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Hysterically funny and heartfelt, Bridesmaids is the best chick flick in years. Co-writer Kristen Wiig stars as thirtysomething single girl Annie, who goes into a neurotic tailspin after she is asked to be the maid of honour at the wedding of her childhood best friend (Maya Rudolph).

Feeling outclassed by rich bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne from Damages), Annie becomes ludicrously competitive – with farcical consequences. Co-produced by Knocked Up director Judd Apatow, the film strives a little too hard in places to show that women can outdo men when it comes to outrageous gross-out comedy – most notably when food poisoning strikes during a dress fitting in a snooty bridal boutique – but underpinning the laughs is genuine insight into what makes female friendships tick. There are supporting roles for Matt Lucas and Chris O’Dowd, but it is Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy who very nearly runs away with the film as the sexually voracious bridesmaid Megan.

Yet what made the film special was the way the laughs went hand in hand with real insight into what make female friendships tick.