Is ‘Bridesmaids’ Really The Female Version Of ‘The Hangover’?

As soon as trailers for the new comedy “Bridesmaids” (in theaters this Friday) hit, the first thing you heard — well, after the bouts of laughter had subsided — was talk about how it looked like “the female version of ’The Hangover.'”

Sure, on the surface, there are similar elements (a group of oddballs get together in preparation for a wedding, Vegas is involved, things go terribly awry), but there’s way more to “Bridesmaids” than meets the eye — and don’t let those previews with the Pink song fool you, this is no run-of-the-mill chick flick! Walk down the aisle with us as we compare and contrast the two gut-busting comedies.

The Characters
While both films thrive off their talented ensembles, “Bridesmaids” surrounds a main character, whereas “The Hangover” is primarily about the wolf pack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha). The former is all about Annie (Kristen Wiig), a thirty-something whose career and love life has fallen apart just as her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) has gotten engaged and asks her to be her Maid-of-Honor. She’s soon joined by an eclectic bridal party which includes the groom’s outgoing, Air Marshall enthusiast sister Megan (Melissa McCarthy in a star-making role) and an overeager trophy wife named Helen (Rose Byrne). McCarthy and Galifianakis will likely draw the most comparisons from viewers and critics as both of their characters are wild card loners who deeply treasure their new found friendships. Otherwise, there’s not many similarities to be found between these two group of friends, other than they both make you crack up at their outrageous circumstances.

Musical Numbers
“The Hangover” gave moviegoers in 2009 not one but two memorable original songs from “Stu’s Song,” Helms’ character’s piano-accompanied opus about tiger dreams and their missing pal Doug, to Alan’s ode to the wolf pack “Three Best Friends.” While “Bridesmaids” doesn’t have any original tunes to its credit, it does have the single greatest musical moment set to Wilson Phillips’ 80’s classic “Break Free” ever.

Gag Humor
Hang on to your barf bags, readers. Not only is Paul Feig’s “Bridesmaids” raunchier than Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover,” it’s got toilet humor that can rival even the most guy-centric comedy classics. Granted, “The Hangover” certainly had its moments that made you check your gag reflexes (the photo montage during the credits certainly springs to mind), but the ladies of “Bridesmaids” (including co-stars Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey) let it all hang out in a scene at a bridal shop where they simultaneously get struck with a nasty bout of food poisoning. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry or run for the bathroom yourself.

Emotional Cores
The guys of “The Hangover” had a pretty tight bond. Not only did they strongly adhere by the bro code (what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas) but they took care of each other. The whole movie is, quite literally, about leaving no man behind. But, whereas guy friendships are seemingly less complex and with more digs at one another, the best gal friends of “Bridesmaids” go through a tumultuous time together. Their decades-long bond is tested when marriage and new friends come into the picture. There’s certainly more emotional moments in “Bridesmaids” but it doesn’t veer into overly sentimental. Instead, it’s just a smart and realistic portrayal of female friendships.

Jon Hamm Doing It
We’ve scoured every scene and DVD extra of “The Hangover” and there’s absolutely no trace of Jon Hamm doing it anywhere in that movie. “Bridesmaids,” however? The “Mad Men” star — who plays Wiig’s scummy friend with benefits Ted — is getting it on within the first 30 seconds! Advantage: “Bridesmaids”!

Will you see “Bridesmaids” this weekend? How do you think it will stand up against “The Hangover”? Let us know in the comments section below and on Twitter!