Wait no more Earthlings, Summer has officially arrived and– with it– wedding season is in full bloom! Here you'll find my favorite wedding movies from the last two decades. Feel free to mention if you agree or disagree in the comments section below, and tell me which one I might have missed out. I'm always in the mood to watch (or re-watch) a good movie!
#10)The Wedding Date (2005)
Dir. Clare Kilner Runtime: 1hr. 29min
In a world dominated by Tinder and online-dating, you could say that Clare Kilner's The Wedding Date– that was released 7 years before the now-popular dating app– might have been early to catch on to this trend.
The film adds its own little twist to the rom-com genre by following a desperate single-girl (Debra Messing) whose anxiety forces her to hire a male escort (Dermot Mulroney) to surreptitiously pose as her boyfriend or “wedding date” for her sister’s wedding. The point is to show her ex-finance, who unsympathetically dumped her, that she is well over him. (of course, she isn't). I think it’s easy to guess that the two eventually fall in love– but not before they overcome a bunch of obstacles along the way.
Originally planned to be a rated R film, the filmmaker was forced to release a PG-13 version, instead. You can see it struggling to accept this change in ratings by occasionally sneaking in the occasional joke or sex-scene.
Despite less than average reviews, Messing’s ability to draw sympathy to her character and Mulroney’s swagger throughout the film strengthen what is not always a believable script– making this the perfect movie for an audience who wants your typical feel-good chick-flick.
Memorable Moment: Messing and Mulroney’s hilarious yet undeniable tension during a wedding dance practice scene, set to Michael Buble’s “Sway”
#9) 27 Dresses (2008)
Runtime: 1hr 51min
Dir. Anne Fletcher
The age-old saying “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” has never been more accurate than with Katherine Heigl’s Jane in 27 Dresses– a hopeless romantic who can’t seem to win the affections of the man she secretly pines over: her boss George.
The 28th time seems to be the one that worries her the most as the bride-to-be is her manipulative sister, Tess who seems to have captured George’s heart by pretending to be just about everything she is not.
Simultaneously, our protagonist comes head to head with a cynical writer, Kevin– perfectly portrayed by the wonderful James Marsden– who tries to advance his own career by concocting a plan that involves befriending Jane to write a secret expo-piece exposing her inability to find love of her own.
In the end, Marsden and Heigl carry the film and make it a popcorn-pleaser. It’s ability to wrap up all loose ends is refreshing. Not entirely daring, but definitely worth the watch.
Memorable Moment: Marsden and Heigl drunkingly belting out Elvis Presley’s “Bennie and the Jets” will have you humming the tune all week long.
#8) The Wedding Singer (1998)
Dir. Frank Coraci
Runtime: 1hr 35min.
Wedding singer, Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) encounters waitress Julia (Drew Barrymore) while performing at one of his events. Both are committed to other partners but, of course, fate has something else in store for them.
This is for all those hopeless romantics and believers of true love, sticking to the age-old tale that “the one” is out there, and worth fighting for. It encourages all those who have ever been torn between two lovers to stop playing it safe and to go for the partner your heart truly yearns for.
It is also the first of many fruitful partnerships between Sandler and Barrymore, whose undeniably chemistry and affection for one another shine throughout. All those nostalgic for ‘80s style, or who are in need of light-hearted and innocent fun, The Wedding Singer is the flick for you.
It’s hard not to keep smiling wide throughout the “Grow Old With You” scene that occurs towards the end of the film. It’s heartwarming and comedic, and reminds you of a time when Sandler could pull both off at once.
#7) Made of Honor (2008):
Dir. Paul Weiland.
Run time: 1hr 41min
Most women know Patrick Dempsey as the irresistible Dr. McDreamy on ABC’s hit tv-show Grey’s Anatomy.
Made of Honor proves that when he trades in those scrubs and scalpel for a tuxedo and bow-tie (or a mini kilt), he’s just as charming.
The film follows the classic tale of a womanizer (Dempsey) who realizes he is hopelessly in love with his best-friend (Monaghan) after she asks him, rather unconventionally, to be his maid of honor just as he’s ready to confess his love to her. (Bonus point: Kevin McKid, who eventually went on to achieve his own Grey’s fame plays Monaghan’s love interest is Dempsey’s antagonist)
Dempsey floats around the screen with ease, and it’s hard to blame Monaghan’s Hannah for falling prey to his undeniable appeal in the end. The only surprise is how long it takes her to realize the love of her life has been in front of her eyes the whole time. The final act of the film was shot in Scotland, and the breathtaking cinematography is also well worth a mention.
Memorable moment: Dempsey'(a former circus performer) effortlessly juggling plates through a bridal store during a conversation with Monaghan’s Hannah was a delightful surprise, and one– I admit– I had to go back and watch for a good laugh.
#6) Corpse Bride (2005)
Dir. Tim Burton
Runtime: 1hr 18min
In Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, based on a Russian folktale, the wedding is the thing to avoid at all costs.
A stop-motion Fantasy/Romance flick, Corpse Bride stars Jonny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as Victor and the film's titular character. It has everything you’d expect a Tim Burton movie to have: dark fantasy, enchanting animation, and strange characters.
Set in the Victorian era, the film follows the story of a man, Victor, who– while nervously practicing his marriage vows before his arranged marriage– accidentally proposes to a “corpse bride” instead. As they delve into the world of the undead, the viewers embark on a strange but worthwhile adventure involving song, dance, and mayhem. Eventually, we, along with Victor, realize there is a lot more to the tragic corpse bride than what meets the eye.
Not your typical animated movie, The Corpse Bride was built for a specific time of audience. The kind who enjoys dark humor, stunning visuals, and gothic thrills.
Memorable Moment: The “Remains of the Day” musical sequence composed by Danny Elffman, including one-eyes skeletons practicing their jazz hands and a bemused Victor unsure of what it is he’s gotten himself into, is a fan favorite.
#5) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Dir. Kirk Jones
Runtime: 1hr 34min
Relatable to anyone who has ever had to struggle to get their family to accept the one they love, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a hilarious film that deals with its sensitive subject manner in the best way possible: through comedy.
It follows a Greek girl from an orthodox family who falls head over heels with a charming young man. The problem? Much to her father’s dismay– he isn’t greek. Throughout the film, we see Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) try to win over the support of her family while also coming to terms with her own cultural heritage and traditions.
It’s a light-hearted and important film that shows that the power of love can eventually conquer all else. Though the ending is typical of a Hollywood rom-com, you can’t help but admire its goal.
Sadly, the sequel to this classic didn’t live up to the original.
Memorable Moment: The “Now You Are Family” scene.
#4) My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Dir. P.J. Hogan
Runtime: 1hr 45min
How many of us have, at some point in our lives, been attracted to our best friends? How many of us come to this realization days before said friend is set to walk down the aisle?
This American classic from the end of the 20th century starring Hollywood’s darling of the ‘90s, Julia Roberts, was a breath of fresh-air for the rom-com genre upon initial release all those years ago .
Julianne (Roberts) has made a pact with her best friend (Dermot Mulroney) in which the two agree to marry each other if they’re still single after a certain point in their lives. 3 weeks before this arrangement is supposed to take place, he meets a beautiful woman (Cameron Diaz) whom he falls in love with and proposes to instead. Now Julianna, blinded by jealousy, decides to sabotage the wedding and claim Michael for herself.
A typically charming performance from Roberts and a novel take on the genre makes it well worth the watch, even almost two decades after it first hit cinemas in June of 1997.
Memorable Moment: “The Moment Passes You By” speech excellently executed by Michael, the ever-so-dapper Mulroney, whilst on a ferry is hard to beat.
#3) Bridesmaids (2011)
Dir. Paul Feig
Runtime: 2hr 5min
Undisputedly one of the more raunchier movie on this list, and one of the more popular R-rated movies in the past decade, Bridesmaids' largely female-driven cast will have you laughing out loud till your stomach hurts, but it’s message is one of friendship, loyalty, and love. Some have even dubbed it the female Hangover– only better.
The film focuses more around the pre-wedding festivities maid of honor Annie (Kristen Wiig) must coordinate for her best friend friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) while getting her own life in order, rather than the the actual wedding itself.
At its heart, it reminds its viewers of two things: the lengths a girl will go through to ensure her best friend’s happiness is prioritized, and the comedic genius of scene-stelae Melissa McCarthy (who received an Oscar nomination for her performance as Megan).
While the characters themselves are in a constant state of panic and self-loathing, top notch directing, dialogue, and performances makes Bridesmaids a solid comedy that manages to remain composed throughout. Never shying away from the complexity of female relationships, Bridesmaids exposes the tension and drama that can arise during the lead up of a wedding– and how it can be overcome.
As Jonathan Romney of the Independent on Sunday put it "Unashamedly smart. Bridesmaids has been hailed as a groundbreaking blow for American female cinema.” Mad Mandy agrees.
Memorable Moments: Air-plane scene. Jon Hamm cameo. McCarthy’s food positioning. Where do we even begin?
#2) Four Weddings and a Funeral (1995)
Dir. Mike Newell
Run time: 1hr 57min
True to its title, this British-classic follows Charlie (Hugh Grant) and his pals and the events they encounter during and around the four weddings and one funeral they attend throughout the course of the film.
It’s raunchy without being over-the-top or offensive, it’s funny without relying on misogynistic humor and, above all, it’s tender in its handling of both, the ups and downs of love, showng us that sometimes sacrifice and persistence is worth it in the end. The film’s strength lies in its sincerity, witty dialogue and talented cast, who manage to make us d laugh out loud at their sometimes smug comments and misgivings one minute, and ball our eyes out the next.
Surprising Hollywood with it’s $52.7 million domestic gross, from its meager $4.5 million estimated budget, Four Weddings and a Funeral was bold and daring– encouraging independent filmmakers around the world to experiment with their own less than conventional methods. It isn’t hard to see why it received, not one, but two Oscar nominations in the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay categories in 1995.
It’s nothing but a roller coaster of emotions during the film’s almost 2 hour run, and it’s a ride audiences will go back time and again for.
Memorable Moment: This is a tough one! They’re just so many great scenes worth mentioning in this classic it’s hard to choose: who can forget Rowan Atkinson (Mr.Bean) hilariously performing his viscar duties for the first time (and failing miserably) or Charles (Hugh Grant) adorably stuttering through his confession of love to Carrie in what some refer to as the “legendary soliloquy” scene. Or John Hannah, who plays Matthew, forcing us to ball our eyes out while he recites “Funeral Blues” in the funeral scene.
#1) Wedding Crashers
Dir. David Dobkin
Runtime: 1hr 59min
It would be a crime to compose a “Best Wedding Films” list and leave out one of the highest opening R-rated films of all tim. Be warned though, The Wilson-Vaughn tag team will have you quoting its memorable lines for weeks to come. A box-office hit and critical success, The Wedding Crashers is sure to have you on the floor, laughing your guts out at the screen throughout most of its 1hr 59min run.
John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) light up like kids on christmas when Wedding Season draws near. They recklessly sneak in to wedding after wedding, creating elaborate backstories used to seduce countless women. Their philosophy is threatened when one particular wedding involving the family of Treasury Secretary Clearly (Walken) leads them being trapped in their own web of lies. Suddenly, each find themselves falling in love with Clearly’s daughters, played perfectly by Isla Fisher and Amy Adams, but how long can they keep up the facade?
The movie is clearly a team effort, and though veterans Vaughn and Wilson steal the show, supporting cast members like jealous fiancé Bradley Cooper and Jeremy’s love interest, Isla Fisher, offer stellar breakthrough performances.
For anyone looking for a genuinely hilarious rom-com with rapid-fire dialogue and outstanding cast-chemistry, Wedding Crashers will not let you down. It has the jokes, it has the performances, and somewhere along the way, you’ll find it has heart as well.
Note: Be advised though, the R-rated picture is for mature audiences, and does contain jokes that might not fit the tasted of all movie-goers.
Memorable Moments: The “Dinner” scene. “Stage 5 Clinger”. American football. Honestly, take your pick.
Princess Bride (1987): A grandfather reads his bedridden grandson the story of The Princess Bride, Buttercup, who mourns the loss of her true love– a farmer– as she is being forced to marry Prince Humperdinck of Florian.
The Wedding Banquet (1993): Ang Lee's take on a marriage of convenience between a gay landlord and his female tenant. Chaos ensues when his orthodox parents decide to visit the "happily-married" couple.
My Best Friend's Wedding
Tags: Film, history, hollywood, video production, boston