“Mawage… Mawage is wot bwings us togethaw tooday.” Well, technically, the release of Kevin Hart’s new comedy ‘The Wedding Ringer’ brings us together today, because I was in need of a theme for this week’s Roundtable and a tie-in with other famous movie wedding scenes seemed appropriate. What are your favorites?
My favorite movie involving a wedding is the 1991 remake of ‘Father of the Bride‘, starring Steve Martin. There are lots of reasons to like the film, not the least of which is that Martin gives one of his best performances ever – both in terms of comedy and drama. But what makes me really like the movie is the fact that with all the problems that happen both before and after the ceremony, the actual wedding itself goes off without a hitch. Most movie comedies would have the bride running late, the groom misspeaking his lines, or some other slapstick event happening during the ceremony. Instead, ‘Father of the Bride’ gives the Banks family the perfect ceremony, and then uses the reception to return to the comic shenanigans.
I’ve always liked the Steve Martin ‘Father of the Bride‘ remake. The movie doesn’t hold up as well as I used to think it did, but Martin, Diane Keaton and the rest of the cast are still charming. Going to see this movie in the theater was one of the few pleasant memories I have after my parents divorced and we moved from New Mexico to Massachusetts to Connecticut in the course of 12 months, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Chalk me up as a fan of the big wedding sequence in ‘Love Actually‘. 1) It revolves around Keira Knightley, and that’s generally a plus in my book. 2) I’m pretty skilled at avoiding viral videos, so I haven’t been subjected to the eight hojillion attempts on YouTube at recreating the movie’s surprise arrangement of “All You Need Is Love.” Impossibly, that means it still seems wonderful and inspired to me! 3) It was the springboard for me and my now-wife to book a getaway boat for our own wedding, even if you don’t see that footage until later in the film. Hmmmm… now I’m starting to wish I’d written about ‘Kill Bill’ instead!
All right. It’s time to get a little sappy. As hipster-ish as it may seem, I love the wedding scene in ‘About Time‘. Richard Curtis has a knack for creating weddings that I’d wish I had, and the one in ‘About Time’ features elements that actually resemble some in my own wedding. Somewhat like the rainstorm that throws a kink into Tim and Mary’s special day, the night before my late fall wedding, a storm dropped more snow on Salt Lake City than any single storm in recent history. Of course, our ceremony was indoors and the pristine white snow made for some wonderful downtown wedding photos, but having to be outdoors in the frigid windy morning air was no fun for anyone. Our photographer had to Photoshop the red out of our faces. (Luckily, the blemishes went with the redness.)
During the wedding in ‘About Time’, despite Mary not particularly caring for it, she uses Tim’s favorite song (the Italian track “Il Mondo” by Jimmy Fontana) as her processional music, giving him something that he deeply loved. Mrs. Hickman did the same for me, having the DJ play music that she’s not a fan of nor is typical for weddings.
The all-out happiness and festivity of the family- and friend-filled wedding in the film is what it’s all about – being surrounded by those you love to celebrate the beginning of life with the person that you love the most. ‘About Time’ absolutely nails it.
John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur‘ is dripping with theatrics, which is perfect for a tale of Arthurian legend. As such, the wedding of Arthur and Guinevere is wonderfully dour in a goth 1970s way, and (Spoiler Alert) it’s not going to be a smooth marriage. The somber ceremony marks the high point in the story arc, after which things go quite badly for our protagonists. Added to that, the next time Arthur returns to the altar, he’s struck by debilitating divine lighting and it’s pretty clear that his best years are behind him.
I have two picks for this, one comedy and one drama, both of which feature interrupted weddings.
In my intro paragraph above, I already quoted the failed royal nuptials in ‘The Princess Bride‘. I have trouble attending any real wedding without hearing that priest’s voice.
Also great is the ending to ‘The Graduate‘, when Benjamin rescues the girl he’s convinced himself that he loves from marrying the wrong man. It’s almost a fairy tale moment, until that fantastically ambiguous “What the hell do we do now?” coda afterwards. Interesting note: That final shot is utterly ruined by old pan-and-scan video transfers for video and TV. When you can only see one actor at a time, you completely lose the nuance of them reacting against one another. The shot only works in the proper widescreen.
Honorable Mentions of course must go to the beginning of ‘The Godfather‘ and the famous extended reception in ‘The Deer Hunter‘. Oh, and that scene in ‘Old School‘ with The Dan Band playing profanity-laced cover versions of girl-group pop songs is pretty hilarious.
Tell us about your favorite movie wedding scenes in the Comments below.