'Bridesmaids' was presented as a work-in-progress; director Paul Feig prefaced the screening by explaining that, short of color timing, proper credits and a missing sound effect, the cut shown at SXSW would very much resemble the theatrical version, opening May 13.

The laziest comparisons will lump 'Bridesmaids' in with the recently rowdy likes of 'The Hangover,' but it deserves to sit on the same shelf as '9 to 5' and any other comedy that allows a capable female ensemble to take the reins without being stifled by rom-com routine (which isn't entirely absent here).

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a former business owner now biting her tongue, barely, at her jeweler's job as the happy couples come in; contending with inconsiderate sibling roommates (Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson); and settling for being the impersonal hump-buddy of a rich tool (Jon Hamm). She's unhappy at work, unhappy at home, and now left in the lurch when her best friend (Maya Rudolph) announces her engagement and effectively pits Annie against Helen (Rose Byrne) for maid-of-honor duties.