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Wednesday
May 22 2019

Soundtracking: Bridesmaids

byChris Feil

"Hold On"by Wilson Phillips endsBridesmaidson a high note,both soaring the film to its crowd-pleasing crest and underlining the emotional depths of what we've just watched.Yes it's a film about women leaning on eachother for support in crucial moments,but it's also about the journey out of isolation.But even with all of the pathos,it's still an upbeat experience.You couldn't pin a more appropriate song on the feeling that the film conjures,or for its central journey.

It's also exactly right that the film ends in a singalong.Kristen Wiig's Annie spends the film as an outsider to the ensemble - she's our hero who just can't get her shit together in the eyes of the group,though the audience sees the truth of her depression.Mental health struggles are difficult to understand to outside perspectives (especially those uninvested),and the way it manifests in action can sometimes tell a different story.Annie is ultimately a stand-in for whomever "Hold On"is singing to,with the finale uplifting for how it represents the group supporting her,but even more triumphant for how Annie is finally singing the song's message to herself.

The film achieves a nuanced and important balance between the internal and communal,giving Annie a quiet moment to Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag".It's a more isolative and interior song,played as Annie is alone in her feelings.Apple's song paints a character passive to her own circumstance,and here Annie still feels similarly out of control to what happens to her.The song possesses perhaps a feigned optimism and provides a symbol representing the pain at the heart of the song.For Annie,her symbol is the tomb of her closed,defiled cake shop and,even more sadly,her friendship with Maya Rudolph's Lillian blowing away in the breeze.

By the time we reach the Wilson Phillips closer,the immediate problems in the road for Annie get a quick patch,but we sense that she is more prepared for the longer mending to be done.

"Hold On"exists as an uplifting anthem to aid listeners coping with suicidal thoughts.While Annie's depression is never shown to this more dire circumstances,the film does find at the brink of a certain kind of collapse.What makes the song such a perfect choice,aside from its crowd-rousing ability to make us all sing along,is that it reflects where Annie is at in her mental health journey at the close of the film.The song's promise of brighter days found through determination is a message that Annie is finally ready for.She's on a hopeful upswing,finally accepting that struggle and pain can be temporary,even if their stay was an extended one.

But,most importantly,she's not entirely alone.Even the most personal of struggles can be overcome with a felt sense of community,and "Hold On"exists as a pop titan to destroy the walls of loneliness.While it andBridesmaidsmay have been foolishly initially approached as girl power disposables by cynical male audiences,this finale shows how the power of both hold so much more.

All Soundtracking installments can be foundhere!

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Reader Comments (4)

I love this movie so much.The use of "Hold On"could not have been more appropriate or perfect for the finale.Excellent piece as usual,Chris Feil!

May 22,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Should have won 12 Oscars.亚博主页

May 22,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

That look Lillian gives to Annie before getting into the car,ma gawd—it gets me every time.Bravo.

May 22,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I agree.They couldn't have picked a more perfect song that demonstrates Annie's arc more than "Hold On."

May 23,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

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