It’s that time of year again. Summer wedding season is upon us and the endless series of busy weekends filled with drunken speeches, tearful vows and wardrobe emergencies can finally begin. With all their drama and passion, weddings have always been fertile ground for writers and directors. Cinematically, they represent hopeful beginnings and are often used to exacerbate already strained family dynamics. In other words, it’s hard to find a wedding film that isn’t a funny and sad portrait of a couple or family. For the best wedding movies, Collider has you covered with a list of some of the biggest “I dos” in film history.
If the latest version of father of the bride came out, it was sure to be a hit. With a cast that people like Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan, this film delivered the classic broad comedy of the previous two releases, but also explored the dynamics of the Latino family that hadn’t had the spotlight in the past. However, we had no way of knowing how successful it would be. Coming out at the beginning of summer, everyone has father of the bride Fever and the Movie has drawn the largest audience of any HBO Max movie streamed exclusively on the platform. Fans of the original will love something familiar, and others will love its refreshingly weird and beautiful family dynamic.
This musical made waves on Broadway and years later broke box office records. For the few who don’t know the story Mamma Mia follows Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), a 20-year-old girl about to be married at a quaint Greek island hotel owned by her single mother, Donna (Meryl Streep). When she finds her mother’s old diary from the summer of her conception, she decides to invite her three possible fathers to the wedding so one of them can give her away. All told through the infectious and beautiful songs of ABBA, Mamma Mia may not be a masterpiece of fine art, but it will have you singing along and waiting with bated breath as the story takes insane turns.
Adam Sandler has never been as charming and sweet as he is The Wedding Singer. In his first romantic comedy collaboration with Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer follows Robbie (Sandler), a local rock star turned wedding singer whose fiancé dumps him on his wedding day. His world is turned upside down when he meets the bubbly and sweet Julia (Barrymore), a waitress engaged to another man. Now the Barrymore/Sandler collaboration is a classic, but this film cemented them not only as stars with comedic talent, but also as actors with great chemistry. It’s a beautifully serious and hilarious film that gave us a more mature Barrymore and a more sensitive Sandler.
Rachel Marries (2008)
This drama gives a cinéma vérité look at family dynamics during marriage and showed it to the world Anne Hathaway deserves to be considered a serious actress. Rachel is getting married follows Kym (Hathaway), a woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past decade, as she returns home for her sister’s wedding. Experienced director Jonathan Demme (The silence of the Lambs) delivers a story so raw it’s hard to watch at times. We sympathize with Kym as her family and friends try to keep tabs on her, and yet we can’t stand her erratic and ill-considered actions. This film does what all wedding films should do. It offers an intricate portrait of a family that is only exaggerated by such a huge and life-changing event.
Destination Wedding (2018)
Since Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves were some of the most bankable stars of the 1990s who also proved viable romantic leads and critical darlings, it’s crazy to imagine they hadn’t previously been cast together in a romantic comedy. destination wedding follows two people who meet on a flight and find the other absolutely obnoxious. When they realize they’re going to the same wedding in Paso Robles, they’re stuck together for the entire weekend. You may be used to seeing Reeves and Ryder in states of utter despair or on the run from supernatural terrors, but this film showcases their biting wit and charm in the best way possible. Their innate liking makes even these very difficult characters ones to cheer for.
This is one of the best movies about the American dream and immigrant legacy. This film may be called My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but it could easily be Italian, Latino, or Asian because it speaks to the fears and joys of every first-generation child. The film revolves around Toula (Nia Vardalos), the black sheep daughter of Greek immigrants, who finds her parents a burden because she is not married to a nice Greek boy. When she falls in love with a WASP High School English teacher, Ian (John Corbett) she must fight for her independence and let go of her shame about her family’s eccentricities. It’s an endlessly quotable film that will make you proud of your own family’s odd traditions, or at least make you wish you were Greek.
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
Many know each other Ang Lee‘s latest works from kung fu masterpieces like Crouching tiger, hidden dragon as well as sad and tender movies like Brokeback Mountainbut his early career was marked by films that were much less intense and much funnier. The wedding banquet begins when Wai Tung, a gay Taiwanese who has settled in New York, decides to appease his traditional parents by marrying his Chinese tenant, Wei-Wei, who needs a green card. To his surprise, his parents don’t allow him to get a simple ceremony and travel to America to put together a real wedding. Part of Ang Lee’s early Father Knows Best trilogy, the film infuses traditional Confucian ideals with a new world sensibility. It’s an extremely entertaining film about how lies can get out of hand and how we show our love in weird ways.
Every year at Christmas time, millions of viewers tune in Richard Curtis classic, love actuallyfor his heart as well Hugh Granthis clumsy charm. However, when it’s time for wedding season, you need to turn to the movie that launched Grant and Curtis’ careers. Four weddings and one death is about a group of single friends during this time in everyone’s life when almost every weekend is filled with weddings. Protagonist Charles (Grant) is cynical and hopeless when it comes to his own romantic life until he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), a vibrant and exotic American. The mix of poignant sentimentality and scathing humor makes this the perfect film for any romantic disguised as a cynic.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
It’s safe to say that the biggest subgenre of romantic comedy is Julia Roberts tries to sabotage a wedding. With movies like The Runaway Bride and the coming Entrance ticket to paradiseJulia Roberts blew audiences away, but the best of this subgenre is definitely My best friend’s wedding. The film begins when successful food critic Jules (Roberts) gets a call from his lifelong friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney), with whom she previously had a pact to get married if they were still single at 28. When he tells her he’s getting married, she decides to sabotage the wedding through wild antics and deceit involving her gay best friend George (Rupert Everett). One of the few films about love and marriage with an antihero, it constantly subverts romantic expectations and gives us a more complete, insightful portrait of the “gay best friend”.
As the movie that gave the world the most underrated actress of the decade, Tony Collettethis Aussie classic is an ode to the comic relief girls of romantic comedy. muriels wedding follows Muriel (Colette), a socially awkward ABBA-obsessed girl whose only dream ever was to get married. When she meets Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths), a feisty and confident former classmate who moves to glamorous Sydney, her life begins to change and she must face the ugly side of her dreams. Muriel’s wedding is both darker and funnier than you think, a unique quality for any film. For an inspirational wedding film that shows us that there’s more to life than saying yes, this is the film to watch.
For a wedding film that focuses less on the love between bride and groom and more on the platonic love triangle between a bride and her friends, bridesmaids is the perfect option. Co-written by and main cast SNL Legend, Kristen WigThe film follows Annie (Wiig), a struggling baker who is forced to deal with a series of misfortunes when her lifelong best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to serve as her maid of honor. Annie comes down with food poisoning, bumpy air travel, and most importantly, Helen (Rose Byrn), another bridesmaid aggressively vying for Lillian’s love and attention. The fact that this wedding film prioritizes friendship over romance and has a cast of the likes of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthymakes this film a rare gem.