Bride Wars — Unpopular Culture

Weddings… they sure do make chicks crazy, amirite? I’m kidding, of course, but you might assume I wasn’t if you’ve spent any time watching shows like Bridezillas and all the other wacky wedding shows that likely make WE Channel executives oodles of money. The stereotype of the shrilly screaming bride-to-be who needs everyone to know it’s ‘her daaaayyyyyy’ isn’t just a staple of reality TV and Target: Women. Nope, you can find it in fiction, too.

Bride Wars

Right now I’m thinking of Bride Wars, which was met with largely negative reviews from critics. As it should have been. You’d think that a chick flick about two friends who are both getting married would feature strong women expressing their feelings and learning about themselves and kicking ass with girl power. Instead, you get a no holds barred chick vs. chick bitchlympics. Granted, the main characters do make up at the end, but they spend a good deal of the movie acting like spoiled bridezillas whose supposedly strong friendship is all but fractured by a clerical error.

Movies like Bride Wars aren’t meant to depict reality, I know, but the whole premise implies that caring independent women are just one wedding mishap away from turning into screaming banshees who will sacrifice their most precious relationships to ensure their ‘special daaaayyyyyy’ stays special. It ticks me off and bums me out at the same time, since I know that 99.9999% of the time, brides-to-be are calm, partial to compromise, and willing to roll with the punches… especially when the people important to them are involved.

So did any of you see Bride Wars? What did YOU think?

14 Responses to “Bride Wars — Unpopular Culture”

  1. Carol March 10, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Didn’t see it. Not interested in the slightest.

  2. class factotum March 10, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Haven’t seen it.

    Pro: Kate Hudson is usually fun, although her personal life of late has me rolling my eyes. (Yes, I take these things into account when picking movies unless the actor is his hotness, Russell Crowe, or His Most High Hotness, Denzel Washington, and of course, Denzel does nothing in his personal life to bug me, so that’s not a problem).

    Con: Anne Hathaway annoys me and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I wanted to slap her in The Devil Wears Prada for being such a whiny bitch about having to actually you know WORK in a job that was BENEATH her as if everyone doesn’t have to do that when she first gets out of college.

    But I can get movies free at the library so I might put it on the list anyhow.

  3. class factotum March 10, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    And yes I know Anne was acting in that movie but I still don’t like her.

  4. Twistie March 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    I chose to cover the WETV beat for this blog. That absolves me from ever having to sit through a movie about ‘wacky’ wedding hijinks ever again…unless it’s one that actually appeals to me.

    This one seems based on the worst cultural assumptions about women and weddings combined. I needed the Sanity Watchers points to make it through another season of Bridezillas and Platinum Weddings.

  5. un-bride March 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Your reasoning is exactly why I didn’t see it, and have no plans to do so. This stuff makes me sick. What’s the male equivalent here? Oh … right, there isn’t one.

  6. stephanie March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    I actually saw it with my fiance. We ended up being late for another movie we wanted to see and it was the only thing playing at the time. We both actually ended up laughing and having a good time. It was totally stupid and ridiculous, but comical. I was starting to get stressed out about wedding planning and so it was a great way to laugh at the whole situation and process and say “hey! At least I’m not that bad!” LOL. It definetly took the stress factor down a notch which was great. I have actually been liking all the stupid cheesy wedding movies for that very reason…it is a great way to be reminded of the fact that there is more to a wedding than the hectic stressful planning process.

  7. mkb March 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    There’s definitely a male equivalent to this sort of movie. The American Pie series is a good example.

  8. Meganleigh March 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Maybe I’m in the minority here…but I liked the movie. I don’t think their relationship failed simply because of one clerical error, but rather because there were certain traits in their respective personalities which were enhanced once this mistake happened. Now, I could go on and on in some pseudo-thesis about friendships and blah blah blah, but I’m not gonna bore you. Yeah, it’s dumb that big-industry basically whittles female relationships down to bitch-fests and cat-fights. Especially when a wedding is involved. However, the blow-out in this movie helped both girls realize what was wrong in their lives that allowed a tiny inconvenience explode into a traumatic event and fix it. For Kate’s character it was realizing she’s human and not always wonder woman. For Anne’s, she learned to stand up for herself and not let people keep stepping all over her. To me, these both seem like pretty decent life-lessons that more of us real-world women need to pay attention to. Okay, mini-rant over now. Thanks for listening!

  9. Annoula March 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    Old School is another example of the male equivalent.

    I didn’t see the movie, but I don’t know if I can agree with the attack on Anne Hathaway character in film version of The Devil Wears Prada. Have you read the book? The main character is 10 times more whiney, her friends and family are ridiculously unrealistic, and if it weren’t for all the talk of clothes, I would never finish it. At least in the movie, the main character wants to do her job well. (Off-topic, I apologize.)

    I like weddingy movies, but I don’t understand what’s so funny about dying somebody else’s hair blue or giving them a really strong fake tan. Presumably, these are the among the funniest moments in the movie since they are the ones chosen for the trailer, and that doesn’t give me incentive to watch.

  10. Melissa B. March 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Yeah, I skipped this one — the “brides are crazy and irrational” thing bugs the heck out of me. People like to say “it’s just a movie” and “it’s just for fun,” but certain stereotypes take the fun right out of things for me.

  11. class factotum March 11, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Annoula, agreed. I did read the book and the character in the book annoyed me even more! There’s just something about Anne Hathaway, bless her heart, that bugs me, so Anne playing an annoying character was even worse!

  12. Twistie March 13, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    I have to disagree that American Pie and its ilk (aka: the horny guys trying desperately to lose their virginity genre) is equivalent to things like Bride Wars.

    See, while the guys in films like American Pie urge one another to greater and greater stupidity in the goal of getting some, they don’t actually try to hurt one another. Their friendship doesn’t become deliberately endangered in the pursuit of their goal. The closest they come to the destruction of a lifelong friendship in pursuit of an arbitrary goal is the traditional ‘dude, chill’ speech in which one horny guy finally decides to just let things happen as they will happen. It’s a moment of temporary frustration, not an attempt to destroy someone’s happiness. The core friendship at the center of the film is never in question, never in danger.

    In films like Bride Wars, women are portrayed as so irrational about a single event that they will do nearly anything short of permanent physical mutilation to prevent their best friends from having as nice a wedding as they want to have. Where the guys usually bond over their silly goal and the increasingly ridiculous ways they attempt to reach it, the women are portrayed as willing to gut their nearest and dearest for the sake of being able to say ‘my wedding was prettier/more stylish than my best friends’ was.’

    I don’t know about you, but I see a huge difference between encouraging your best friend to play fast and loose with the truth with a girl so she’ll go to bed with him, thus achieving his goal of not being a virgin anymore versus actively sabotaging your best friends’ hair dye, canceling her vendors, etc. so she can’t get married the same day as you do. In the first case, while it’s not terribly savory it’s not intended to deliberately harm your best friend. In the second…there’s just no excuse in the universe.

  13. class factotum March 16, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    Oh wow. I saw the preview for this movie last night.

    I had no idea.

    These women are harpies. Shrews. Eediots.

    No, I don’t need to lose two hours of my life to this. At least with Jerry Springer, I don’t have to walk the three blocks to the library to get the DVD.

  14. La BellaDonna March 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    I’d actually be perfectly happy with an “American Pie” movie for women. I think, in fact, “Little Darlings” has a similar theme (haven’t seen in, but Wikipedia more or less confirms it). I despise the movies we get instead, which insist that women can’t REALLY be friends, and that there is a nascent harpy in each of us. I find them horribly misogynistic, and I won’t watch them. They are truly horror films.