The Best Films About Weddings Ever Made
Hollywood's made some great movies about weddings over the years!
There’s just something about a good wedding movie. Families, friends and the inevitable chaos that ensues. Beautiful clothes, food, fun and festivities. What’s not to love?
Whether you or someone you know is newly engaged or just in love with wedding flicks, these films make for essential wedding viewing bliss. Some are happy, some are sad, but all will have you musing about marriage.
‘Four Weddings And A Funeral’
Hugh Grant became a star after the huge success of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” In the film, Grant plays awkward Englishman Charles, who can’t quite catch the girl of his dreams (Andie MacDowell) at the right moment in time. Plus the viewer gets to enjoy not one but four colorful weddings. Grant would go on to make several more movies with Richard Curtis (“Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Notting Hill,” “Love Actually“).
‘The Wedding Banquet’
A young Taiwanese businessman living in Manhattan with his male partner decides to enter into a marriage of convenience with his Chinese female tenant. She needs immigration status and he needs his Taiwanese parents’ approval. They want him to settle down and have kids and are visiting him with plans for a big wedding. Acclaimed director Ang Lee made this funny film, which includes — you guessed it — a huge, traditional Chinese wedding banquet.
‘Rachel Getting Married’
Rachel gets the focus of this movie’s title, but Anne Hathaway plays the real star of the drama. She steals the screen in the role of Kym, a recovering addict, who comes back from rehab for her sister Rachel’s wedding. It’s a colorful, eclectic, multi-ethnic wedding weekend filled with lots of turmoil, largely stirred up by Kym.
This is not a Bollywood-style Indian wedding film. Directed by Mira Nair, “Monsoon Wedding” focuses on an arranged marriage about to take place in New Delhi. Though almost complete strangers, the pair finds that they’re slowly falling for each other. Many other funny, tragic, nuanced and well-acted side plots swirl around the engaged couple, leading up to their wedding day.
‘After the Wedding’
There are so many unexpected and amazing twists in this Oscar-nominated Danish film that if you haven’t seen it, it would be a shame to give any of them away. The overall gist is this — Mads Mikkelsen plays the manager of an orphanage in India who has to travel back to his home country of Denmark to convince a wealthy businessman to finalize his large donation for the poor orphanage. While there, he’s invited to the wedding of the businessman’s daughter. “After the Wedding” is a must-watch film with romantic and family love at its core.
“Muriel’s Wedding” is incredibly quirky and equally charming. Set in Australia, this rom-com follows the very awkward and ABBA-obsessed Muriel, her family and her feisty best friend. Always looking for love and living much of the time in a fairytale, Muriel agrees to marry a South African swimmer who needs to get a long-term Australian visa to keep training for the Olympics.
P.J. Hogan, who also directed “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” concocted this equal parts funny and sad film. The movie brought both Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths wider fame.
After 20 years of being a wedding videographer (at 112 weddings) to supplement his income, documentarian Doug Block (“51 Birch Street”) went back to some of his brides and grooms to see how the “after” part of “happily ever after” ended up. This is an insightful, funny and honest documentary that’ll get you thinking beyond the wedding day.
‘Father of the Bride’ (1950 and 1991)
Both the original 1950 Spencer Tracey/Elizabeth Taylor and 1991 Steve Martin/Kimberly Williams versions of “Father of the Bride” are charming classics in their own right. The tightwad dads of both films humorously show what it’s like to “give away” a daughter. The ’90s version does have one thing on the ’50s film — Martin Short as eccentric, indiscernible wedding planner Franck.
A wedding movie that’s also a planetary disaster tale and a meditation on mental illness? Lars Von Trier created the drama “Melancholia” after his own bout with serious depression. The first half of the film focuses on the lavish wedding of beautiful Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). The second half, meanwhile, gives us a glimpse at the end of the world.
“Melancholia” is far from a light-hearted romp, though it does have its comedic moments. Watch this one when you’re feeling like a beautiful head-scratcher of a film.
‘The Philadelphia Story’ / ‘High Society’
It’s hard to outdo Katherine Hepburn, so let’s say “High Society” (1956) is a well-done remake of “The Philadelphia Story” (1940). Both movies have an ex-husband questioning his divorce as his ex-wife is about to remarry — and then a reporter covering the high society wedding starts falling for the bride, too.
Both films have stellar casts. The original stars Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. The remake is a musical with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong belting out Cole Porter songs. Grace Kelly took over the Katherine Hepburn role and it ended up being her last film, as she was married to Prince Rainier of Monaco shortly after the film’s release.
The wedding is really only the start of “Steel Magnolias,” but it sets the stage for the rest of the film. And what a wedding it is! Julia Roberts’ Southern bride Shelby picks “blush and bashful” for her wedding theme colors, goes for a big curly ’90s updo, and has that bleedin’ red velvet armadillo groom’s cake at the reception. The strength of “Steel Magnolias” is in its all-star female cast, including Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton and Daryl Hannah.
‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’
Julia Roberts is a conniving, though sympathetic, friend who tries to undermine the wedding of her college friend (Dermot Mulroney) to a sweet and wealthy younger woman because she wants him for herself. Rupert Everett steals multiple scenes in this movie, including the family restaurant sing-a-long. Cameron Diaz as the bride appears in one of her early major screen roles.
This comedy starring Kristen Wiig as an unemployed and romantically challenged maid of honor is a “new classic.” At the time of its 2011 release, CNN called it “a stiletto-sharp, raunchy, no-holds-barred yuk-fest that stands as a worthy female counterpart to the likes of ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘The Hangover.'”
And really, how can you not like a wedding movie where they give out puppies as wedding shower favors, and a blitzed bridesmaid on anti-anxiety pills and alcohol requires an emergency plane landing? If nothing else, you’ll know your dress fittings will go better than the one this wedding party had.
‘The Wedding Date’
The plotline for “The Wedding Date” is a bit out there. A New Yorker hires a hot male escort to be her date at her younger sister’s extravagant English wedding in order to show up her ex-fiance and avoid having her family ask about her love life. But Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney have crazy good chemistry together, and the wedding week of events in Britain provide a lot of classy color.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn make “Wedding Crashers” one long celebration of raunchiness, friendship and, ultimately, true love. Throw in a crazy, Kennedy-esque family and one psychotic fiance and this a comedy you can watch and quote over and over.
‘The Wedding Singer’
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore take us back to the 1980s when the weddings were pretty awful but the wedding singers were pretty great.
“Sandler, whose screen persona has been somewhat grating, is a revelation playing a character with innate decency,” Variety said at the time of the 1998 film’s release.
It called Sandler’s role as Robbie Hart “a break-through performance” and praised Barrymore’s wedding waitress, Julia.
‘Bride and Prejudice’
While “Bend It Like Beckham” is the better film by Gurinder Chadha and also, arguably, a wedding movie, “Bride and Prejudice” has marriage in both its heart and its title. This musical remake of “Pride and Prejudice” set in India and America fuses Hollywood and Bollywood. Aishwarya Rai and her big expressive eyes, plus the charming Martin Henderson, make good stand-ins for the Elizabeth-Darcy roles.
‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was an unexpected and instant hit when it was released. It’s still as fun to rewatch today, mostly because of the lovable Portokalos family and the well-written script. Opa!
‘In & Out’
After a former student “outs” his high school teacher while giving an Oscar acceptance speech, the teacher, who is about to be married — to a woman — slowly comes to the realization that he is, in fact, gay. The real standouts in “In & Out” are Matt Dillon as the Oscar winner, Joan Cusack as the bride and Tom Selleck as a gay TV newscaster who tries to get the closeted teacher to accept himself.
This film reunited the primary actors — plus director Gary Marshall — from “Pretty Woman.” The plot is a bit lacking, but all the old chemistry between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere remains. The small town where most of the film is set — and its inhabitants — bring out the best in the leads. And viewers get to witness Roberts in not one but five weddings.
The movie version of the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia” is set at a family hotel in Greece and filled with a lot of campy chaos. Like she does with most of her movies, Meryl Streep delivers a marvelous performance.
The movie “makes bursting spontaneously into song seem like a perfectly reasonable—indeed, highly desirable—thing to do, and it leaves the audience wanting to do the same,” said Slate when the film first came out.
‘Seven Chances’/’The Bachelor’
“Seven Chances” is the 1925 silent film starring Buster Keaton. And “The Bachelor” is the 1999 remake of that film. Best know for the “running of the brides” scene at its end, the story follows a man who discovers that in order to inherit a fortune, he must be married by a fast-approaching deadline. The problem is, he’s just screwed things up with his longtime love.
‘Three Men And A Little Lady’
“Three Men and a Little Lady” is a charming, though inferior, sequel to “Three Men and a Baby.” What it does have on the first film is a lavish English wedding week. The New York Times calls the film “a two-hour holiday. Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg continue to be great together as “my three dads.” And there are some very funny supporting characters that pop up in England.
‘Coming to America’
In “Coming to America,” Eddie Murphy plays an African prince headed to Queens, New York, to find a bride before his parents make him marry their pick. Arsenio Hall plays his loyal sidekick, and a slew of hilarious supporting characters fill out the cast. The wedding that comes at the end of the film is royally huge, including the bride’s gigantic pink wedding dress.
‘Black Cat, White Cat’
This delightful black comedy from Serbia questions who will make it the altar, when, how and for what reason.
The New York Times said of director Emir Kusturica’s film, “It’s a mad scramble through the Felliniesque realm of Kusturica’s imagination, and it proves nothing if not this much: give this man the Danube, Gypsy musicians and a camera, and you’ve got a party.”
“Royal Wedding” has the famous “dancing on the ceiling” scene with Fred Astaire, plus many other fantastic song and dance numbers. Astaire and Jane Powell play a brother-and-sister dance team, each of whom falls in love with someone amidst their invitation to dance in England. Plus it’s set during the 1947 royal wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Isn’t love grand?
‘The Best Man’
Taye Diggs, Nia Long and Terrence Howard headline this wedding flick that’s “touched with a sweetness and a sense of humanity.”
A group of friends gathers for a wedding. At the same time, the best man’s semi-autobiographical book based on the same group of friends is leaked early. Drama ensues as past secrets come out.
Rana is facing a deadline in this Palestinian film — get married or move to Egypt. Roger Ebert didn’t think much of the plot when the film came out. However, he said, “the movie is passable as a story but fascinating as a document. It gives a more complete visual picture of the borders, the Palestinian settlements and the streets of Jerusalem than we ever see on the news.”
Jake Ryan ruined every young woman’s idea of a romantic dating life after seeing “Sixteen Candles.” That’s because no guy can — we’re going there — hold a candle to his romantic gesture of picking Molly Ringwald up after her sister’s wedding in his red sports car and asking her to “make a wish” next to a gigantic birthday cake that they then lean over perilously as they have their first kiss.
Oh, and there’s also all the wedding hijinks you’d expect, plus a layer of director John Hughes’ 1980s teen high school drama on top, led by Anthony Michael Hall as a dweeb.
‘Crazy Rich Asians’
The newest release on this list, the film version of the book “Crazy Rich Asians” is notable for its almost entirely Asian cast. The opulent Singapore wedding events leading up to the main event are quite amazing. And then there’s the flower-strewn, flooded church aisle the bride walks up in her opulent designer gown.
But it’s the main lovers that steal the show. As director Jon M. Chu said, “They’re an embattled couple and it’s here, in this beautiful wedding, that they find the resolve… All the extravagance and the craziness disappears.”
How many of these movies have you said “I do” to already?