With the release of Bridesmaids came a new wave of comedy. Raunchy and female-driven, this film is thus far the only of producer Judd Apatow’s films to be nominated for Academy Awards. From its memorable scenes to outrageous characters, there’s plenty about the Bridesmaids script that just sticks. Let’s work our way through the plot, characters, quotes, and more to understand how comedy really works.
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Bridesmaids Script PDF Download
Click to view and download the entire Bridesmaids script PDF below.
WHO WROTE Bridesmaids SCRIPT?
Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Annie Mumolo is a screenwriter and actress best known for Bridesmaids and Joy. She is an alum of The Groundlings and has numerous television credits including Modern Family, This is 40*, Curious George, and Two and a Half Men. In 2012, she and Kristen Wiig were nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Bridesmaids.
Kristen Wiig is an actress, comedian, and screenwriter. She is an alum of The Groundlings (where she met Mumolo) and Saturday Night Live. Most recently, she’s appeared in Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, Big Mouth, and Wonder Woman 1984. She and Mumolo also wrote and starred in Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar. Bridesmaids was her first lead role.
STRUCTURE OF Bridesmaids SCREENPLAY
Here is the story structure for Bridesmaids screenplay:
We meet Annie, and through a conversation with Lillian, we learn she recently lost her bakery and relationship.
Lillian gets engaged and asks Annie to be her Maid of Honor.
Plot Point One
Lillian introduces Annie to her friend Helen, and an immediate rivalry is born.
Annie and Helen compete for Lillian’s attention and praise. Annie also meets Rhodes, a police officer who shows romantic interest in her. Most importantly, on the bridal party’s flight to Las Vegas, Helen gives Annie a sleeping pill with alcohol that leads to Annie’s drunken rant and meltdown.
Lillian tells Annie that Helen should be her new Maid of Honor.
Plot Point Two
Annie and Rhodes sleep together.
Annie pushes Rhodes away, is fired from her job, and is forced out of her apartment. She then moves in with her mom.
Annie attends Lillian’s bridal shower. Helen gifts Lillian a trip to Paris, Annie starts a huge fight with Lillian, and Lillian uninvites Annie to her wedding.
Annie and Lillian apologize to each other, and Annie attends Lillian’s wedding, patching things up with both Lillian and Helen.
Bridesmaids Script Takeaway #1
Bridesmaids and building tension
Bridesmaids is as riotous and quotable as any other raunchy comedy. What Bridesmaids specifically has to offer is sharp situational humor with build-up. This allows for not just funny lines, but hilarious, informative scenes. Scenes that make us laugh and also progress the plot at the same time.
To breakdown these scenes, we imported the Bridesmaids script into StudioBinder's screenwriting software. Click the image below to read the entire scene. Let’s take a look at one scene in particular. After Annie and Helen meet, there is instant tension between them. But no pressure is quite as concrete as when it comes time for the engagement party toasts.
Something striking about his scene is the escalation of the Annie-Helen rivalry. What begins as toasts given by two near strangers quickly becomes a spectacle of absurdity between enemies. But this spectacle is just as useful as it is entertaining.
Through Annie and Helen’s actions (down to their physical responses), we learn about our desperate protagonist and our confident antagonist. We see them as they normally are in how they deliver their first toasts, and then who they become as they prioritize “winning” over Lillian.
We also get exposition of both friendships and progression of the new conflict through a few key phrases:
- “I still need my drunken Saturday nights at Rockin’ Sushi!” - Helen
- “Speaking of Consuelo, Lillian and I took Spanish together in school.” – Annie
- “Let me just say, Lillian: you are my best friend.” – Helen
- "Thank you for carefully selecting me as your maid of honor. I know you had some other choices.” - Annie
Wiig and Mumolo give both characters tactics (one-upping each other with personal anecdotes) to set up what is imperative to any good script, comedy or not: tension. Annie and Helen are active characters who make concrete decisions, thereby solidifying what they want (being Lillian’s best friend) and what they will do to get it.
Bridesmaids Script Takeaway #2
Bridesmaids quotes and dialogue
A number of crude comedies hit their stride using “joke” dialogue. Characters comment on another’s looks, an ensemble cast gangs up on each other and riffs back and forth, and so on. Bridesmaids’s dialogue, however, is a bit more concise, finding success in situational comedy and brief, witty, character-driven lines.
When reading the opening sequence of the script, there is a foundational sense of the tone, protagonist, and protagonist’s outlook. This is established using mostly curt dialogue between Annie and Ted, and Annie’s attempt to leave Ted’s home. Let's read the scene as it was written.
Through honest and yes, even perhaps silly dialogue in the opening scene, the bar for ridiculousness is set from the get-go, as if to say, “this is the kind of movie you are about to see.” Of course, the performances are what really sell the dialogue. Watch the scene below.
Annie’s curt dialogue in the throes of passion, however, directly contradicts her speech pattern when she becomes uncomfortable around Ted. Compare Annie’s short lines on page one, versus her rambling on page 3, for example.
In doing so, the writers teach us how Annie “works.” She craves more affection from Ted, but is equally if not more so desperate to seem unfazed by his lack of romantic interest. When she feels like herself, she says what she means. When she feels the need to impress or do right by others, she rambles as if to cover her own tracks.
As Annie leaves Ted’s home, the writers choose to forgo dialogue completely, again proving that sometimes less is more.
Bridesmaids Script Takeaway #3
Bridesmaids Plot A vs. Plot B
Annie Walker juggles (metaphorically) a lot in this script. With breezy, efficient exposition, the writers mostly present her A plot: she and Lillian are best friends. Sprinkled in are some more informational tidbits. Annie lost her job and boyfriend when her bakery went under, she spends time with a guy that doesn’t really care about her, and she lives with two roommates who drive her crazy.
As Annie’s conflict really begins (at the engagement party toast-off), it seems like Annie’s life is about to get even more hopeless. That is until Annie meets Rhodes. Enter Plot B.
The importance of Plot B here is that Annie has something to keep her moving, to inspire her to be better. She genuinely wants to continue being Lillian’s best friend and fears that the friendship is threatened. And then things look up when she mets someone who believes in her when she isn’t pretending to be something she’s not.
It’s well-understood from Annie’s first interaction with Rhodes that he is a kind person who has nothing against her (other than her bad driving and broken taillight).
Annie is therefore not alone, and as she sees potential for her future, so does the reader/audience. The intersection of failure in Plot A and hope in Plot B makes the audience root for Annie as a protagonist even more, locking us completely into the story and Annie’s journey.
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Bridesmaids is a smart comedy just as much as it is an audacious one. If you want to continue reading screenplays, we have similar titles like Mean Girls, Superbad, and Step Brothers in our screenplay database. Browse and download PDFs for all of our scripts as you read, write and practice your craft to become the next great screenwriter.