Ahh, sweet springtime! Along with the blossoms and blooms of Earth returning to life comes the Season of Weddings.
Traditionally April, May and June are the prime months for nuptials, probably due to something totally unromantic left over from prehistoric times and having to do with survival of the species.
But let’s forget about that. This is the time of year we think of romance and like to watch our favorite wedding movies as a way to celebrate either our own anniversaries or just the notion that there is something special in a ceremony honoring love and commitment.
The DVD of 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl comes out April 29th, and Maid of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey will be in theaters, indicating that the movie fan’s love affair with weddings is still strong.
It seemed the perfect time to do a little on topic research so I talked with co-workers, friends, and family, asking them about their favorite wedding themed movies. I was surprised and pleased at the responses, and at the generosity of these people in sharing their preferences.
We’ve also had some serious discussion over the exact qualifications of a “wedding” or “bride” film, and as a result have created a category for those films that people associate with a wedding. They have a wedding or bride as a part of the plot, but on the surface might not seem to be a “wedding” movie.
I’m certain we represent a fair cross-section of movie fans, but I’m also certain that there are great films out there we probably have missed. Our choices are as follows.
Category One: BEST WEDDING PICTURE, EVER! These were designated THE BEST by many.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding – (2002) Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. Greek American Toula and non-Greek Ian Miller fall in love. Can their families deal with this? Universally top choice as the funniest wedding movie, it is the perfect love story with in-laws.
My Best Friend’s Wedding – (1997) Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney. How one woman deals with the marriage of the love of her life as well as her best friend. With twists and turns, this is not the usual wedding story, but is still beloved by many.
Father of the Bride – both the Spencer Tracy original (1950) and the Steve Martin remake (1991). Both movies were selected as the best most accurate representation of the chaos leading up to the BIG DAY. The times may be different, but a father’s sentiments never change.
Four Weddings and a Funeral – (1994) Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant. British friends of Charles (Grant) are caught up in a cycle of weddings. He meets Carrie from America, and his life is changed.
Bride and Prejudice – (2005) Aishwariya Rai and Martin Henderson. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, this modern day retelling of Pride & Prejudice is set in India. Westerner Darcy (Henderson) falls in love with Lalita (Rai) and culture clash is the least of their problems. Bright, witty and completely charming the old story is told with Bollywood touches and wonderful performances.
Category Two: RUNNER’S UP FOR THE BEST.
The Wedding Singer – Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The sometimes hilarious and other times touching story of dreams coming true. One of Adam Sandler’s best roles.
Runaway Bride – Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. What happens when you are afraid of getting married? Multiple times? Both funny and sweet, this is a good rematch between friends and costars Roberts and Gere.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Jane Powell and Howard Keel. Classic Hollywood musical about backwoods brothers who use some unorthodox methods to woo their women.
Princess Bride – Robin Wright and Carey Elwes, and a cast of great actors including Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Mandy Patinkin, Billey Crystal and Andre the Giant. If you think you know fairy tale romances, think again. This one is wild and crazy and great fun.
Betsy’s Wedding – Molly Ringwald and Alan Alda. What all has to happen before a Bride can get the wedding that she REALLY wants?
The Wedding Planner – (2001) Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. Like the old romantic movies, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and then there is a rush to re-connect.
Royal Wedding – Jane Powell and Fred Astair . Another classic musical, the premise is that Jane and Fred, a brother and sister team of performers are in England to perform at the celebrations of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) to Prince Philip.
The Wedding Date – (2005) Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. It is difficult being the Maid of Honor at your sister’s wedding when the Best Man is your ex-fiancee.
Bride of Frankenstein – My colleague Jeff’s choice (along with Princess Bride which we all thought was pretty amazing,) but he also said that he was really really sad that Die Hard didn’t have a wedding.
Category Three: GREAT MOVIES WITH WEDDINGS IN THEM, which some people voted for as their favorite wedding movies.
Love Actually – The wedding scene where the choir breaks into “All You Need is Love,” accompanied by a brass band hidden in the congregation was spectacular.
Sound of Music – Who could ever forget Maria’s cathedral wedding? It set the bar for a whole generation of little girl’s dreams about their wedding day.
Blue Hawaii – Elvis and the Hawaiian Wedding Song, need we say more?
Steel Magnolias – We meet the characters as they prepare for the wedding, but this movie goes so far beyond the marriage.
Much Ado About Nothing – All about weddings! Shakespeare’s words and the glorious scenery of summer in renaissance Italy, with young men and women dancing and love that goes wrong by design.
Bridget Jones movies – which have weddings in them, and are devoted to getting married. The tragedy of being single and over thirty, as seen through the eyes of Bridget Jones.