Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks - Wedding Movies

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join us in holy matrimony by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!
Hello, everyone! Love is in the air this week on Thursday Movie Picks, and, if you will, please indulge me a bit...

This week is Wedding Movies, and, well, my sister got married exactly one month ago. And despite the unseasonably cold, wet weather on the day of the wedding, it was a beautiful, beautiful day - she looked so beautiful and so happy, and I got unexpectedly choked up watching my parents walk her down the aisle. So please just indulge me for one second as I bask in the beauty just once more...


SO PRETTY!!

Okay, back to the matter at hand. Movies. About weddings.

This was tough because there are so many to choose from. So I wanted to do movies that I love that I haven't mentioned on the blog yet. I kinda hope it also coincides with movies no one else picks, but just know that if you haven't seen these yet, you probably should. To know them is to love them.

Well, except maybe the last one.

Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) There's something about traditional Indian weddings, isn't there? The pomp and circumstance, the tradition, the symbolism, the MONTHS-long preparation... it all really makes the day itself feel like a big event - a culmination as well as a kick-off. Which is appropriate, since a wedding is essentially the line between one's single life and one's married life, especially in the case of an arranged marriage, like the one at the center of Mira Nair's kaleidoscopic portrait of modern India. Joy, tears, fights... it's all here, and all so relatable. It is so deeply felt on the levels of film craft and performance that we feel so much for ever single character, no matter how little time we spend with them, or how little they speak. This is how you do a big ensemble family film.

Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme, 2008) I have gotten into knock-down, drag-out fights about the quality of this one, so let me tell you right up front: I think Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece. The family dynamics are so keenly observed - in Jenny Lumet's super-smart script, in Demme's unadorned direction, and in the incredibly astute performances. Anne Hathaway was robbed of an Oscar for her stunning, against-type work as Kym, a recovering addict on a weekend pass out of rehab for her sister's wedding. She's been away from her family for quite a while, but it doesn't take long for her to completely upend the delicate balance that has been built in her wake, and the long-held, deep resentment among various family members boils up at all the perfect (read: ABSOLUTE WORST) times. Rosemarie Dewitt is low-key brilliant as the titular bride, Bill Irwin and Debra Winger all kinds of wonderful as the divorced parents, one open-hearted and warm, the other closed-off and prickly, and then there's the always lovely Anna Deveare Smith as Dad's new wife, and the shockingly natural Tunde Adebimpe (lead singer of TV On the Radio) as the groom. Add in the ever-present musicians, and you have the perfect recipe for a delightful/awful wedding weekend. And the wedding, the centerpiece of the film, is just stunning: a swirling, deftly edited, wondrous piece of film that seemingly brings every character arc and plot turn to a close almost completely without dialogue. I love this movie so much, and even moreso after my sister's wedding, because now I know firsthand just how deeply true it all is.

The Wedding Date (Clare Kilner, 2005) I WARNED YOU. Remember that long-ago episode of Thursday Movie Picks where I picked three "Crappy Rom-Coms That I Love Anyway"? Well, this one almost made the cut. I mean, what's not to love about Debra Messing hiring Dermot Mulroney - the world's foremost male escort - to take to her sister Amy Adams's wedding? With Holland Taylor as her mother? Actually.... quite a lot. This is a preposterous, ridiculous movie, with characters constantly being in places they would never be doing things they would never do. But Messing and Mulroney are so goddamn charming that I kind of enjoy it anyway. Call this one a favorite Guilty Pleasure, while my other two picks are All-Time Favorites.

19 comments:

  1. I also chose Rachel Getting Married. Couldn't let that one go this week. I never saw the other two.

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    1. UGH SO GOOD! That was the only one I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I had to include this week.

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  2. Rachel Getting Married was so good! I can't believe I didn't even think about it.

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    1. I love that movie so goddamn much.

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  3. F***ing Debra Messing!!! LOL.

    That movie...

    But congrats to your sister. That's so awesome, and beautiful pic.

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    1. LOL. I know. It's awful. But hey, I did warn you!

      Thanks, man. I took SO many pictures that weekend, and that's probably my favorite.

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  4. It's funny, Dan. I remember Rachel Getting Married receiving literally nothing but praise upon its release. Just pure, well-deserved praise. It's a unique film that understands family dysfunction better than just about any other, not only in script, as you said, but also directorial style. It unfolds naturally. Then, I heard people bashing it all of a sudden awhile back. WTF? I'm on your side.

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    1. I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!? I don't understand the hate for it at all.

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  5. I haven't seen Monsoon Wedding, I've meant to but haven't quite gotten there. It put me in mind of one of my initial choices for the week that I had to skip because I used it before, The Wedding Banquet. Though this sounds like a very different dynamic.

    The Wedding Date is cute, fluffy and eminently forgettable. But the cast makes it worthwhile, I love Holland Taylor so much!

    I'm going against the tide, I hate hated Rachel Getting Married. I detested those people utterly and struggled through to the end. The idea of ever watching it again gives me the heebie jeebies.

    Funny the large range of choices made it easier for me to come up with picks, though I was kicking myself for having used June Bride and Wedding Banquet before, and I went with ones that are a little more obscure.

    A Wedding (1978)-Robert Altman directed film with his usual kaleidoscopic cast ranging from Lillian Gish to Desi Arnaz, Jr. of the friends and family of a young couple who intermingle at a mansion before, during and after the ceremony, not always harmoniously. Not one of his wholly successful pictures but if you’re a fan of the director worth seeking out.

    Royal Wedding (1951)-Tom and Ellen Bowen (Fred Astaire & Jane Powell), an American brother & sister dance team, are headed to a London booking that coincides with the celebrations of the upcoming 1947 marriage of then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. During the sea voyage Ellen meets Lord Brindale (Peter Lawford) and falls for him. Upon arrival Tom and Ellen begin planning their show where Tom meets the elegant Anne Ashmond (Sarah Churchill-Winston’s daughter) during auditions. So smitten is he with her he literally dances on the ceiling. Many memorable dance numbers later this MGM musical culminates in many nuptials.

    It Had to Be You (1947)-Daffy comedy starring Ginger Rogers as a socialite notorious for leaving men at the altar. On her fourth fiancĂ© she’s certain she’s found the right man until on a train trip another turns up in her dreams claiming to be her true love. Returning home she’s flustered to discover the man really exists, or is he a figment of her imagination? Sort of a precursor to Runaway Bride with a twist.

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    1. THANK YOU for reminding me that I have to see The Wedding Banquet. Monsoon Wedding is really incredible.

      Yay for the Holland Taylor love! There's actually a kinda nasty, bitter streak in The Wedding Date that, depending on my mood, I either love or hate, but other than that, it's a total non-entity. And yet, I kinda love it!

      I will try to keep my emotions out of this, because I can understand how SOME of the characters in Rachel Getting Married are indeed terrible people, but there are characters that are good people mixed in there, and it's SO true to family dynamics. Reminded me a lot of my family, even though we're not at all like the family in the film. Plus, the actors are all INCREDIBLE, making even the smallest of details sing, and never letting an ounce of falseness creep in.

      It's been a long time since I've seen Royal Wedding, but I think I have to see it again knowing that that's Winston Churchill's daughter! It Had To Be You sounds like a lot of fun, and I've also heard good things about A Wedding. Interestingly, Monsoon Wedding at moments feels a whole lot like an Altman film.

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  6. Congrats to your sister!

    Been meaning to see Monsoon Wedding for a while now. Need to get to it.

    Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece. I'm right with you.

    The Wedding Date. Sigh. You're right that it's a crappy rom-com. Glad YOU love it.

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    1. Thanks, Dell! Definitely see Monsoon Wedding. It's great.

      So glad for the Rachel Getting Married love!

      LOL I know. I don't even know why I like it so much. Oh wait. I totally do: Dermot Mulroney and his hot little ass.

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  7. Very interesting picks! Especially the first one :)

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    1. Thanks! I love Monsoon Wedding SO much!

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  8. Ok...you'll hate me but I never got into Rachel Getting Married. I wanted to take Anne Hathaway and put her over my knee and give her a good spanking.i haven't seen the other 2 but they intrigue ,e and the last one looks like a nice romantic comedy

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    1. I do not deny that Kym perhaps did deserve a good spanking at various points in Rachel Getting Married. That did absolutely nothing to diminish my feelings towards the movie, though. The Wedding Date is NOT good, and actually has a strange nasty streak in it that can make for rather unpleasant viewing if you're in the wrong mood. I still usually enjoy it, but I can't exactly recommend it, if you know what I mean.

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  9. Surprisingly, I think I've seen the Wedding Date many times (all by accident I should add) - I love the British cast in this but otherwise not really a fan even though I've seen it too many times.

    I've wanted to Monsoon Wedding for so long. It was part of a special Film 4 season but I kept missing it.

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    1. UGH Monsoon Wedding is SO. GOOD.

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  10. Wedding Date - It's been too long since I saw it but I do remember enjoying it.

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