Our indie rom-com Plus One opens today in theatres and on select digital platforms! Maya Erskine (Pen15) and Jack Quaid (The Boys) star as lovelorn friends who agree to partner up in order to survive a hectic wedding season. We think the film is a riot, but don’t take our word for it: The New York Times, Variety, and the AV Club all love it too!
Plus One comes from a long tradition of wedding themed comedies, so that got us thinking about some of our favorites. Today we’re diving into film history to look at 70 years of matrimonial hijinks!
FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950)
Most wedding movies focus on the happy couple, but some mine humor from the experiences of tangential characters. In Plus One that is the hapless wedding guest, forced to plan their summer around a minefield of nuptials. Father of the Bride, the classic comedy starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, finds humor in the anxiety of the titular character, as he deals with the rising cost of the ceremony, feelings of jealousy toward the groom, and the heartache of watching his oldest daughter leave the nest.
This memorable sequence begins with Tracy’s character having a trippy nightmare about the impending ceremony, and ends with him ironically forced to comfort his equally nervous daughter.
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1984)
Getting cold feet is a common experience for movie brides and grooms, as is backing out of a marriage just two steps away from “I do.” In Plus One Ben (Quaid) is constantly second guessing himself, always worried he won’t find “the one.” In Four Weddings and a Funeral it takes five major ceremonies for Charles (Hugh Grant) to come to grips with his feelings and find his true love.
That’s fortunate for us, as we get to see a lot of British people getting married in the 80’s! Those traditional vows can be tricky if you’re not great with names — like the vicar in this scene, played by Rowan Atkinson.
MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (1997)
Weddings can sometimes be a lot like reunions, gathering friends and family that might not see each other very often. And when former lovers are involved, it can make for a very awkward reunion. Plus One has plenty of these moments, but no movie captured the trauma of watching a lost love say “I do” better than My Best Friend’s Wedding.
This is the rom-com for an increasingly jaded 90’s audience, confronting the reality that wedded bliss is not everyone’s story — at least maybe not by 28. It adroitly visits the emotional flip-flops of saying goodbye to a dream, while managing to be hella funny along the way. And, by God, there will be dancing!
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)
Sometimes weddings can be a fascinating glimpse into a different culture, or a fun pastiche of two cultures colliding. You don’t have to be Greek in order to identify with Nia Vardalos’ resignation to the demands of her family when it comes to her wedding. This colorful, noisy, opinionated, and cheerful film is equal parts educational and entertaining.
It’s great to see some other cultural influences represented in American wedding movies. MBFGW broke a lot of barriers there. Rooting for Toula (Nia Vardalos) as she initially resists her family’s influence and then grows to embrace her roots along with her newfound sense of self is a story for the ages.
Truth: when you become someone’s bridesmaid, you obligate yourself to spend loads of time with women who before now have been strangers to you. Planning parties, going dress shopping, organizing the bride’s gifts… it’s really a strange business. Both Ben and Alice (Erskine) find themselves thrust into unusual or uncomfortable wedding parties in Plus One, but nothing compares to the bizarre and hilarious experiences of Annie (Kristen Wiig) in Bridesmaids.
This party scene where maid of honor Annie meets the groom’s sister Megan (Melissa McCarthy) blazes new comedy trails when it comes to how ridiculous those first meetings can be. No punches pulled here as Megan freely discloses everything on her mind, without regard for the elegance of the occasion. Or the fact that she met Annie 10 seconds ago.