Awards 2012: Making a Case For Kristen Wiig


Kristen Wiig Working Out BridesmaidsI’m sorely tempted to make a case for the fabulous Miss Kristen Wiig by simply posting a series of clips from Bridesmaids, because in my mind it should be fairly obvious that she deserves an award. The best comedy of the year not only showcased Wiig’s talent – which has been a bit dwarfed by the repetitive sketches on SNL – but it lays a great deal of its success on her tiny little shoulders.

Wiig stars as Annie, a former bakery owner who lost her boyfriend, her business and her dignity just before finding out that her best friend is going in the opposite direction: up. As she struggles with her BFF’s new world of money and ridiculously fabulous friends (enter Rose Byrne’s hilarious, prissy character and foil to Annie), Annie unravels more and more, making for a heartbreaking, yet hilarious journey that most Average Janes can relate to in more than one way.

But there’s a little something extra that takes Wiig’s performance from relatable to laugh-out-loud funny. We’ve all seen the clip of Annie flopping around on the plane singing “I’m ready to paaaarty,” but it’s more than that. It’s the scenes where she improvises little comedy bits that aren’t ladylike, but are instead things we all do or say when it’s just us girls – and not in a Sex and The City way. Instead of talking about a guy’s…girth, like a Samantha or even a Carrie Bradshaw would, we get Wiig poking her face out and imitating the appendage itself. That’s my type of “what women really talk about” kind of comedy.

Then there are the more subtle bits of hilarity. While we’ve come to appreciate Wiig’s wild facial contortions, sometimes it’s the quieter expressions that really do it for me, like the way she rolls her eyes or simply stares intently at Maya Rudolph’s character in that amazing engagement party scene. In doing “nothing,” Wiig conveys all the sarcasm in the world. In doing “nothing,” Wiig adds such hilarious punctuation to that scene that I practically shot Diet Dr. Pepper out of my nose the first time I saw it.

Of course, there’s the final point that Wiig’s Golden Globe nomination for Bridesmaids, by association, rewards the film’s incredible female ensemble and that a win for her could be a win for them all. I don’t often like to boil an award down to this result, but in the case of Bridesmaids, I think it’s warranted. Wiig does lead the crew, but she leads a crew of gut-bustingly hilarious women. Melissa McCarthy’s fearless portrayal of the terrifying sister of the groom; Rose Byrne’s flawless depiction of the over-privileged brat every woman loves to hate; Wendi McLendon-Covey’s horny housewife; Ellie Kemper’s Disney fanatic; and Maya Rudolph’s amazing best friend turned Bridezilla make for one of the most well-assembled comedy teams I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching in a film. And a win for Wiig is a vote of confidence for the ensemble as a whole, because as great as she is in the film, she couldn’t be great without her amazing cast of supporting actresses.

I may have promptly placed Wiig in my comedy heroine category alongside Tina Fey and Amy Poehler upon leaving the theater the first time I saw Bridesmaids, but that’s not something Wiig can display proudly on her mantle – nor would she really want to. Let’s give her something shiny and concrete to represent her awesomeness – please? Besides, if my endorsement isn’t enough, keep in mind that it would probably make the impossibly handsome Jon Hamm a very happy camper.

Are you obsessed with Wiig’s performance too? Or do you think someone else should win instead? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter! (@KelseaStahler)