13 Life Lessons As Taught By ‘Bridesmaids’
1. The correct term is “Chicks Before Dicks.”
You know what I love most about this movie? The fact that guys in it aren’t that important? Do you know the name of the actor who plays Maya Rudolph’s husband? No, because it’s not about them. It’s an ode to the power of friendship, and the fact that your relationships with your friends are just as important (if not moreso) than yours with your partner. They are the ones who are there for you on your 30th birthday when you pass out drunk in the bathtub and will love you when if you have food all over your teeth.
2. Fight Club themes are inappropriate Bachelorette Party fodder.
Also inappropriate: Pixar, Eyes Wide Shut, Two Girls One Cup, the TV show Oz, fracking, The Human Centipede, Russian roulette, Breaking Bad, Jonestown and Fifty Shades of Grey. I think Ann Coulter is saving the Holocaust for her wedding, so that’s out.
3. If your plane is about to crash, now is the time to experiment with lesbianism.
For most straight-ish girls I know, this also applies to your Junior year of college — or if you go to Smith or Wellesley, your entire college experience. Today’s vocab: “BUG,” Bi Until Graduation, as in: “He’s caught the BUG.” This also applies to almost every guy I dated in high school.
4. No one wants to be around the person who spends all their time feeling sorry for themselves.
Melissa McCarthy put it best: You have to fight for your shitty life. Almost everyone has gone through something (or is going through it right now), and we’re great at making excuses for ourselves. Sometimes it’s just easier to sit on your couch, eat yourself to death and watch Cast Away than to get up and do something about it. We feel powerless, scared and alone. But you’re only as powerless as you let yourself feel. Only you have the ability to change your life, which entails that you stop moping, get up and do something about it.
5. Also, you can’t blame other people for your problems.
Well, you can, but what does it get you? If you are able to come up with one good answer to this question, I’ll eat my computer. (Which would be painful, so please don’t make me.)
6. Melissa McCarthy is the ultimate spirit animal.
Don’t you kind of want to be her, or at least be her best friend? I picture us eating a lot of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing together.
7. Real friends push you to be better.
You know you’ve found a great friend when they don’t put up with your crap. Recently I had lunch with a friend who told me, quite candidly, that she was upset with me and expected more out of me, that I was better than the decisions I’d been making lately. (She also had Christmas presents for me, which made this easier to hear. Amazon gift cards make everything better.) Your friends want the best for you, which entails you being the best you. They are willing to have the hard conversations and put in the work of actual friendships. They’re willing to do not just what is easy, but what is best for you in the long run.
8. If you shit in it, you buy it.
I feel like this should be common sense, but you should never go to a random Brazilian place before you have to try on anything white. It’s Murphy’s Law: Anything that can happen will happen in public, including taking a dump in the street. And if you have to get food poisoning and embrass yourself in front of a bunch of strangers who are all honking at you, it’s best if what you’re getting sick in isn’t incredibly expensive. You should have just gone with the cool dress with the pockets.
9. Mean girls have problems, too.
You know that girl in high school who was so pretty and perfect? Bridesmaids shows us that girl was fucked up inside, just like you. She’s mean-spirited, clingy, competitive and has an obsessive desire to appear wealthy and glamorous at all times — so much so that her butler hands out freshly squeezed lemonade to guests. But that desire to be better than everyone else might also be her compensating for something else — feeling a lack of love. You could cast her aside as just being a one-dimensional bitch, or realize that these qualities make her flawed and human. You might even realize you have a couple things in common. Crazy talk, I know.
10. Vaguely Irish accents make everyone hotter.
No offense to Chris O’Dowd, but being from Ireland took his hotness scale up about 10 points. Compare his stealthily cute Irish police officer to his role as Jessa’s surprise husband in Girls. One of these characters is the guy you’d want to take home to Mom, and the other one makes me uncomfortable to think about. Accents are magic.
11. You can’t just pretend to speak Spanish.
Well, you can. You’re just going to look like a fool. If you want to pretend to speak something, pick a language that almost no one speaks, like Esperanto. No one will know the difference.
12. Female competition is exhausting and gets no one anywhere.
Like Mean Girls before it, Bridesmaids smartly skewers the culture of female competition, where women can’t be happy for their girlfriends unless they are happier and more successful than they are. (Fact: Guys do this, too, because despite the publishing industry’s insistence, men and women aren’t that different.) But this just leads us down a shame spiral where we only judge our self-worth based on other peoples’ accomplishments, none of which makes us any healthier or happier. We can tear each other down and hijack their wedding by being a cookie-destroying pain in the ass, or we can let go and stop trying to have it all. You might realize your life is pretty good as is.
13. Wilson Phillips is the ultimate jam.
I always really liked “Hold On,” but that’s because I have a weird obsession with everything even remotely related to the Beach Boys — which includes their musical progeny. But it seems like Bridesmaids brought this song back into the lives of almost everyone I know, because while being strangely catchy in that Rick Astley way, the themes resonate. “You’ve got no one to blame for your happiness/You got yourself into this own mess.” It’s also damn fun to sing along to in your car with your friends or in your kitchen. Dance like no one else is watching.
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