Despite having much to do this past weekend between packing for my two-week trip back home to my beloved Egypt, laundry, cleaning, and last minute gift shopping, I carved out two hours on Saturday to see "This is The End". I confess that I had planned to see the apocalypse flick the moment I saw a teaser last December. Even with "The Man of Steel" being released on the same weekend, it was no contest. Seth Rogen and clan won hands down. Although much was left undone, I am happy that I chose to see This is The End. I was in need of a good laugh. The movie delivers on the comedy with a side of nostalgia (at least for me).
On Sunday, as I was sitting on a park bench, sipping my coffee and contemplating nothing, I realized that This is The End is Bridesmaids on testosterone. I don't suppose Rogen and Goldberg - who co-wrote and directed This is The End - realized the parallels between the two films. If they did, I guess they didn't expect any audience crossover. Maybe I simply envisioned these similarities, nevertheless below is my rational, and beware they include spoilers for both flicks:
- This is The End is marketed as an apocalypse action comedy, yet the foundation of conflict is based on Seth and Jay's deteriorating relationship due to Seth's ascension into the Hollywood crowd while Jay remains in their Canadian homeland. At the end their friendship is reshaped and reinstated by the apocalyptic events. Similarly, Bridesmaids was marketed as a raunchy female driven comedy in which Kristen Wiig's relationship with her childhood best-friend Maya Rudolph is crumbling as Maya's status is upgraded to engaged/ married woman while Kristen remains in the slums of singlehood. The relationship is further strained then strengthen during the planning of an apocalyptic wedding.
- Further driving a wedge between the two friends is a pretentious 3rd party trying to encroach themselves onto the more affluent friend and edging out the other. At the end, this fraud is led to show their true colors and face an ill fated doom. The ever delectable James Franco is the pretentious artsy completely useless actor in This is The End. He keeps a food stash and monopolizes a Milky Way bar. At the end, Franco's soul is not redeemed but left to be ravished by Danny Mcbride and Channing Tatum. In Bridesmaids, Rose Byrne imposes on Maya's wedding preparations, pushing Wiig to the sidelines, only to fail in keeping the bride happy. At the end she resorts to Wiig to bring stability to the wedding. Coincidentally, Franco and Byrne co-stared together in "Dead Girl"
- At the beginning of This is the End, Seth and Jay bond over their favorite pass time, smoking weed. While Maya and Wiig engage in pastry consumption, as carbohydrates is women's weed. We love indulging in carbs although we know that no good can come of this gratification. Let's face it, Gluten is bad for you !
- Jonah Hill and Ellie Kemper are the too goody two shoes with something sinister simmering under the lid. Danny Mcbride and Wendi Mclendon-Covery are the foul mouths we love to hate. Craig Robinson and Melissa McCarthy are the misunderstood sweet hearts who hide a gooey center under a hard-shell facade, not unlike a Milky Way.
- Bathroom humor in Bridesmaids vs. Male Masturbation humor in This is The End.
- A wedding gone wrong is a female version of an apocalypse. A wedding done right is a female version of heaven.
- Both movies end with a scenic dance and sing along to a 90s hit with guest appearances from the bands. Perfectly aligned, the all girl band Wilson Philips belt out "Hold On" in Bridesmaids, while boy band Backstreet Boys are summoned to heaven with a Everybody prelude in This is The End. Sadly, I know the lyric to both songs, and thus the nostalgia. (Why did it say NKOTB rule on the chalk board ?)
In summation, This is The End is nothing more than a male version of Bridesmaids. That being said, I must confess that I prefer Seth Rogen over Kristen Wiig. I paid to watch This is The End, yet opted to catch Bridesmaids on cable. I laughed harder and thoroughly enjoyed This is The End. Not sure if this speaks more to the quality of both movies or my skewed personality. However, when the end is here, whether doomsday or wedding day, I wouldn't mind having James Franco by my side for either.