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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Curated Collections: ‘The I Do’s’ and ‘I Don’t’s’ of Wedding Movies

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Bride Wars

With wedding season quickly approaching, it is no surprise that love is in the air. Weddings are exhilarating: they are full of love, enthusiasm and excitement. But that is not all they are; weddings can be stressful, tiring and full of conflict. Some of the main stressors that come with wedding planning — watching how families interact with one another and being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a wedding day — can sometimes be sugar-coated in films. 

Here are ten classic wedding films, ranked on their relatability to the highs and lows of a wedding, and the process leading up to it. After being involved in the process of planning two wedding parties, these movies represent the bitter and the sweet reality of ‘I do.’

10. “Marry Me”(2022): Starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Marry Me

Now, I don’t think many of us can say that we have chosen our husband out of a crowd full of millions of people and married him on the spot. In this newly released romantic comedy, Lopez and Wilson check all the boxes of a conventional rom-com. Lopez’s character goes through an unfortunate event, realizing she could use more ‘ordinary’ in her life. She meets an ‘ordinary’ guy, who soon discovers he cannot handle the life of fame alongside the popstar, who meets the ‘regular’ guy in a public setting, making him look really cool. Though this film offers up the romantic comedy formula on a silver platter, an audience cannot relate to this unexpected marriage – one in which you marry first, then get to know the person’s name after.

9. “The Proposal” (2009): Starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds

Photo Courtesy / YouTube The Proposal

While Bullock and Reynolds are very likable and engaging, the applicability of this movie is low. While the film has its funny moments as every rom-com does, the underlying premise makes it unrealistic. In today’s environment, the misuse of power to force a subordinate to lie about an engaged relationship to stay in the country would not be acceptable, especially if the roles were reversed.

8. “27 Dresses” (2008): Starring Katherine Heigl and James Marsden

Photo Courtesy / YouTube 27 Dresses

A classic rom-com, “27 Dresses” is the epitome of ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride.’ That is, until Heigl weds Marsden at the close of the film. However, it’s unlikely that someone would be asked to be a bridesmaid in 27 different weddings, and then save all the distasteful dresses. It stretches the borders of reality and shows that unrequited love does not get a happy ending, but finding the right person does. 

7. “Mamma Mia” (2008): Starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Mamma Mia!

Though a lighthearted and entertaining story, the events in “Mamma Mia” are not exactly true to our everyday lives. Having to figure out who your father is, because your mother is not sure, will surely add copious amounts of stress to your wedding day. Especially when there are three possibilities, and you seem to have characteristics from them all. While the musical — inspired by the band ABBA — has aspects that can be overblown, it shows the anxieties of the night before (and day of) a wedding, and shows that sometimes, you just need your mom.

6. “The Wedding Planner” (2001): Starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey

Photo Courtesy / YouTube The Wedding Planner

“The Wedding Planner” has average practicality. The film isn’t too extreme to the point of being unrealistic, but it also is not entirely straightforward either. “The Wedding Planner ” joins the cliché of falling for someone you shouldn’t, and then having things work out in the end anyway. Lopez falls for McConaughey, despite her planning his wedding to another woman. I think we can all agree that it is understandable to fall in love with someone you shouldn’t, but the crazy part is that mostly those feelings would not lead to a marriage to that person, especially if they are already engaged. 

5. “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997): Starring Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz

Photo Courtesy / YouTube My Best Friend’s Wedding

This movie is also placed into the category of falling for someone you shouldn’t, though unlike “The Wedding Planner,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” has a twist ending – Roberts does not end up with Mulroney. Again, it can be extremely rational to fall for a close friend, someone who you are comfortable with, as well as not ending up with that person. This is what makes the film more authentic than “The Wedding Planner.” It depicts a closer representation of the situation played out in reality. 

4. “Bride Wars” (2009): Starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Bride Wars

The coincidences of the circumstances of the movie are slightly outlandish, such as having the same exact time, day and venue for your wedding as your best friend. The comparable aspect of this movie, however, lies beyond the crazy actions of Hathaway and Hudson. The stress of planning, prepping yourself and others, and wanting everything to go smoothly for a wedding is extremely intelligible. Being consumed with stress, it is natural  that a bride would take out her frustrations on those around her. “Bride Wars” is very relatable in the way that it shows the strain it takes to put together a wedding, and the effect it has on those involved.  

3. “Bridesmaids” (2011): Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Bridesmaids

“Bridesmaids” is a truly relevant wedding-based film, delivered as a comedy with serious friendship undertones. It depicts the reality of all the friends of the bride coming from different worlds and knowing the bride in different contexts. Almost every wedding party has various people coming from opposing ways of life, which could create obstacles and friction amongst those involved.

2. “Father of the Bride” (1991): Starring Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Father of the Bride

“Father of the Bride” is almost too familiar; it portrays a father learning that his not-so-little daughter is getting married. It is endearing, funny and extremely realistic. Throughout the film, Martin learns to accept that his little girl is now a grown-up, and if he wants her to be truly happy, he must let her live her own life. This film is one that tugs on the heartstrings of an audience, as many fathers have a hard time realizing their baby girls are all grown-up, and that they need to let go. 

1. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” (2002): starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett

Photo Courtesy / YouTube My Big Fat Greek Wedding

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is based on Vardalos’s real life, her wedding, and the involvement of family in her life. Not only does this make the film more authentic, showing the traditions of her family, but it also makes it very affable. Many can understand the overwhelming feeling of a big family being involved in something as strenuous as a wedding. As an audience, we can relate to the on-screen family of Vardalos, and how ultimately, family will always be there for you, especially on your wedding day. 

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