Bridesmaids: The Pursuit of Happiness, Essay Example

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In 2011’s Bridesmaids, both the comedy and the dramatic moments are fueled by the collision of several different pursuits of happiness.  What occurs, in fact, is that layers are revealed, as the central characters learn to discover elements of sacrifice needed to attain any real satisfaction.  That these characters are women, moreover, says a great deal about unchanging ideas of what happiness translates to for women, which rely on their social arenas.

Annie, the main protagonist, seems miserable at first because two dreams have been thwarted.  Her cake-baking business, which is presented as the representation of her creative passion and spirit, has failed.  Then, she is locked in a purely sexual relationship she desperately seeks to expand into something more meaningful, and at the same time she must assist in the joy of her best friend’s wedding.  When a decent and caring man enters the scene, she is so defeated by these circumstances of her life that she refuses to pursue the obvious hope of happiness here, and this may point to a female impulse to embrace being a victim.  It certainly does in this character’s case, as she relentlessly both chases after the uncaring sex partner and refuses to work on the skill she loves.

The twist arrives in the form of Annie’s eventually noting that she is not alone in feeling incapable of gaining happiness, or undeserving of it.  The seemingly happy women around her reveal various kinds of misery, culminating in the deep panic expressed by the engaged best friend.   Bridesmaids is not a great film, and it uncomfortably loses its footing between farce and serious character development, but the point it wishes to make is valid.  Namely, women tend to equate happiness with validation from their peers, much as American men judge their success by other men’s accomplishments.  The ending attempts to present an evolved Annie, ready to embrace a good man, her talent, and happiness, but the reality is that she required the knowledge that other women were in difficulty before this could occur.

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