The first time I saw the ad I thought it was joke. Surely it was merely a composite photo — put together for some failed movie pitch — that accidentally got released somehow, right? After all, how could the insipidly titled The Big Wedding ever attract Oscar-winners Robert De Niro or Susan Sarandon? Sure, Katherine Heigl is believable (she of the 27 Dresses debacle), but Diane Keaton? And Robin Williams playing a priest in a wedding movie, again? Come on! The poster’s designers must have simply cut him out of a production photo for the 2007 travesty License to Wed and plopped him in this one. Right?
Alas, no. Not only is The Big Wedding real, it actually stars De Niro, Sarandon, Keaton and Williams. And Heigl. And it actually opens today. But save your money. Rather than seeing this sure-to-be predictable, probably-not-even-worth-a-rental movie this weekend, why not re-watch something else you know you’ll like? Like a wedding movie where the wedding doesn’t quite go as planned and, in some cases, the couple doesn’t live happily ever after. Here are a few suggestions.
The Graduate (1967)
A truly iconic scene: After rushing into the church, Ben (Dustin Huffman) bangs on the large plate-glass window and screams for Elaine (Katharine Ross). They run hand-in-hand and catch a passing bus. As Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” plays, a close-up of their faces show the pure happiness fading away as the reality of their future sets in.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 (2003-2004)
Oh, Bill. You pissed off (i.e. tried to kill) the wrong bride.
In & Out (1997)
When Joan Cusack’s character Emily learns, at the altar, that her would-be-groom is gay, Cusack truly earned her Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. It’s hilarious, over-the-top perfection.
Not only does Kirsten Dunst’s character have a miserable wedding, the entire planet is destroyed. Bummer.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Romance among the Main Line socialites. When future husband George (John Howard) sees Mike (Jimmy Stewart) carrying Tracy (Katharine Hepburn), his soon-to-be bride, he demands an explanation before going married. Instead, Tracy calls off the wedding.
Hoping to save the ghost couple, the Maitlands (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin), from being exorcised, Lydia (Winona Ryder) agrees to marry the ghost-with-the-most Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton). But before he can slip the ring on her finger, a giant sandworm saves the day. (If only it had also intervened in the Kardashian/Humphries nuptials.)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
Few may agree with me, but I think TWP is an underrated rom com. With winning performances from Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, you can’t help but cheer for the wedding planner falling for the groom. But still feel sorry for Massimo.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Robbie (Adam Sandler) saves Julia (Drew Barrymore) from becoming Julia Gulia.
The Princess Bride (1987)
“Mahwiage is what bwings us… togevuh. Twoday.”