You can’t call it a mixed marriage, exactly. But the union of like-minded souls behind the new “Bridesmaids” consists of two distinct parties, staring across the aisle from different positions in the movie-comedy hierarchy.

On one side: The extended moviemaking family of Judd Apatow, film comedy’s current King Midas. Beginning with 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” Apatow has put together a string of hits as a writer, director and producer that includes “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Talledega Nights,” “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Pineapple Express” and “Get Him to the Greek,” all featuring much of the same talent.

Apatow is one of the few Hollywood producers who has enough of a brand that he can use it in the advertising for his films. His formula, such as it is, involves men behaving badly.

On the other side of the aisle — let’s call it the bride’s — are the women. More specifically, “Saturday Night Live” women. More specifically still, Kristen Wiig, who has spent six years on the NBC show as a kind of utility infielder, creating oddball characters and doing the occasional extracurricular project, including vocal work on the likes of “Despicable Me,” “The Simpsons” and “How to Train Your Dragon” (and its upcoming sequel).

She has also appeared in four movies by Apatow, who has, in the past, cast his films via a rewards system of almost medieval disposition: Steve Carell, whom Apatow made a star, was at the center of “Virgin” and Seth Rogen was the sidekick; in “Knocked Up,” Rogen was the star and Jason Segel was the sidekick; in “Sarah Marshall,” Segel was the star and Russell Brand was the sort-of sidekick; in “Get Him to the Greek,” Brand was the center of attention, alongside Jonah Hill, who had already starred in “Superbad.”

Paul Rudd, who was in almost all these movies, didn’t get his starring roles until “I Love You, Man” and “Dinner for Schmucks,” which weren’t Apatow movies but might have been — especially considering their focus on emotionally hapless men and their inability to function as workable adults.

Such has been a key to Apatow’s success — almost any audience can feel good, watching these characters operate. And it’s no different in “Bridesmaids,” save for the sex of the principals: When the down-on-her-luck Annie (Wiig) is asked to be the maid of honor at the wedding of her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph, herself a 10-year “SNL” vet), she’s thrust into competition with Lillian’s other gal pal, Helen (Rose Byrne), who, unlike Annie, has the cash to give Lillian all the prenuptial cosseting Annie can’t.

Annie barely has a job, a home or a car and her pathetic attempts to compete with Helen on a financial level are doomed from the outset.

In the process, she sabotages what she and Lillian had to begin with, a friendship dating back to childhood. Enter the pathos.

If someone wanted to object — to “Bridesmaids,” not the wedding within it — they could do it on grounds of incest, even though that’s what Hollywood moviemaking is made of. Director Paul Feig, who’s an actor, too, directed “Arrested Development,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “The Office” and “Nurse Jackie”; Apatow was a producer on “Freaks and Geeks”; “Bridesmaids” co-star Ellie Kemper is from “The Office”; Wiig, as mentioned, has been in several Apatow productions.

With the exception of the “Fockers” chain, and the occasional rogue indie, there often seems to be no other comedy in the movie world except that produced by Apatow and/or the often hapless refugees of “SNL.”

Curiously, the downside of the “Knocked Up” school of hilarity has been the shrill-bordering-on-alien representation of women in these male-dominated comedies — even though “dominated” isn’t quite the word either: The child-men who populate these films can barely get out of their own way.

The films infantilize the male of the species while quite often casting the female as frightening, unapproachable, emasculating and emotionally remote.

What its makers clearly have in mind with “Bridesmaids” is the flip side of the same equation: Annie has a friends-with-benefits thing going on with a wealthy dork (an uncredited Jon Hamm); when she meets and beds the very likable Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), a local policeman, she subsequently rejects him out of fear and insecurity.

During the buildup to the wedding, Annie behaves in ways that are excruciatingly embarrassing, therein illustrating the core curriculum of the Apatow school of laughs.

Humiliation is no stranger to comedy, of course. What’s slapstick if not suffering? But it hasn’t always been at quite the expense of the hero. Or in this case, heroine.

Can women handle the success? “Bridesmaids” is going to be a huge hit, and not just because it’s about a wedding.

Genuine wit, gross-out jokes and easy sentimentality are all combined in a mix that won’t be a surprise to anyone, and might be a delight to some, especially since it’s now women who are wearing the pants. Or losing them.