10 best things about Movie Weddings
Contrary to real life, there’s something for everyone at a film wedding. Craziness is guaranteed, you can fast forward the boring bits and the ceremony rarely last more than ten minutes maximum. Result! Weddings have been committed to celluloid in high and low brow fashion, so join us in this celebration of love, exhibitionism, intermingling diversity, and drunkenness! Here are the Top 10 best things about movie weddings.
#10 – Hilarious Priests
The humble (usually British) vicar gets a bit of a roasting in Hollywood weddings. Although Rowan Atkinson is fantastic as the fluffing bishop in Four Weddings and a Funeral, the prize for the best movie wedding cameo EVA goes to legendary funnyman Peter Cook. He is on screen for only a few minutes, yet manages to be one of the overriding memories from swashbuckling spectacle The Princess Bride. No-one can quite utter the word “Mawwaige” with such panache.
#9 – Sumptuous Settings
Screen weddings allow us to visualise an event on an epic scale (like in The Wedding Planner where the bride and groom decide not to get married and simply walk away from their thousand guests, as if!) not found in real life. In one of the most successful films ever made (*weeps at the thought*) Mammia Mia, Meryl Streep spends a fair bit of time running around in dungarees banging on about how poor she is, yet she still manages to hold a gargantuan wedding bash on a stunning Greek island. But the wedding we’d most like to attend is the one in Jonathan Demme’s family melodrama Rachel Getting Married. Anne Hathaway is flawless as the alcoholic bridesmaid from hell, attending a ceremony and party at her family home which seamlessly blends cross-cultural traditions, reggae music and Brazilian dancing girls.
#8 – Julia Roberts at her best
Giving a whole section to Julia Roberts seems a little bit indulgent, but her appearance really does make for a good wedding movie. Roberts has played the blushing bride more times than most and gives excellent bridal, from the tear-stained Shelby in Steel Magnolias to playing impressively against type as the embittered ditched bridesmaid in My Best Friend’s Wedding. And who else can say they’ve gotten married a staggering 5 times in one film (The Runaway Bride)? Kate Hudson is desperately trying to steal the Hollywood bridal tiara, but can she ride a horse whilst wearing a humongous wedding gown? We think not.
#7 – Bad Bridal Behaviour
The problem with weddings is that they’re always seen as being solely for girls, and a little bit mushy. Movie makers have realised that half the attendees at weddings are men and that films should reflect their experiences too. So bad behaviour was a staple of the manly wedding film, such as in American Wedding, Wedding Crashers and I Love You, Man, which all took this testosterone-soaked approach to nuptials to a whole new level. But the dream team of wedding party nutters would be poison dwarf Gloria Cleary from Wedding Crashers (played by Isla Fisher) and Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) from Old School. Heaven help the rest of the guests.
#6 – Hollywood Stars acting goofy
Before anyone starts rolling their eyes, it should be noted that weddings feature in most of the best films ever made, as a device allowing directors to get the period detail in picture exactly right and actors to show off their talent for overblown soppiness. Actors love dressing up and fooling around, so we’ve seen wedding-themed films featuring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn (Funny Face), a regal Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music) and an awesome Toni Collette in funny Aussie cringefest Muriel’s Wedding, and they’re all having a whale of a time. Newman, Jolie, Pitt, Cruise, Witherspoon, Kidman, Bullock, Ford, you name them they’ve been in a movie wedding scene. But the Hollywood equivalent of a royal wedding must be the one attended by Streep (again) Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro. Look at them having a good old knees up (pre-Russian Roulette) in The Deer Hunter (click through for the video):
#5 – Heartwarming Speeches
Film isn’t often a medium for the audience to just sit still and listen, usually they’re panting for the next car chase or fight scene; but the speeches at a wedding allow people to ponder, and they often showcase some of the best writing that film has to offer. One of the best speeches comes from classic Four Weddings and a Funeral beautifully delivered by Hugh Grant. It is funny, self-deprecating and unashamedly romantic.
#4 I’m in the mood for dancing
Getting chronically drunk in a public place almost always spells unforgettable memories (for everyone else watching), and doubly so in movie weddings. All that alcohol and emotion brings out the worst in guests, with every single one of them thinking that they can body pop like there’s no tomorrow. That being said, wedding dancing can make an otherwise bad film better; like here in the really quite stupid but nonetheless entertaining Hitch:
#3 – Outrageous declarations of love
All future happiness is focused on how well one day progresses, so the Hollywood cliché goes, and very few films deal with the harsh realities of marriage. But let’s not worry about that when we can see weddings get all dramatic! Plenty of film weddings centre on two people who don’t really like each other getting to the altar (nothing like a bit of exposition here, filmgoers). In Love Actually Andrew Lincoln decides to declare his love after the wedding, but it’s much more fun when it’s done moments before a pair say “I do”. An honourable mention goes to Shrek with his dazzling stopping of Princess Fiona and Lord Farquaad nuptials, but the unrivalled best screen jilting, spawning countless inferior reproductions, is in The Graduate. The viewer positively wills Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin to make it in time to stop Miss Robinson’s wedding. But what is so good is that in a few short moments we’re taken on a journey from Katharine Ross shouting “Bennnnnnnn!” to the spine-tingling credits when they realise exactly what they’ve just done.
#2 – The Music
Hollywood weddings are frequently privy to some of the funniest and out of tune musical spectacles known to man, but when they ditch the harps and hymns they can show off poignant and fun musical pieces. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have a lovely chemistry in off-beat comedy The Wedding Singer, plus you get cameos from Billy idol and Steve Buscemi; however its the wedding music that really is the star of this movie. Full of countless 80’s wedding favourites, we think that this one most sums up what not to sing to the bride and groom.
#1 – Family
If there is one thing that a film wedding does best, it’s that it brings together ‘the family’ in all its glory. Wherever the wedding is in the world, busy-bodying, unhinged and controlling families are always present. The Godfather’s wedding scenes emphasise how important weddings are for the ultimate family, the Mafia, and the international idiocy of a huge loving family is played out effortlessly in both My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Monsoon Wedding. However, top of the tree is Father of the Bride (so good they made it twice), portraying the wedding preparation and ceremony through the eyes of the bride’s doting father (played equally well by Spencer Tracy and Steve Martin). It’s hard not to well up at the clip below.
So there we are. With a film wedding we get to take part in all of the romance, drama and laughter with none of the exorbitant costs, WIN! The plentiful supply of wedding films suggests that cinema goers are quite soppy after all; but for those of you feeling all wedding-ed out, be careful that this doesn’t happen on your big day….