The Bridesmaid

"Good"

The Bridesmaid Review


At first glance, she doesn't seem like much -- maybe it's the dress. When Philippe (Benoit Magimel) -- the slim, self-satisfied, smart-but-stupid chump in Claude Chabrol's psycho-drama The Bridesmaid -- sees Senta (Laura Smet), a bridesmaid at his sister's wedding, he's intrigued by something in her direct stare and later, flirty brush-off. However, when Senta appears unannounced at the door of his mother's home (where Philippe, a mama's boy practically smothered by her constant compliments) a few hours later and then proceeds to strip off the wet dress and have her reckless way with him, he becomes positively interested. When later she starts in with all that talk about how they're fated for each other and, hey, what if they each committed a murder to prove their love, he remains interested because, well, he doesn't have much else going on in his life.

In Smet and Magimel, Chabrol has found willing partners for his bleak little tale -- like the director, they keep things under wraps, playing things close to the vest, which is harder than it may sound, given the high drama plot, taken from a Ruth Rendell novel. Philippe is a cipher straight from a detective story of years past, working as a numbers guy for a contractor in a small French town, he's completely bottled up inside his trim suits and slightly superior demeanor, just aching for something to come along and bust things up. After easing us into Philippe's life with some minor melodrama involving the three women in Philippe's house (mother, two sisters), Chabrol drops Senta in to knock Philippe out of his rut, and she's perfect for the job.

A sloe-eyed vixen who practically radiates crazy, Senta's nevertheless a fantastic storyteller, even if many of her autobiographical tales (moving to Morocco on a lark when she was a teenager, getting that small role in a Woody Allen movie, this guy she may have killed) are most likely made-up. Once her eyes lock onto Philippe's, they never again seem whole without the other; it's obsessive and inexplicable attraction presented to us as fait accompli, without any tiresome backstory or psychological justification -- when they launch themselves at each other after spending a few days apart, it's more mathematical necessity than anything else. And when the question of murder and Senta comes up (Philippe initially laughs it off, but then isn't so sure), tied in with the series of local disappearances, the love affair takes on a darker hue.

This is all noir in a very minor key, featuring a femme fatale without a score to settle, only the clanging needs of her inner voices to satisfy by whichever suitable male happens across her zig-zagging path. Chabrol has a created a placid and creepy work here, with hints of Hitchcock proliferating, from Philippe's controlling mother to the vast and falling-down house Senta inhabits like a subterranean ghost, all of it helping give this occasionally draggy and too-literal story a pleasantly perverse sting.

Aka La Demoiselle d'honneur.

Let's get married too.



The Bridesmaid

Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 17th November 2004

Distributed by: First Run

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Alfred Hürmer

Starring: as Philippe Tardieu, as Senta, as le clochard, as Christine, as Gérard, Solène Bouton as Sophie, as Mme Crespin, Eric Seigne as Jacky, Pierre-François Dumeniaux as Nadeau, Anna Mihalcea as Patricia, as Capitaine Dutreix, as Lieutenant José Laval, Isolde Barth as Rita, Mazen Kiwan as Pablo, Chantal Banlier as la caissière épicerie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.