My best friend is getting married this weekend and it’s the first time I’ve ever been in a wedding. Thankfully I’m just a bridesmaid and don’t have to worry about the hassle and honor of being the maid of honor. Even so, this week is full of celebrations and obligation that I simply wasn’t prepared for, wonderful and heartwarming as it all is. Many movies that center around weddings highlight these odd traditions and the overwhelming responsibilities of holding a wedding, and what wedding season can mean to single and married women alike. In honor of my best friend and all those tying the knot this wedding season, here are some of the best and wittiest wedding movies around.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
I actually kind of hate this movie because I don’t relate to it at all and the stereotypes involved are kind of cringeworthy. Julia Roberts plays yet another caricature of the modern woman, who spends the entire movie trying to sabotage her best friend’s wedding so that she can marry him instead. Like old fashioned logic dictates, you must be married by a certain age lest you become an undesirable old maid – and marrying is definitely the ultimate end game for women in all cases. I really just hate the desperation with which Roberts goes about undermining the love her best friend has for his fiancée. In the end, of course, she learns her lesson and just shuts up and supports her best friend in his happiness.
The Wedding Singer
True love isn’t always what you think it is, as Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore find out in one of the last good comedies Sandler made. While its a lesson in not pursuing destructive relationships and settling for second best, it’s also a beautiful love story about two friends who fall in love and the series of misadventures that finally bring them together. It’s an incredibly funny and sweet movie starring two people who share a natural chemistry and distinct quirkiness.
In & Out
People are sometimes pigeon-holed into a certain role or lifestyle, so much so that they often don’t realize they’re suppressing their natural desires. This is a movie about a teacher who is outed as gay by a former student during his Oscar speech and spends the rest of the movie questioning his sexuality before his impending wedding. Many of his friends just accept his stereotypically gay interests and mannerisms as part of who he is, without question or judgement. When he finally does realize he’s gay, many of those friends question themselves and their friendship with him, making everyone in the movie come to terms with their relationships. Of course, nothing has actually changed by the revelation, challenging the close-knit community to accept their friend for who he is.
The Philadelphia Story
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It challenges classist stereotypes and cultures while breaking down the lofty double-standards to which women are held. A high society woman (Katherine Hepburn) battles with her high ideals and upholding her reputation as journalists infiltrate her high class wedding. Her ex-husband (Cary Grant) subtly tries to sabotage her wedding while she slums it with the middle-class journalist Mike (James Stewart) and slowly comes to realize who she is beyond her class standing. It is a beautiful comedy with dynamic performances by everyone involved.
Father of the Bride
I haven’t seen the original Father of the Bride movie starring Spencer Tracy, but seeing how the remakes star Steve Martin and Martin Short, there’s a lot to love about them. These movies are more about a man coming to terms with growing older as his daughter comes into womanhood and giving her away to a husband more than it is about the wedding or the daughter. Steve Martin is always delightfully funny and surprisingly poignant in his dramatic acting, while Martin Short hams it up as the over-the-top European wedding planner. Anything with the both of them in it is automatically a must see.
You could probably call this the catalyst for the female-lead comedy revolution. Before this, there were very few female-lead comedies that women could remotely relate to – partly due to the heavy male influence and artistic involvement. While Bridesmaids is directed by Judd Apatow – commonly associated with bromance and stoner comedies – the script is written by Kristen Wiig and lead by a strong cast of female comedians. The movie started a revolution in female lead comedies, which has resulted in movies like the female buddy cop movie The Heat and the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters remake.