In honor of my brother’s wedding over the weekend, here are my top five favorite wedding movies.
1. Father of the Bride (1991)
Synopsis: With his oldest daughter’s wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go (From IMDb)
Review: This is actually a remake/update of the 1950 film of the same name starring Spencer Tracy, which is also a great movie. I love this movies because it celebrates and promotes positive family relationships. Also, the narrative is quite believable and enjoyable to watch. Steve Martin is at the top of his game and does a fantastic job portraying a stressed out father of the bride. I have many fond memories of watching this movie growing, it also served as my first introduction to the music of Motown.
2. The Princess Bride (1987)
Synopsis: While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. The story centers on Buttercup, a former farm girl who has been chosen as the princess bride to Prince Humperdinck of Florian. Buttercup does not love him, she who still laments the death of her one true love, Westley, five years ago. (From IMDb)
Review: ““Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world – except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe.” Technically this movie is not about marriage or weddings, but it still contains a classic matrimony scene. And the whole film is about true love, happiness, and fighting for what you want in life. My brothers’ and I probably drop quotes from this movie a million times each year, it is highly quotable. Also, my brother and new sister-in-law included the above quote from the movie on their thank you cards at the wedding. So it clearly has to be included.
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Synopsis: A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity (From IMDb).
Review: What is not to like about this movie? A big boisterous family comes together to celebrate the matrimony, commitment, and love. Toula, the last unmarried daughter, struggles to find her identity separate from her Greek heritage. Everyone can relate to the feeling of trying to be themselves while also living up to family expectations. There is nothing quite like a giant, loud family coming together to celebrate. Also, it is just a lot of fun to watch.
4. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Synopsis: A young woman who’s reinvented herself as a New York socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation (From IMDb).
Review: Having spent my early years in Alabama, this movie reminds me of my nostalgic childhood. It is also kind of grown up Cinderella story: small town girl reinvents herself in the big city, comes back home to deal with unfinished business, and re-meets her Prince Charming. Just like real life the narrative follows people with messy lives and complicated romantic entanglements. Furthermore, it showcases why lying is not a good way to get ahead in life and will cause someone else pain. Since it is a movie, everything ends on a happy note.
5. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Synopsis: When a rich woman’s ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself (From IMDb)
Review: This is one of my favorite Cary Grant movies, it contains all the elements of a classic screwball comedy: scorned lover, romantic entanglements, massive misunderstanding, stubbornness, a rival, and the opinionated younger sibling. This narrative stands up to the test time as it deals with the thoughts and feelings people have dealt with since the dawn of time. Plus the acting is one point and the screenwriters packed a lot of complexity into a relatively short amount of time. Romantic comedies from the 1940s to 1960s are some of my favorite because they are classic narratives brought to life by fabulous acting.