This Friday Bites has nothing to do with food, but everything to do with what is currently occupying all my energy these days: weddings. By the time you read this, I will be in Vegas, bachelorette partying in a pool that is also a shark tank (?!) with my very best friends in the whole universe. I'll be a little over 24 hours away from marrying the love of my life, after being together for 9+ years. (WHAT?!) It's an exciting time, and it's also one that's full of details, timelines, obsessing over things like wedding veils, travel steamers, and my "dream" nails.
In the middle of all of the wedding planning I’ve been doing over the past couple weeks, one of my besties texted me to ask what my favorite wedding rom-coms were. I haven’t consciously been keeping a mental list of my favorite wedding rom-coms, but with ZERO hesitation, I listed off my top 5.
And so, the inspiration for this non-traditional edition of Friday Bites: my favorite wedding rom-coms, in no particular order.
I realize that by putting 27 Dresses as the first in this no-particular-order list, I may lose a lot of you, and I don’t care. I love this movie. Katherine Heigl plays a woman who has been a bridesmaid an obscene amount of times (27 times, to be exact) and unironically loves weddings. James Marsden plays a cranky, cynical journalist who is stuck writing up fancy wedding announcements for a national newspaper. Can you even imagine the shenanigans these two get into?
Sure, this one is full of un-feminist tropes: the woman who spends her life caring for others and always putting herself last, and she isn’t bitter about it (mostly). The curmudgeonly dude who doesn’t believe in marriage, blah blah blah. Intellectually, I know it’s all wrong and silly and stupid. But goddammit, when Judy Greer’s character slaps Katherine Heigl in the face after Katherine whispers after her dreamboat boss (played by Ed Burns), “I love you, too,” it makes me laugh every time. And the “Bennie and the Jets” scene? Forget it. Have fun with your eye-rolling, I’m going to be over here singing about electric boobs with Katherine and James.
The Wedding Date
This one…this one is pretty terrible, I’ll admit it. Debra Messing plays a woman who hires a male escort as her date to her sister’s wedding and help her brave a minefield of ex-boyfriend sightings and fucked up family dynamics. Dermot Mulroney plays the male escort, who’s full of charm (obviously), wisdom, and romantic one-liners.
I don’t know what it is about this movie that technically makes it fall flat or why I continue to love it so much in spite of that. I just want Debra Messing’s character to blossom and be her best self. I want her to admit her love of Air Supply and belt out “All Out Of Love.” I want to believe in the chemistry between Debra and Dermot. I want to believe the dreamy one-liners. This one misses the mark in a lot of ways, but I kind of don’t care. I love Debra and I love Dermot, and this movie has enough funny moments to keep it as one of my fave rom-coms.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
If you haven’t already watched this movie by now, I can’t help you.
Just kidding. But honestly, this one is so good.
Julia Roberts plays a food critic (a-HA! There IS food in this edition of Friday Bites after all!) whose best friend, Dermot Mulroney, is a handsome sports writer. A million years ago, they made a pact to marry each other if they hadn’t found love by a certain age. On Julia Roberts’ pact birthday, Dermot tells her that he’s found the love of his life and they’re getting married. Julia realizes she loves Dermot, and the rest of the movie is dedicated to Julia plotting to destroy her best friend’s relationship. This movie has everything: Karaoke! Plotting and scheming! Devastating good looks! A gay best friend! Julia Roberts’ laugh! A bread truck car chase scene! Slow dancing! Etc.
This was one of the first rom-coms I loved and watched over and over again, and I’m not sorry about it. It’s also one of the few rom-coms whose characters (and audience!) don’t always get the ending they want, but the one they need. I’ve always loved that about this one. And also, this was the world’s introduction to Dermot Mulroney, and I don’t think the world was ever the same. Am I right? I’m totally right.
This might be surprising, but it’s hard for me to pass up a Vince Vaughn movie. Swingers? Love it. Four Christmases? I might hesitate, but I’ll watch it. (I actually don’t remember this movie all that much, if I’m being honest.) The Break-Up? One of my favorite movies EVER. Wedding Crashers? I will say YES to this movie every time.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play two D.C. lawyers who spend their free time crashing weddings and sleeping with women. One weekend, they crash the holy grail of weddings (a politician’s family!) someone falls in love, Will Ferrell makes an appearance, Vince Vaughn is Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson is charming, Bradley Cooper plays a convincing DUDE, Rachel Adams plays sweet and uncertain really well, some questionable things are said and done, etc.
It’s a rom-com with enough silliness and raunchiness for the dudes (I say ‘dudes’ as a non-gender-specific aesthetic. I hope you know what I mean) among us, and enough sweetness and romance for the sensitive hearts. I have a little bit of both in me, and Wedding Crashers strikes the balance. It definitely has its problems, but whenever I just need to have a good, ridiculous laugh, Wedding Crashers is it.
Bend It Like Beckham
So, technically, Bend it Like Beckham is not a wedding movie. But it has a wedding IN it, and that’s good enough for me.
Parminder Nagra plays an Indian girl in Britain who idolizes David Beckham and dreams about playing football (or “soccer” for all the ‘mericans reading this) professionally. The dream begins to come true when she meets Kiera Knightly, who invites her to try out for a girls’ team coached by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. She makes the team, but has to walk a tightrope between her obligations to family, their expectations for her future, and her own goals and dreams.
I fucking. love. this. movie. I loved this movie when it first came out because it starred Indian women, and even though my own culture and theirs are vastly different, it still felt like I saw myself on the screen. A fellow brown girl trying to live up to her family’s expectations but wanting to pursue a path that might disappoint them. Growing up in a culture where family bonds and obligations are strong and inescapable. And crushing on a white guy who kind of doesn’t get it, but kind of does, and is cute, so why not?
Honestly, the story of my life.
Last but certainly not least.
Kristen Wiig, a failed baker (a-HA! More food!), plays best friend and maid of honor to Maya Rudolph, who just got engaged. The whole movie is the most hilarious shenanigans: Kristen Wiig’s character is honestly all of us, as she tries to do all the things a maid of honor does, but keeps getting outshined by Rose Byrne’s character, a snooty rich woman who is clearly competing for the title of best friend and maid of honor.
This movie is everything: it’s about best friends, it’s about making new friends. It’s about dancing to your favorite ‘90s jams with your bestie whenever and wherever. It’s a cautionary tale about eating rare meat and then getting horrific diarrhea in a fancy bridal shop after. It’s about how well Jon Hamm plays a douchebag. It’s about finding your footing and direction when you’re feeling uncertain about your place in the world. It’s about knowing the exact ratios of ingredients to make exactly ONE cupcake. It’s about finding your voice and being confident in it. It’s about breaking old patterns and receiving the love that the world brings to you.
WELL! I’m getting married tomorrow, and then I’m going off the grid for a bit, so no Friday Bites next week. I’ll be back the week after, and I will talk about all the food I ate (what if I dedicated a whole post to my wedding cake?! or the second reception we're having in my hometown?! or our reception meal?!), and I'll talk all about what's coming next.