Just because I feel like sharing…
I’d have to say that despite not being one of those girls dreaming endlessly about her wedding day (hard as that may be to believe), I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the “wedding movie” genre. While brainstorming new ways to illustrate portrayals of weddings and marriage in the media, I thought it could be a good idea to write an analytical piece regarding this particular movie genre. However, first – just so I get it out there that I actually LOVE wedding movies before I start trashing them! – I’m going to share with you my top three all time favourites:
1. The Best Man (1999; USA) starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long & Morris Chestnut.
Why it’s in the top three: This film is a classic as far as I’m concerned. It’s slick, sexy and as well as having an intelligent script, can boast an entirely African American leading cast, which to me was very important during my adolescent years.
Plot: The story follows Harper (Diggs), the titular best man, as he tries to avoid revelations of his college days ruining his best friend’s (Chestnut) wedding – through the form of a novel he is about to release – as well as making up his mind about the lady in his own life.
Favourite Moment: When Jordan (Long) cusses Harper out in her lingerie. Also, the jumping the broom moment towards the end is very cute!
2. Muriel’s Wedding (1994; Australia) starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths.
Why it’s in the top three: Toni Collette makes Muriel both completely lovable and somehow repulsive at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hug and slap a character at the same time so much. The story has both vulgar and heartbreaking moments, but that’s what makes it relatable. This is also (perhaps!) the first wedding movie I ever saw.
Plot: Muriel Heslop only cares about two things: ABBA and her future wedding day. The only trouble is, she doesn’t even have a boyfriend! The Australian comedy follows her somewhat belated coming-of-age story and the adventures she embarks on with high school friend Rhonda (Griffiths), as she breaks away from her abusive father and the bitchy clique* she longs to be a part of, to finally accept and love herself.
Favourite Moment: Either Muriel and Rhonda singing Waterloo or when the head of the bitchy clique screams in the final scene: “I’m beautiful!”
3. Monsoon Wedding (2001; India) starring Naseerudin Shah and Shefali Shetty.
Why it’s in the top three: This movie is beautiful both visually and in its narrative. The intertwining storylines make it more thought provoking than the average wedding film, as well as dealing with the typically taboo themes of incest, sexual abuse, arranged marriages and class structures. Every time I see this film, I notice something new, but not because there’s too much going on; rather because the storyline is so intricate.
Plot: The film follows the Punjabi Verma family as they come together for an arranged marriage in Delhi, India. There are several overlapping love stories at play and several scandals and family secrets to be uncovered, all as the monsoon is brewing as the backdrop to an honest illustration of family life.
Favourite Moment: When Dubey (the wedding planner) proposes to Alice (the housemaid).
* These girls must have been Tina Fey’s inspiration for Mean Girls.