In Praise of Judd Apatow

Just saw Bridesmaids.

I’m not the target market here and the title really made me reluctant but the 90% rotten tomatoes rating did the trick.

It was hilarious.

And I was thoroughly unsurprised to see a producer credit for Judd Apatow at the end; everything about the movie fit his style. The guy owns the heartfelt comedy genre and, even putting aside the fact that he’s allied with all the blue-chip comedy names around, it’s always surprising when someone puts together a movie like his but not with him.

Take The Hangover. A very good, very funny movie. I found it a bit of a strange experience, though, because I’d almost been conditioned to expect that kind of plot to be done in Apatow’s style. I get the same feeling when I watch animated movies not made by Pixar. Good? Sure, often enough.

But it’s like drinking Pepsi when you were expecting Coke. It takes you a second before you realize something’s different, then you can’t get it out of your head. It also takes you a minute to get passed that (if you can) and decide whether you like it better.

Maybe you don’t like it better, but let’s face it, if you like one, you are probably going to think the other is perfectly suitable (brand loyalty aside, since I know people can be ridiculous about these things).

Anyway, I think Apatow probably kicked himself when he saw someone else make a good movie about a bachelor party in Vegas. It’s a plot he would definitely have done eventually. And I don’t know if the world really works like this, but Bridesmaids almost feels like Apatow’s response to The Hangover.

I certainly identify more with the guys in the Hangover, but I probably laughed more in Bridesmaids.

Point, Apatow.

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