Tomorrow (May 19) is the big day: HRH Prince Henry of Windsor — better known as Prince Harry — marries Meghan Markle of California. The proceedings will air on BBC AMERICA as a live and direct simulcast of BBC ONE’s coverage.
To get in the mood, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite wedding movies. Exactly which mood is up to you: while most offer heartwarming romance, almost all of them contain some home truths about love that risk pouring cold water on proceedings (though things usually work out by the end).
11. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
This big-hearted crowdpleaser was a huge surprise hit, despite its meagre budget and not particularly well-known cast. Like earlier sleeper hits Life Is Beautiful and The Blair Witch Project, it relied on word-of-mouth rather than a big marketing spend, and the result was one of the biggest rom-coms of all time.
10. Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Weddings may celebrate love and everlasting union, but they also involve one thing: family. Anne Hathaway plays troublesome sibling Kym in this film from Jonathan Demme, and the turmoil she brings to her older sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding was so on point, she received a Best Actress nomination from the Academy.
9. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Bold in its day for its satirical swipes at the sanctity of matrimony, this sublime screwball comedy starred Katharine Hepburn as a socialite about to get married — until an ex (Cary Grant) and a tabloid reporter (James Stewart) get involved, that is. (There’s a royal connection too: the film was turned into the 1956 musical comedy High Society, starring Grace Kelly in her final role before marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco.)
8. Bridesmaids (2011)
This hit comedy from Paul Feig is a rare wedding movie that focuses on female friendships. Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) both come apart at the seams in the run-up to the latter’s wedding.
7. Margot at the Wedding (2007)
The wedding doesn’t quite happen in this dark comedy from director Noah Baumbach, and that’s in large part down to Margot (Nicole Kidman). It’s a classic in the sub-genre of “weddings that expose long-hidden family resentment,” as Margot’s younger sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) battles with her sister over her fiancé (Jack Black).
6. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
The score to Mira Nair‘s 2001 film may have gotten your shoulders twitching, but it also explored more intimate, human relationships than most big-budget Bollywood films. Like all good wedding movies, there were feel-good subplots galore (interclass marriage, familial reconciliations), lots of colorful bling, and plenty of granny dancing.
5. The Wedding Singer (1998)
Singer Robbie (Adam Sandler) and Julia (Drew Barrymore) are promised to other people at the start of this 1980s nostalgia-tinged comedy, but when he’s left at the altar and her boyfriend reveals himself to be a rotter of the worst sort, things come round (right round, like a record, baby) and, in true rom-com tradition, they eventually come together.
4. The Birdcage (1996)
The actual wedding scene in The Birdcage is short and part of the ending credits, but a testament to love nonetheless. It also demonstrates the ability of people from different backgrounds to come together to celebrate, with the daughter of a conservative Republican senator (Gene Hackman) marrying the son of two gay men (Nathan Lane and Robin Williams).
3. Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
You’ve never seen a happier bride than Muriel (Toni Collette), but her wedding is hardly the crowning moment of this hilarious cult movie. That comes later, when she leaves home, her husband, and her domineering father to move to Sydney with her friend and fellow ABBA fan Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths).
2. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
And if it’s specifically British weddings you have a hankering for, then you get four for the price of one in this ageless comedy. As Charles (Hugh Grant) and Carrie (Andie Macdowell) keep meeting at other people’s ceremonies, the film demonstrates how the best part of a wedding isn’t the ceremony, but everything that happens behind-the-scenes.
1. Father of the Bride (1991)
This remake of the 1950 original starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor is not just hilarious; it’s also one of the sweetest, most heartwarming films ever made. Steve Martin stars as the titular dad, who must deal with an increasingly extravagant and expensive wedding, put together, of course, by Martin Short‘s Franck.
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