2020’s summer blockbuster season has been put on hold because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the movies from the past that we flocked out of the sun and into air conditioning for. Welcome to The Ringer’s Return to Summer Blockbuster Season, where we’ll feature different summer classics each week.
There are a lot of movie weddings.
That’s partly because weddings are one of society’s most reliably action-packed events. The collision of families, friends, love, flower arrangements, and open bars makes weddings overflowing sources of storytelling opportunities. Martin Scorsese uses weddings as anthropological excursions; Nora Ephron uses them as ground zero for narrative peaks; Quentin Tarantino uses them as, uh, stages for brutal violence. (Classic QT.)
But the other reason why there are so many movie weddings is because when you hit a certain age, you have to go to so many goddamn weddings. It’s a thing that people warn you about when you’re younger but you, a rube, ignore those warnings. “How could weddings be a bad thing?” you think, like a dumbass. Then a few years later you find yourself in a backyard in Cleveland on a hot August day, hungover, wearing the same suit again, five-sixths of the way through wedding season. By the time you hit your early 30s, you’ve seen every kind of wedding—big, small, quaint, extravagant—and judged each one of them with a viciousness you’d never reveal publicly. Weddings—both their joys and their pains—are universal, an easy way for a filmmaker to both put an audience in a familiar setting and right the wrongs of their own wedding-going pasts (or, for the real masochists, to re-live them).
Now, as we revisit My Best Friend’s Wedding as a part of The Ringer’s Return to the Summer Blockbuster, there’s no better time to ask which movie nuptials are the best. To do so, I devised a rubric that captures the elements that every great wedding—and every great movie wedding—needs to nail. I then rated each movie based on how well they fulfill each element. Here are those elements:
- The accoutrements: This is a catchall that encompasses all of the minor details of a wedding—the setting, the decorations, the fashion, the people, the band and/or DJ, etc. The little things are quite important.
- The preamble: Another thing you learn at a certain age: Being in a wedding is not a one-day commitment. It is a months- or even years-long commitment that could contain planning sessions, bachelor/ette parties, rehearsal dinners, and other stray duties you hadn’t ever considered. “The preamble,” for our purposes, covers all of that preparation, but it also covers the general story that leads to the “I dos.”
- The drama: What, you’d rather be bored at a wedding?
- The romance: I suppose your mileage may vary, but I prefer weddings that result in a marriage that is going to last. Otherwise why the hell did I spend all of this money?
- Bonus points: I’ll be rewarding (or taking away) extra points to the weddings for random things that I enjoy (or loathe).
As always, the scoring and the tiebreakers were based entirely on my personal preferences. Some weddings lost points because they were more about male friendship than the actual wedding (The Best Man; I Love You, Man); some took a hit for featuring a creepy priest (The Little Mermaid) or a death in the family (Tommy Boy), or things that are just bummers; and some weddings were DQ’ed for not being weddings at all (Kill Bill’s is a wedding rehearsal). If you disagree, may I direct you to Blogger.com? It has a great tool that’ll help you write your own ranking. For now, on to mine:
20. Love Actually
The accoutrements: Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Juliet (Keira Knightley) have a pretty solid wedding: classic British church, straightforward ceremony, and a flash mob-ish situation where a bunch of people sing “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles. That’s a nice touch. The reception is decent too, despite a bad DJ. In general it’s a refreshingly low-key affair—Laura Linney wears a horrible hat to it:
I have some issues with Juliet’s feather-lined wedding dress and Peter’s decision to wear a hot pink shirt, but I’ll get over them. 7/10
The preamble: We don’t really get one. Honestly, the most we get in the way of a backstory is Peter and his best man, Mark, talking about how they accidentally hired Brazilian male sex workers for the bachelor party. 2/10
The drama: It quickly becomes clear that said best man is fully in love with the bride. Pretty spicy stuff! 5/10
The romance: It’s a very romantic affair, thanks to the splendid church organ and the whole “All You Need Is Love” thing. 5/10
Bonus points: Minus-2, because I absolutely hate Mark. Mark, why don’t you talk out your issues with your best friend before the wedding, rather than showing up, moping, and filming a weird stalker video of the woman he just married?
The accoutrements: Bro, pretty dope shit here:
There are backyard weddings and then there’s Tony Montana’s backyard wedding. Also, this wedding is where Tony becomes the actual Tiger King:
Never forget that Mario Tabraue, the real-life drug runner who appears in Tiger King, is probably the inspiration for Tony Montana. Regardless, this wedding picked an aesthetic (’80s drug lord chic) and really stuck to it. 5/10
The preamble: Not a lot of wedding planning going on here—more like a lot of money laundering. 3/10
The drama: Aside from Tony’s sister shooting eyes across the altar at Tony’s best friend, things are pretty low key. Even the tiger unveiling is a rather chill, lighthearted affair. 2/10
The romance: So, I guess Tony is in love with Elvira. But a better read is that Tony is incapable of love, and that he treats all things—including humans—as objects to be acquired. Seen through that lens, uh, this wedding doesn’t exactly make my heart swell. 3/10
Bonus points: 4—two for the tiger and Tony’s general tiger-related glee; and two for the fact that this wedding comes in montage form, scored by Paul Engemann’s “Push It to the Limit.” That’s just awesome; I want to walk down the aisle to “Push It to the Limit” too.
18. The Sound of Music
The accoutrements: Oh, the things that can be accomplished to celebrate the union of a former nun and a filthy rich Austrian captain. Pure beauty! What class! Julie Andrews looks like an angel in that wedding dress! They appear to be getting married by a cardinal! Look at this church!
I do think it’s a little unfair that the nuns aren’t allowed into the church, but otherwise, stellar stuff here. 8/10
The preamble: Can we be brutally honest here? I know the story of Captain Von Trapp and Maria is a classic tale of true romance, but I think the Captain deserves a little scrutiny. So, he’s engaged to Baroness Elsa Schraeder, even though his heart is clearly not in it. And for a while he’s just leading her on, getting horny for his kids’ governess. The Baroness is fully set on marrying him—she’s legit talking about buying him a yacht as a wedding gift—until finally, the Captain’s like, “Yeah, so about that marriage. I’ve been meaning to have a chat with you about that but, you know how things go, people get busy. I’ve been dishonest to the both of us.”
The Baroness totally lets him off the hook, saying that she needs someone who needs her (or at least her money, which is a weird take) and that he’s totally free to pursue things with Maria. The Captain’s all like, “Wow, I can’t believe how simple and easy this all is for me,” and then he bounces to make out with Maria.
I’m sorry, but that’s some fuckboy behavior.
Cool romance story, though. 5/10
The drama: The Nazis’ attempted detention of the family unfolds after the wedding. 2/10
The romance: See above. 3/10
Bonus points: 0—I’d give a bonus point to the incorporation of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” into the wedding march, but there’s a slight implication that the answer to the question is “Make her a housewife.” I’ve got some reservations about that.
The accoutrements: A gorgeous California wedding—at a house in Bel Air, maybe?—between teachers Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall. I do have a question though: Why are there so many students at this wedding? I get that Cher set the couple up, so she totally deserves an invite, but like, Amber definitely didn’t need to be there. Overall, it seems like there’s a boundary being crossed. 6/10
The preamble: No wedding planning or anything, but the love story of Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall is a great one. You gotta root for these two disheveled nerds. 7/10
The drama: The Clueless wedding is an example of a denouement wedding—an event that caps off a story after the central conflict has been resolved. (Clueless is a pure comedy in the Greek sense of the term. It’s based on Jane Austen’s Emma—ever heard of it?) As such, there’s no drama here; good vibes only. 1/10
The romance: Again, I’m really happy Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall found each other. They’re adorable. 6/10
Bonus points: -2. I’m sorry, maybe this is puritanical of me, but I cannot condone Cher tongue-kissing her once step-brother in a public venue. Remember what I said about boundaries being crossed? Well, THIS IS A BIG ONE. (Great choice to score this whole scene with General Public’s “Tenderness” though.)
16. Steel Magnolias
The backyard folksiness of this wedding is charming, but M’Lynn is right—there’s way too much pink. Also the groom’s cake looks disgusting:
It looks like a red velvet cake stuffed in raw chicken skin. 4/10
The preamble: Steel Magnolias is a great example of a movie wedding with a superb preamble. The ladies get their hair done at Dolly Parton’s in-home salon (it’s mostly cute except for when Julia Roberts’s Shelby starts talking about sex in front of her mom) while the father of the bride sets things up at home, a chore that involves shooting a handful of fireworks into a tree to scare away some birds. The movie wants you to know that this is a Louisiana wedding, and it does just that. 7/10
The drama: You see, there’s this whole thing about Shelby being a diabetic who probably shouldn’t have kids due to the health risk, and so M’Lynn spends most of the reception worried, and even confronts the groom (Dylan McDermott) about family planning. The dad is also engaged in a war with his neighbor Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine). Nothing erupts, but the tension is fun, and reflective of the dynamics often at play during a real-life wedding. 5/10
The romance: Nothing exceptional, but there’s good, solid love on display here. 4/10
Bonus points: -1, because no one should ever have to marry Dylan McDermott.
15. Wet Hot American Summer
Pretty nice—lakeside, garlands, acoustic guitar, flute played by Amy Poehler, comfortable clothing. And very few guests. (Guests can be overrated.) 5/10
The preamble: Aside from the extremely passionate sex scene between Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black that precedes this wedding, there’s also a nice bit of tension in the fact that the ceremony is uncovered by J.J. and Gary, friends of the couple who didn’t realize that they were gay and in love. Through J.J. and Gary’s eyes, you think you’re about to stumble on something absurd—but instead you witness a truly tender moment. 5/10
The drama: It’s all love, baby. 1/10
The romance: Like I said, it’s a really beautiful ceremony, and one of the few on this list that’s bereft of distraction. Janeane Garofalo even cries at one point. 8/10
Bonus points: 1, for the scene when J.J. and Gary interrupt dinner—just when it seems they’re about to confront and judge McKinley and Ben, they just give them a wedding present from Crate & Barrel.
14. The Godfather
The accoutrements: A beautiful sunny day, a flawlessly decorated 1940s-era outdoor space, and gabagool to last you till winter. Don Corleone spared no expense for his daughter’s big day. 8/10
The preamble: The wedding reception is the setting of the very first scenes of The Godfather. We don’t even get to see the actual ceremony. 1/10
The drama: Where do I even begin?! Per Sicilian tradition, no man can deny a request on the day of his daughter’s wedding. And since Corleone is, let’s say, a man in high demand, there are a lot of people making requests. We’ve got contract killings being ordered, immigration deals going down; we’ve got the FBI jotting down license plate numbers in the driveway; photographers getting accosted left and right. This is the kind of action I’m looking for! 9/10
The romance: There’s not much—in fact, a lot of relationships seem to be on the brink of collapse at this wedding:
But it’s still just so beautiful and sunny! 2/10
Bonus points: 0
13. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The accoutrements: It’s a little too hippie-ish for my tastes, but at least the guests are impressed. “We gonna get some fuckin’ toys,” Jay says to his girlfriend, referencing the hobby that enabled Andy to afford such a ceremony. 5/10
The preamble: Andy waded through years of intimacy issues, mountains of bad advice from his friends, Boner Jams ’03, and a gross amount of shellfish puke to arrive at the conclusion that the most important part of sex is love. It’s a nice message, and all’s well that ends well. 7/10
The drama: Another denouement wedding! 1/10
The romance: Pretty high. Steve Carell yells at a cleaning guy because it’s so high. 6/10
Bonus points: 2, for the “Age of Aquarius” performance that follows all of this.
12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The accoutrements: With a few wands you can accomplish anything. The tent at Bill and Fleur’s wedding would cost like $100,000 in our world. (Why does the outside of the tent have to be that big when you can use a tiny tent that is just as gigantic on the inside? Either the Weasleys are vapid or this is a world full of inconsistencies.) This wedding also has champagne glasses that refill themselves, a nice trad band, and antique centerpieces. It’s very well done; props to Molly. 7/10
The preamble: We’re not exactly privy to the ins and outs of Bill and Fleur’s relationship, but the union between the suavest Weasley and a veteran of the Triwizard Tournament is fascinating nonetheless. Plus, this preamble comes with heady questions about whether there should even be weddings while good and evil are at war, as well as Ginny pulling a classic, sexy “zip me up” move on Harry. (It would have been a lot sexier if Daniel Radcliffe and Bonnie Wright had any chemistry.) 4/10
The drama: Speaking of the war between good and evil! A bunch of Death Eaters show up at the reception. Not great for the vibes, but definitely makes it a wedding you’ll never forget! 8/10
The romance: Even before the Death Eaters show up, it’s a bit of a somber affair. There are guards lining the tunnel—that sort of thing is a bummer. 2/10
Bonus points: 1—did I mention that the champagne glasses refill themselves?
11. Jerry Maguire
The accoutrements: Jerry and Dorothy’s impromptu nuptials are a great example of a backyard wedding done well. It’s understated and just the right size—you don’t get the feeling that anyone who’s there didn’t deserve to be invited. They also get a mariachi band to do their music, which is a nice change of speed and also an adorable reference to the couple’s first date. NFL wide receiver Rod Tidwell sings “What’s Goin’ On” with the band; sort of a strange song choice, but he pulls it off. 8/10
The preamble: She’ll let you in her house / If you come, knockin’ late at night / She’ll let you in her mouth / If the words you say are right.
(What the fuck? I never knew until just now that Bruce Springsteen says “She’ll let you in her mouth.” Anyway, good preamble.) 6/10
The drama: Well, there’s this whole plot about how Jerry maybe doesn’t actually wanna get married.
That’s drama, right? 6/10
The romance: The man literally looks like he wants to set himself on fire the entire time. 2/10
Bonus points: 0—but can I just say it’s weird that the people who were at the wedding watch the wedding video the night of the wedding? Like, the wedding just ended, and Rod Tidwell was like, “All right! Let’s fire up the VCR and rewatch what we just lived!” It’s a necessary moment to showcase the doubt racking Jerry Maguire, but maybe that scene could’ve happened the next day? Everyone should’ve just been slamming Budweisers like Bonnie Hunt.
10. The Graduate
The accoutrements: It’s your run-of-the-mill ’60s wedding—but Katharine Ross’s dress is very pretty. 4/10
The preamble: It’s a classic tale: Man has sex with woman and then falls in love with her daughter; then kind of stalks the daughter; then tracks her down to a church in Santa Barbara and breaks up her wedding. All the while, Art Garfunkel is hammering the shit out of some acoustic guitar strings. 6/10
The drama: Imagine you just got married and then some guy dressed like a fisherman starts banging on the church balcony glass yelling your name. And then while people start screaming unintelligible things at you through gritted teeth, you, almost subconsciously, scream his name out. Then you run away with him, despite the fact that you literally just said “I do” to a different person.
Super dramatic. 8/10
The romance: I have to put this right in the middle because, well, is what Ben does really romantic? The idea is romantic, sure, but it’s hard to tell whether Ben’s actions are coming from a place of genuine love or if he’s just chasing after Elaine because she’s the one focal point for the only strong feelings he’s had in his young life. 5/10
Bonus points: Minus-1. We’ve all seen how this movie ends and it’s not exactly cheery.
The accoutrements: They got Wilson Phillips to perform. They got married on water in a setup weirdly similar to what the NFL said it was planning for the 2020 draft before the pandemic happened. And Paul Feig got Tim Heidecker to play a silent doofus groom. 7/10
The preamble: The back half of Bridesmaids is some deeply depressing shit. This score is only so high because of the dress-fitting scene. 8/10
The drama: By this point, all of the jealousy and passive aggression between Annie and Helen has mostly simmered down. But you can tell the Wilson Phillips reveal grinds Annie’s gears. 3/10
The romance: Chris O’Dowd is a very charming man. 3/10
Bonus points: 1, for Lillian’s dad’s reaction when Wilson Phillips comes out: “I am not paying for this shit.”
8. The Wolf of Wall Street
The accoutrements: It doesn’t fit all the criteria, but Jordan and Naomi’s wedding in The Wolf of Wall Street is one of my favorite movie weddings ever. It’s in the Bahamas; it’s a perfect recreation of tacky, early-’90s extravagance—the kind of thing Robin Leach would’ve loved; Jordan and Naomi’s first song is “Goldfinger”; and then, of course, there’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s dancing:
I have no other choice but to give this a 9/10.
The preamble: A debauched bachelor party wouldn’t work in most movies, but obviously it makes sense for this one. 6/10
The drama: A split-second of worry courses through Jordan’s veins when Naomi’s aunt notices the very obvious remnants of cocaine hanging out under his nose—“Into the donuts, I see,” she says—but in the end, she’s cool with it. 3/10
The romance: Yeeeeah … I’m not totally sure Jordan Belfort is capable of loving anyone other than himself. 2/10
Bonus points: 3—one for Scorsese’s integration of home movie footage, one for Jonah Hill’s dancing, and one for the fact that in the above scene, the cigarette never leaves Jon Bernthal’s mouth.
7. Coming to America
The accoutrements: I mean, wow:
The palace of Zamunda isn’t my style, per se, but you gotta respect the spectacle. 5/10
The preamble: Prince Akeem goes to Queens to find real love and falls for Lisa, the heiress of a fast food restaurant called McDowell’s—before the king retrieves him, forbids him to wed her, and orders him to agree to an arranged marriage. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in between all that, but you get the gist. 6/10
The drama: So get this: Prince Akeem thinks he’s about to marry the woman who was arranged for him. Little does he know that King Jaffe saw the light, decided it’d be OK for Akeem to marry Lisa, and then arranged to have her and her family come to Zamunda for the wedding. Akeem literally doesn’t know he’s about to marry Lisa until he lifts her veil. What a reveal! King Jaffe is one dramatic bitch. 9/10
The romance: It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around everything that had to happen to make the Lisa reveal work, which takes away from some of the scene’s sentimentality. But still, it’s true love winning out. 5/10
Bonus points: 0
6. When Harry Met Sally
The accoutrements: The wedding of Harry and Sally’s best friends, Jess and Marie, takes place in the grand ballroom of the Puck Building in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. That is just incredible. (Less incredible: The bottom floors of the Puck Building are now an REI.) As with most everything else in this movie, the wedding scene is a perfect New York dream. 7/10
The preamble: When Harry Met Sally is one of the greatest will-they, won’t-they stories of all time. After having sex temporarily disrupts their friendship, the two are in a resolutely “won’t” phase heading into the wedding. But because this movie is so well written, because Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s chemistry is so unparalleled, and because the movie itself is so well styled, you’re dying to see what happens at the wedding no matter what. 8/10
The drama: After staring longingly at each other during the ceremony, Harry and Sally get into a big fight at the reception that spills into the kitchen. (Meg Ryan says the F-word in front of a lot of caterers.) It’s high drama, man—if I was at this wedding I’d completely forget about Jess and Marie and be like, “Ooh, what are those people fighting about?” 7/10
The romance: Things between Jess and Marie are very sweet, but like I said, they get majorly overshadowed by their friends. 4/10
Bonus points: Minus-1 because this wedding seemingly takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Day weddings without after-parties are bad.
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The accoutrements: It’s obviously extremely Greek—the reception is at a place called Aphrodite’s Palace. But the wedding also looks ridiculously fun—maybe the wedding on this list that I’d most want to attend. There’s raucous dancing, shots—shots at a wedding, both a blessing and a curse—and Toula’s dad gives a lovely, heart-wrenching speech. 7/10
The preamble: If you take all the Greek-centric jokes out, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is really a movie about how everyone tries to make all of your decisions for you when it comes to planning a wedding. To those who have not yet planned a wedding, I say: Heed this message. Prepare yourself. Elope instead. 7/10
The drama: There’s some mild drama about whether or not Ian’s mom is going to continue being an ethnocentric jerk—but she warms up after several shots of ouzo. 2/10
The romance: It’s totally there—and not just for the happy couple. The movie also captures the romance of family. Your parents and relatives may be frequently insufferable, but they’re the people who make your life what it is, and recognizing that is profoundly important. 7/10
Bonus points: A total of 3—I give the dad four points for his “We’re all fruit” speech and the fact that his wedding present was A FREAKING HOUSE, but I had to take one point away because Joey Fatone is all over this thing.
The accoutrements: A perfect Italian wedding. (It’s not a coincidence that Scorsese pops up twice in the top 10.) Long, beautiful tracking shots pan across the room at a dreamlike pace as Karen meets Henry’s extended “family,” a whole mess of Peters, Pauls, and Maries who have descended on the tacky recreation hall. The shot of the endless line of guests waiting to give the newlyweds wads of cash is a brilliant image. And Scorsese’s mom even pops up!
This sequence is a true experience. 9/10
The preamble: Ever nuanced, Scorsese positions Karen and Henry’s courtship as both romantic and dysfunctionally violent. There’s glamour and romance, but also Henry Hill beating a guy’s face in with the handle of a pistol and then giving it to Karen to get rid of. That’s the point of Goodfellas (and all of Scorsese’s mob movies): The mob life is great … until it isn’t. 8/10
The drama: [Breathes a deep sigh.] This wedding is one of the few moments of respite in Goodfellas. 1/10
The romance: Like I said, the romance is there—but it comes with a price. 6/10
Bonus points: 1, for the way Scorsese sandwiches the wedding sequence. The aforementioned pistol-whipping scene comes directly before Henry and Karen’s ceremony—it’s a hard cut from Karen mentioning how Henry’s violence turned her on to the couple stomping on a glass and yelling, “L’chaim!” Then right after the wedding is a scene where Henry returns to Karen’s parents’ house at the crack of dawn, before turning right back around with an evil chuckle when Karen starts scolding him. At least the wedding was nice?
3. Furious 7
The accoutrements: Letty is wearing a very tasteful wedding dress. Dominic Toretto … IS WEARING WHITE JEANS AND A TANK TOP.
I think about this every day. 7/10
The preamble: To say Dom and Letty have been through a lot is an understatement. First of all, Letty DIED. Or rather, Dom thought she died. Actually, she survived her horrible crash, though she did lose all of her memories. Then a villain named Owen Shaw scooped her up and turned her into a bad guy. Then Dom and Letty bumped into each other in London and Dom was all like, “Derrr, Letty?” Then Letty shot him. But you don’t turn your back on family. Dom and the gang eventually rescued Letty from Shaw—which involved some absurd, physics-defying heroics. Then, after Dom almost dies from being crushed by thousands of pounds of concrete, Letty regains all of her memories—one of those memories being the night they got married.
This is the greatest love story ever told. 9/10
The drama: Minus all the memory loss stuff, you mean? 3/10
The romance: I’m sorry, I feel like you’re not listening—LETTY LOST ALL OF HER MEMORIES BUT THEN THEY CAME BACK “LIKE A FLOOD” BECAUSE OF LOVE. 8/10
Bonus points: 1—because Dom and Letty seem to exchange their personal vows while the priest is speaking. “We have eternity in this moment,” Dom says. “You ride, I ride,” Letty replies. Then Dom kisses her—seemingly before the priest says, “You may kiss the bride”—and lustily lifts her into his arms and swings her in circles. The priest, out of the shot, is presumably wildly confused.
2. My Best Friend’s Wedding
The accoutrements: The aesthetic of this wedding is the closest to my personal dream wedding. Security does feel a bit lax, however: Jules’s friend George—who definitely did not RSVP—is just sitting at a table at the end of the movie. If he ate the food, he better be paying for it out of his own pocket! 9/10
The preamble: As my colleague Rodger Sherman pointed out: Yes, it is extremely strange that a 28-year-old sportswriter is marrying a junior in college. It is also extremely strange that his expectation seems to be that she’ll drop out of school, no questions asked. But the real story here centers on Michael and Jules, two best friends/former lovers who made a pact to get married if they were still single at 28. (Too young for a pact like this!) Michael’s a real dirtbag who, mere days before his wedding, goes on romantic day-cruises with his ex-girlfriend and puts her whole finger in his mouth. But the story itself is immensely compelling and infectious. And the important thing is that Jules doesn’t actually break up the wedding. 7/10
The drama: Hours before the wedding, the bride-to-be, Kimmy, catches her groom kissing (or being kissed by) Jules. The three then chase each other in front of everyone, and Kimmy briefly disappears. Very dramatic stuff—definitely a fun wedding to be at. 10/10
The romance: As we’ve mentioned, there are plenty of legitimate questions to ask about this union. All of those questions sort of blunt the air of romance created by the wedding’s warm, tasteful aesthetic. 4/10
Bonus points: 0
1. Father of the Bride
The accoutrements: The Bankses probably invited about 50 too many people to the wedding reception held at their house, but if you ignore that, this is hall of fame stuff. Swans, tastefully romantic lighting, gourmet catering, valet parking. Don’t worry, though, George Banks can afford it—he’s the founder of the sneaker brand Side Kicks.
(Aside: I’ve got a lot of very off-topic questions about Side Kicks. We don’t have time for all of them, so let me whittle it down to two. Question 1: How successful is Side Kicks? It looks like a pretty small, local business, but at one point in the movie, George gets mad that his daughter’s fiancé is wearing Nikes, which suggests that George considers Nike a legitimate competitor of his. So is Side Kicks, like, Converse-level? And if that’s the case, why is George always acting so cash-strapped? The man owns a house that has two staircases. Question 2: You copping these or nah?) 8/10
The preamble: Father of the Bride is the best movie ever made specifically about planning a wedding—the absurd and ever-growing expenses, the clash of opinions and families, the way the months of buildup take forever when the day itself flies by in a flash. For that, the movie deserves tons of credit. But there are always countless tiny details to praise in this preamble: George teaching his young son how to walk down the aisle; it randomly snowing the night before the wedding; George having a breakdown because grocery stores sell hot dogs in packs of eight and hot dog buns in packs of 12. 8/10
The drama: The wedding day drama is less about the married couple and more about George desperately trying to steal a moment with his daughter. He never manages to, which is rather bittersweet. 5/10
The romance: Annie Banks and Bryan Mackenzie seem to genuinely love each other. What’s more, their wedding seems to reinvigorate George’s love for his wife, played by Diane Keaton, who extends her streak of movies in which she’s the most stylish person on earth. 7/10
Bonus points: 3—one for Martin Short as the wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer:
One for BD Wong with a ponytail. And one for the young Roman Roy:
And there you have it—the best movie wedding ever.