Oscars 2012: Why ‘Bridesmaids’ Deserved A Best Picture Nod

Nine films are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, begging the question: who deserved a tenth spot on that list? Oscars 2012: 10 Spot answers that question, as the MTV Movies team highlights some of 2011’s greatest films and argues why they deserved a nod as the tenth Best Picture nominee.

If there’s a movie that made you laugh harder and more consistently in 2011 than “Bridesmaids,” I’d certainly love to hear about it. For my money, no such film exists: the Kristen Wiig comedy was an instant classic with all the guffaws and gross-out jokes seen in the “Hangover” movies, but with considerably less bro-humor and a whole lot more brains.

For the few of you out there who haven’t seen “Bridesmaids,” a quick primer: Wiig plays Annie, a down-on-her-luck baker-sans-bakery who finds her loneliness heightened by the upcoming marriage of her lifelong best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). As Lillian’s maid of honor, Annie dances around her own depression by stumbling in the faces of the rest of the bridesmaids: waspy control-freak Helen (Rose Byrne), cynical mom Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), doe-eyed newlywed Becca (Ellie Kemper) and the impossibly filthy Megan (Melissa McCarthy). Hilarity, heartbreak and other hijinks ensue.

“Bridesmaids” isn’t entirely without Oscar support this year. The film snagged a nod for Best Original Screenplay, and to the surprise of nobody, McCarthy is up for Best Supporting Actress. Her turn as Megan stands out to me as the funniest performance of 2011, if not necessarily the deepest one of the year. Comparing McCarthy’s Megan to “Hangover” man-child Zach Galifianakis’ Allen doesn’t do the role justice: both are unhinged, thoroughly ridiculous human beings, but where Allen is a semi-psychotic dimwit with a big heart, Megan has enough brains to keep up with her bananas.

But McCarthy isn’t the only reason why “Bridesmaids” works so well. The film’s biggest laughs come from her, sure, but it’s the group chemistry of Lillian’s bridesmaids and the emotional downward spiral of Annie that keep things moving forward at such an amazing pace. Is it groundbreaking dramatic material? Perhaps not, but it does put you through your paces with a fantastic lead character in Wiig. Her identity crisis is no less fascinating to me than Billy Beane’s struggle in “Moneyball,” or Gil Pender’s time-traveling escapades in “Midnight in Paris.” Honestly, if it were me, I’d put “Bridesmaids” through to the top nine over either one of those films.

Perhaps “Bridesmaids” is just too much funny, not enough sappy, for Oscar voters to get behind in a big way. Comedies at the Oscars are usually the saddest ones of all, as Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly once happily pointed out. But with only nine films nominated and a tenth spot available, I see no reason why Oscar couldn’t have broken their usual comedy bias with a movie as touching, deserving and — yes — disgusting as “Bridesmaids.”

Which 2011 film deserved a spot as a Best Picture nominee? Tell us in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter!