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Page 9 of 47

FILM 10 Issue 54 / 2013 Bachelorette Somewhere within Headland's script is a tale of female friendship enduring the insecurities left behind by their formative years. The primary concern, however, is to spin a lean, cocaine-fueled yarn, with plenty of snide quips and romantic revelations along the way. August 16th Dunst is Regan, a tightly-wound, vipertongued demon who "did everything right", yet must still look on as her chirpy chum Becky (a enjoyably 'straight' Rebel Wilson) is the first of her high school clique to get married. Punctual and pedantic, she has been entrusted with pulling together every facet of Becky's wedding to the handsome Dale (Hayes MacArthur), while coarse cynic Gena (Caplan) and dizzy, free-wheeling nymph Katie (Fischer) walk on some serious eggshells the night before the big day. One particularly painful scene sees a surprise lap dance turn ugly, when a stripper unwittingly harks back to Becky's high school days. With the bachelorette party coming to a swift end, the three remaining friends drink some champagne, do some coke and tear Becky's dress in half while trying to prove that two people can fit in it. And so begins their late night dash around New York city. The scenario promises laughs, and Headland certainly has a flair for one liners and witty perceptions (brace yourself for Gena's 'intriguing' take on the subject of blowjobs), but her direction is surprisingly modest and understated – Bridesmaids 2.0 it is not. Which is fine, as Bachelorette forges its own path. It's not afraid to get gritty – there are strong references to date rape and depression – but almost always remains dignified. Part of this can be attributed to Dunst's stellar performance. Regan is shallow, self-centred and incredibly bitter for her age. But Dunst embraces it all, finding a refreshing sense of power in a potentially thankless 'bitch role', especially in her altercations with Dale's bachelor party buddies, led by the obnoxious but sexy Trevor (James Marsden). While some may come away frustrated by the lack of redemption, there's something to admire in Headland's warts-and-all approach.

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