A Wedding Movie Playlist
A construct, an event, and a boiling pot of heightened emotions -- weddings are a permanent fixture, alluring despite the frequency with which they occur. However, every so often, a movie comes out that shows a truer picture of what weddings are really like, rather than the highly stylised photographs taken during the events.
Monsoon Wedding (2001)
Mira Nair's film portrays an upper middle class Indian family preparing for their daughter's wedding. As relatives fill the house and characters both idiosyncratic and archetypal emerge on the screen, one is very likely to find at least one character reflecting a loved-or loathed-one in their own family.
A quintessentially South Asian movie that displays the anxieties, expectations, and fears different family members have in spite of each other or rather because of each other, Monsoon Wedding continues to be touching, poignant and relevant 20 years after it was made.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
In this movie that helped launch a franchise, otherwise stress-inducing activities associated with weddings and large families in general become comical, with the chaos only making the movie more entertaining.
However, despite the hilarity that ensues throughout, courtesy of sweet, loud, and side-splitting characters, this is a movie that explores the gulf between the expectations of parents and the desires of children.
Palm Springs (2020)
Forced to live the same day over and over again, Nyles and Sarah slip into a state of carefree joy as they accept their fate. Throughout, the movie is sprinkled with lines on weddings and marriages that might seem cynical such as "Marriage is a seemingly bottomless pit of sorrow that makes you forget who you are".
The unique style of the film carries till the very end, where an ambiguous ending leaves viewers with a range of guesses as to the fate of the protagonists.
Muriel's Wedding (1994)
A character who might actually be disliked, at least for a good portion of the movie, is the titular character played by Toni Collette. Seemingly without any useful skill, the ABBA-obsessed Muriel dreams of a big wedding to escape her bullying father who belittles her entire family. Despite the name, the movie comes with a whole lot more than weddings, dealing with issues of money, mean girls, and maturity (or the lack of it).
This movie has Audrey Hepburn playing a lovelorn woman yearning for the attention of a man who her father works for. Reminded of her social standing with lines such as "Don't reach for the moon child", Hepburn's Sabrina is unable to forget David Larabee.
Dreamlike, with the perfect music that feels like a mix of old Hollywood and Disney, the movie from the very beginning has an atmosphere of a time long gone. The exposition will remind one of a classic animated fairy tale being narrated.
The Farewell (2019)
Lulu Wang's movie starring Awkwafina is more about the differences between cultures than it is about weddings. The movie which depicts an Asian American's internal strife as she tries to grapple with her family's decision to hide their grandmother's cancer diagnosis, also has a wedding as a crucial plot device. As everyone except the grandmother strains to maintain the charade of the wedding, the event continues despite cracks appearing in the facade.