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

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

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.