Movie Weddings: High Jinx at the Altar

Though plenty of movies (at least certain genres) try their best to depict issues that affect ordinary people off-screen, sometimes they fall short. This is especially true of romantic films, which often place two people who are supposedly in love in situations that no sane person would subject themselves to – or at least not without requiring major therapy afterward. Yet movie characters in love have an endless capacity for humiliation, bounce back from all their setbacks, and wind up riding off into the sunset with the person who’s Really Going to Make Them Happy.

It should go without saying (but we’re going to anyway) that it is best to have certain discussions about certain topics before you tie the knot presumably “until death do you part.” If you happen to be engaged in real life, it might be fair to predict that you and the other person have had at least one heart-to-heart talk about your values, career plans and future family. You are probably under the impression that the person whom you’re marrying is compatible because why else would you be spending a colossal amount of time and money arranging a wedding? Right?

Wrong, at least in the movies. It is very uncommon for two people who are engaged at the start of a film to actually make it through the wedding ceremony. Usually, what happens is that the main character spends most of the movie completely blind to the fact that his/her would-be partner is incompatible – to the point of humor, until the Real True Love shows up at the altar and rescues him/her. Rather than calling the authorities to come and remove this intruder right away, the spurned bride/groom manages to find a backup person to fall in love with. Thus everyone lives happily ever after.

For decades, movies have explored what might happen to the carefully-laid wedding plans if one of the two parties happened to prefer their own gender (“In and Out”), or was really meant to be with someone much older, younger or dorkier. Love is blind, so the saying goes, but in the movies, it is a whole other league of visual disability, such as in “The Wedding Singer,” where Drew Barrymore’s intended is a guy who hits on other women when she’s throwing up after too much liquor in the bathroom (“The Wedding Singer”). Another lesson we learn from that movie is that if your first name and would-be-surname rhyme, it’s definitely not going to happen. In general, potential mates should be chosen on the basis of how willing they are to hijack a vehicle, break a ton of traffic laws, and display complete callousness for your intended’s feelings. If your chosen partner can do all that without a hitch, he or she is truly destined for you.


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