Here Comes the Bride—In Ten Memorable Films

Weddings are filled with drama and comedy. So it’s no surprise that weddings crop up often as a plot device in films. Will that couple defy all odds and actually tie the knot? Can two totally different people find happiness? Will the relatives get on board or derail the whole affair? From the first meeting, through the courtship, to the big event, there’s always enough sturm und drang to pack the theater and keep people buying DVDs to view old favorites. (One favorite, The Wedding Crashers, scene above, was, like many wedding films, a box office bonanza).

We’ve selected ten wedding films that are always popular. Whether you are planning your own wedding, invited to one, or just want a few hours of great entertainment, these should be on your list.

The Wedding Singer (1998)

Adam Sandler plays Robbie Hart, a wedding singer down on his luck. After being left at the altar by his fiancée, Linda (Angela Featherstone), his career as a wedding singer, once very successful, has plummeted. He meets Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), a waitress at a reception hall where he performs many of his wedding gigs, who asks him to help her plan her own wedding. Robbie reluctantly agrees. As feelings between Julia and Robbie begin to grow, they are hesitant to admit them. A humorous film with many memorable moments, including one near the end with 1980s rocker, Billy Idol, both Sandler and Barrymore prove that true love is worth going after.

Runaway Bride (1999)

Julia Roberts stars as Maggie Carpenter, a small-town woman infamous for leaving three fiancés waiting at the altar. Richard Gere co-stars as Ike Graham, a columnist in New York, who is fired after he writes an article about Maggie’s story riddled with untruths supplied by a vengeful ex-fiancé. In a desperate attempt to get his job back, he travels to Hale, Maryland, hoping that Maggie will leave another groom (Chris Meloni) in the lurch. Ike continually goads Maggie, hoping she will run so he will have a story. Ike and Maggie spend so much time together, they begin to have feelings for one another. Maggie does run from her fourth wedding, this time with good reason. She’s finally ready to shed her running sneakers and then the title of Runaway Bride.

Bride and Prejudice (2004)

A modern-day twist on Jane Austen’s classic tale Pride and Prejudice this romantic comedy shows what may happen when two different worlds collide. Martin Henderson plays William Darcy, an American visiting the village of Amritsar in India, who soon meets Lalita Bakshi, played by Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai. Although Will shows an interest in Lalita, she is turned off by his advances because she believes him arrogant and abhors his ignorance about India and its culture. This fun and vibrant film is filled with traditional Bollywood elements, including exciting song and dance numbers. The once tumultuous relationship between Will and Lalita grows into an unexpected romance, showing that opposites do attract.

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

The big lesson in this timeless comedy is to never judge a book by its cover. Three women, Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable), Pola Debevoise (Marilyn Monroe), and Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall) are all looking for love, but not just any type of man will do. Although funds are low, they become desperate, and use what money they have to rent a grand apartment in Manhattan hoping to lure rich millionaires. These are three Hollywood legends at the top of their game. Bacall exhibits the class that made her a screen favorite, Grable gets to flash those famous gams, and Monroe displays her talents as a comedienne. Ultimately, the men they lure in are tossed back in favor of true love. But the biggest surprise is saved for Schatze in a classic scene that closes the film. Don’t miss the beginning and end where a full orchestra plays the theme. Now, that’s Hollywood!

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is a busy wedding planner who has no time for her own love life. Helping to create the perfect day for a rotating list of brides, she has a failed wedding in her own past. Fate intervenes when she is rescued from a near fatal accident by Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey). Unfortunately, he’s engaged to Mary’s biggest client, not only leaving him unavailable to Mary, but also putting her at risk of losing the opportunity to plan such an important wedding. Eventually, although both Mary and Steve realize that this relationship is off-limits, what they come to realize is that love cannot be forced or faked; it must come from the heart.

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

A classic romantic comedy starring Katharine Hepburn as socialite Tracy Samantha Lord Haven who finds herself caught in a sticky love web between her irresponsible ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), her current fiancé, the well-to-do George Kittredge (John Howard), and Macaulay Connor, a tabloid reporter, nicknamed Mike, played by James Stewart, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal. On her wedding day, Tracy must decide which man she truly loves—George, her ex-husband, or Mike. What she finally discovers is that the love she has been looking for is one that she already had.

Father of the Bride (1991)

In this entertaining remake of a 1950 film of the same name, George Banks, cleverly portrayed by Steve Martin, has difficulty accepting the fact that his young daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams) is finally going to be married. The road to the wedding is anything but smooth, as George places himself in many precarious situations. Martin Short is hysterical as Franck Eggelhoffer, the boisterous and slightly overbearing wedding planner. George ultimately signs on for a bigger wedding than the one he had envisioned, realizing that his little girl has grown up and he wants her to be happy. It is a tale about a father’s love for his daughter and ultimately recognizing when it’s time to let go.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) comes from a big, larger than life Greek family. Her overbearing father (Michael Constantine) constantly berates her for not being married. She finally meets someone she can be happy with, Ian Miller, played by John Corbett. Only problem? He’s not Greek. The coming together of the two families is alternately humorous and touching as Toula’s father is finally able to put aside his own feelings to ensure his daughter’s happiness. The supporting actors playing Toula’s wacky yet loveable relatives provide many moments of comic relief and downright hilarity.

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) sets out to prevent her best friend, Michael O’Neal (Dermot Mulroney) from marrying another woman. Unbeknownst to Michael, Julianne is in love with him. They had been friends for years and even made a pact that if neither were married by the time they reached 28 years old that they would marry each other. However, soon before Julianne turns 28, Michael makes the announcement that he is set to marry Kimberly Wallace (Cameron Diaz) in three days. Julianne now must race against the clock to reveal her true feelings to Michael or risk losing him forever. A cute and memorable movie, it shows how a person doesn’t know what they have until it is gone. Julianne unfortunately learns this lesson too late.

27 Dresses (2008)

“Jane was good at taking care of everyone, but she never took care of herself.” Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) from a very young age made it her business to please others, a sensibility that has followed her into adulthood. That attitude has found her always a bridesmaid, never a bride—27 times. Despite some major fallbacks throughout the course of the story, including her visiting sister falling for Jane’s boss (who Jane secretly loves), and a reporter publishing a story that does not present Jane in the best light, the perennial bridesmaid perseveres. Jane leaves her doormat self behind and finally goes after what she wants. A highlight? All those bridesmaid dresses that disprove what every bride tells her bridesmaids: “You’ll wear it again!”

2 Comments on Here Comes the Bride—In Ten Memorable Films

  1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding was so good in so many ways! But I am so so so bias to Aiden…yes He will always be Aiden from Sex and The City to me. 🙂

  2. Great choices. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a personal favorite of mine and I’d like to see Bride and Prejudice (I have a thing for culturally mixed weddings).

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