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Originally published Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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'Bachelorette' tries to out-party 'Bridesmaids'

A movie review of "Bachelorette," a raunchy comedy that tries to out-Bridesmaid "Bridesmaids." It stars Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson as the bride-to-be.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Movie review 2 stars

'Bachelorette,' with Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Adam Scott. Written and directed by Leslye Headland. 91 minutes. Rated R for sexual content, pervasive language and drug use. Pacific Place, Southcenter 16.

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You could, if you wanted, sit in a dark theater and simply check off the similarities between the blockbuster "Bridesmaids" and this fall's "Bridesmaids" knockoff, titled "Bachelorette."

Female bodily function jokes? Check. Inappropriate come-ons on an airline flight? Check. Crass, crude and fearlessly frank talk about sex, once reserved for the fraternity house? Check. Wedding-dress disasters? Check-eroonie.

"My So-Called Life" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" references, singing along with the overused "I'm Gonna Be 500 Miles"? Uh, no.

Enthusiastic cocaine snorting, Xanax and alcohol abuse, abortion jokes ... wait, say what?

Writer-director Leslye Headland aimed for "Bachelorette" to out-Bridesmaid "Bridesmaids." She's taken an equally accomplished cast and hurled them at the same heartbreak, fiascoes and emotionally overwrought pathos of an impending wedding, filled their dialogue with F-bombs and amped up their behavior on coke — not the diet kind either.

And what she's given us is an "Oh no they DIDN'T" romp that never quite romps, a teary-eyed string of taking-stock moments without tears, and a pretty serious squandering of major-league movie talent.

The four "B-Faces" have reunited because one of their number is winning that race to the altar, 13 years after graduation

Kirsten Dunst is icy, cool and bitter as Regan, the 30-something, hyper-organized professional woman, at a loss as to why she hasn't been the first in her quartet of high-school pals to marry. That the dizzy, loose Katie (Isla Fisher) is still single, THAT she understands. Gena (a fierce Lizzy Caplan) has been living a drug-and-booze-fueled nightmare since a romantic high-school trauma.

And Rebel Wilson, of "Bridesmaids," is to be the bride. One of the real rewards of the film is figuring out, eventually, what connected her to the others, how the plump girl nicknamed "Pig Face" got to hang with the hotties.

Regan is in the homestretch of snapping at one and all, organizing this fete as the maid of honor. But over a tiny window of time, the weekend of the wedding, we get to see much of her good work come undone.

It's part reunion movie, part wedding disaster — and both parts are filled with bridesmaids behaving badly.

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