Last night I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of Bridesmaids. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I loved it. I expected to enjoy the two hours fine, but the movie actually had more substance to it than I’d anticipated.
Don’t get me wrong. There is some serious toilet humor, and a scene or two had me covering my eyes and cringing with embarrassment. (Side note: It was fascinating to see a Judd Apatow film where the raunchy comedy comes from the ladies. Empowering, in a one-character-may-or-may-not-have-pooped-in-a-sink kind of way.) (Another side note: I fell in lurve with Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Wiig’s goofy-yet-totally-endearing romantic interest. I want to hug him.) But at its core, the movie is about friendship. About the insecurities and competition that can creep in, the difficulty of connecting with other women as adults, and the importance of lifers.
One of the biggest storylines is the competition between Kristen Wiig’s maid-of-honor and another bridesmaid, played by Rose Byrne. They’re both close friends with the bride, though Kristen Wiig’s Annie has known her since childhood, while Rose Byrne’s Helen is a new pal. The situation is exaggerated, obviously, but it’s rooted in something very real.
You know the inkling of jealousy you get when you meet a lifelong BFF’s new close friend? Mostly, you like her. Approximately 99 percent. But that nagging 1 percent leaves you wanting to point out all the ways in which you know your best friend better than she ever will. Or that you have inside jokes that go back further than their entire friendship. It’s ridiculous and childish and you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve ever felt this way. But you have. We all have.
And clearly Kristen Wiig has, as she co-wrote the movie.
What is it about bestfriendship that can, every now and then, turn perfectly sane smart adults into possessive freaks? We get territorial about our friendships—at least internally—even though we’re well aware on a rational level that a woman can handle more than one close pal. The worst part about this jealousy is that we know it’s ridiculous. We know we shouldn’t be feeling this way, which just makes us feel worse, right? Maybe I can only speak for myself, but when I catch myself spiraling into this pit of friendship craziness, the worst part is realizing that I am too old for this. I am an adult, and shouldn’t be fighting the jealous instincts of a middle schooler.
You’ve been in this situation, yes? How did you handle it? Did you just behave until you snapped out of it, or did you have to go the confrontation route?