Raunchy is BIG this summer -- The Hangover 2 and Bridesmaids

Look what you've started Judd. I'm of course referring to Judd Apatow a filmmaker/producer who first burst out into the scene with 2005's The 40 Year Old Virgin and consequently launched a plethora of smart, adult raunchiness to mainstream theatres (Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express). In the producers chair for this summers' Bridesmaids, Apatow launches a film that has been dubbed "The Hangover with women" uh oh here come the naysayers. The problem with comparing The Hangover to an Apatow movie is the fact that there really is no comparison. Apatow produced or directed films have a knack for character development and story that the guys at The Hangover strive for. In Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig's Annie lives a life of formidable singleness that as almost become a struggle for her to get out, things get worse when her best friend played by the great Maya Rudolph gets engaged. It's a setup that lets the many talented actresses on screen rip it out and deal with their own femininity.

Compare that to The Hangover 2, Todd Phillips' sequel to his 2008 hit and a film that can't help but bring out the raunchiness in full display. There's dick jokes, drugs, sex and an unusual high amount of racism to boot. Is it funny? at times it is but it's nowhere near as substantial as Bridesmaids which tries to bring humane femininity to a multiplex lacking it. Of course there's pussy jokes too and a hilariously disgusting wedding dress sequence but what The Hangover lacks in human emotions Bridesmaids more than makes up for it in its witty, keenly written script by Wiig and Annie Mumolo. Phillips' Hangover sequel has a sense of deja-vu that ultimately relegates it to cliches, whereas Bridesmaids has a contemporary freshness that brings it all the way home. No wonder it's made more than 85 million dollars so far at the box office and has been a critics darling since its initial release more than 3 weeks ago.

Apatow has started a trend since The 40 Year Old Virgin's release more than 6 years ago. It seems like Hollywood got a wake up call and decided to make adult oriented comedies that had emotion and substance in their scripts. Problem is not everybody can be Judd Apatow and many of these movies forgot rule # 1 in an Apatow movie; Story comes first. The Hangover 2 seems to have forgotten that and decides to concentrate on a sketched out screenplay that sadly resembles the first one, however the freshness isn't there and is replaced by the same old same old. In trying to please the masses director Todd Phillips and his team of writers have struck out and sunk themselves in a pool of no inspiration. If this on makes a lot of money -and I'm sure it will- we'll have to endure another one of these sequels. Better luck next time.

Bridesmaids (R) ★★★
The Hangover 2 (R) ★★½