female-driven that wasn’t ‘Sex in the City,'” she surmises.
“Brides Maids,” she stresses, “is not a chick flick. There is no shoe shopping montage, none of that.” And there were no cat fights on set. “People ask me that, but no. What’s to fight about? A bunch of nerdy girls who like to be funny, supporting each other.”
McLendon-Covey plays a character named Rita who is “very, um, damaged and thinks she’s so much smarter than her life. I love playing the weirdos. She’s a fly in the ointment, the one telling the bride, ‘You’re making a big mistake.'”
With “Brides Maids” on the way, the “Reno 911” alumna says she’s gone out for a few pilots, but nothing that has her excited. “I hate to say this, but when I read for pilots a lot of times I can’t tell one from another. I’m happy with my nice little recurring gig on ‘Rules of Engagement.'”