Hysterically funny and heartfelt, Bridesmaids is the best chick flick in years and marks a triumph for co-writer and star Kristen Wiig.

Bridesmaids - Kristen Wiig & Rose Byrne

A veteran of US TV comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live, Kristen Wiig has popped up on the big screen in supporting roles in such films as Adventureland and Paul. Now she takes centre stage as the co-writer and star of the best chick flick to appear in years – the hysterically funny but heartfelt Bridesmaids.

Wiig’s thirtysomething single girl Annie 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 increasingly 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.

Look out for supporting roles from British TV stars Matt Lucas, as Annie’s ghastly flatmate, and Chris O’Dowd, as the charming traffic cop who tries to woo her. But it is Melissa McCarthy who very nearly runs away with the film with her hilarious, larger-than-life turn as bluff, butch, sexually-voracious bridesmaid Megan.

On general release from 24th June.