Surveying the crowd at an 8:30 a.m. Tuesday showing of her film "Bachelorette" at the MARC Theater (basically Park City's racquet club), writer-director Leslye Headland had one question.
"What are you all doing here?"
Because Headland's characters, three rude and debauched bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher) sure wouldn't be anywhere that early in the morning. And it's doubtful they'd ever set foot in an athletic club.
Anyone who thought "Bachelorette" would be a "Bridesmaids" also-ran was quickly disabused of that idea; it's much filthier and meaner, with three lead characters who the audience is openly encouraged to dislike. But it's also really funny — being that close to such horrible behavior is almost a contact high — and in the end, darned if Headland doesn't pull the audience around to kind of root for them.
The three childhood friends are brought together for the wedding of a mutual friend Becky (Rebel Wilson) who was always the unpopular one of their high school clique. Regan (Dunst) is the righteous ice queen who seems permanently angry at the world, Gena (Caplan) lives her life as one extended boozy party, and Katie (Fisher) is a ditzy soul who wears her ignorance proudly.
When the trio accidentally rip Becky's $15,000 wedding gown, they embark on an all-night escapade to rectify matters that somehow involves cocaine, a strip club, and various body fluids. Beneath the mayhem, Headland smartly captures the rivalry that underlies a lot of friendships. And for all those male comedians and writers who still say that women can't be as funny as men, "Bachelorette" has a punch in the kidneys for you.
Headland was doing interviews for the movie and couldn't stay for a Q&A. But she did say that she was nervous that she wouldn't be able to attract known actors like Dunst to play such unlikable parts.
"Kirsten sat down across the table from me, and the first thing she said was, ‘I love her,'" Headland said. "I was like, ‘Yes!'"