I’m sure that everyone who has a profession or is connected to a particular industry has nits to pick with how their professions or industries are depicted in movies or television. Last night, when I was watching a mindless 90s Julia Roberts rom-com, I realized I am really a wedding-industry professional (as weird as that sounds) because of how irked I was with everything that was wrong with the movie and how ridiculously unrealistic it was (at least, in all of the plot points that related to the wedding).
In said Roberts rom-com, Julia Roberts plays a woman who once made a deal with her best friend that if they both hit age 28 unmarried that they’d marry one another. The friend (played by Dermot Mulroney, owner of a rather unfortunate name) calls her up out of the blue one day to tell her that not only has he ‘met someone’ but that they got engaged a month ago and they’re getting married in four days and he wants Roberts to come to the weekend-long festivities. So we’ve already got one extremely unrealistic event, in that there’s a big fancy wedding happening and yet they didn’t send out invitations immediately after the engagement. Plus, Dermot Unfortunate is marrying a 20-year-old woman (Cameron Diaz) who hasn’t yet graduated college, and her father is a gazillionaire owner of a sports franchise and a sports media conglomerate. That right there is just so unbelievably bizarre that I almost had to turn the movie off, because no.
People with oodles of money could, theoretically, plan a huge fancy wedding with lots of pre-parties in less than a month’s time, but nearly all of the high end vendors in any given big city are going to be booked months if not years in advance and it’s frankly bizarre to assume that the venue, caterer, photographer, florist, etc. that works with high-end clientele would be willing to drop whatever event/s they already had on the books for this spur-of-the-moment ill-fated match between a struggling sports writer and a jillionaire’s college dropout daughter. Money can do a lot, but it can’t make up for a long-term reputation ding that a vendor would get for canceling other events at the last minute.
So far we have a huge fancy wedding planned in a really short period of time yet no invitations were mailed and vendors high-end enough for a brazillionaire’s daughter yet willing to drop other clients or events to instead do this shindig. The next incredibly unrealistic thing is that when Julia Roberts lands in Chicago (because of course a food writer can afford to fly across the country on a moment’s notice) Cameron Diaz immediately asks her to be Maid of Honor. OK, nobody does that. It would not ever, ever happen. Nobody asks a complete stranger to stand up as wedding attendant unless they’re drunk and getting married by Elvis in Vegas or something. So Julia sort of accepts? and then they go straight to the fancy high-end dress salon and Julia gets a fancy dress that already fits her pretty much exactly. Again, would never happen.
With less than a month of planning, there are several fancy parties and events leading up to the wedding (nope and nope) and Julia spends the whole movie trying to keep her Kermit Baloney from marrying Mary Sue Diaz. Then Julia’s Sassy Gay Friend Rupert Everett flies across the country for a few hours to…pretend he’s her fake gay fiance? and then leaves again? It’s all very weird. Anyhow, there’s a wedding happening “on Sunday” and yet Cameron Diaz (THE BRIDE) seems to have no interest in the wedding details. She’s not stressed out at all about the party, she seems to have completely forgotten about the main event because she’s mostly just worried about her man falling for Julia Roberts instead. Or something. We don’t see any evidence of a wedding planner or an event coordinator or the bride’s mom or anybody dealing with wedding details. Even the wealthiest 20-year-old college dropout should have SOME interest as the bride in her own damn wedding. Somehow this whole wedding is coming together and nobody is in charge or seems to have any interest in making sure it all turns out OK.
The bride and groom have a big fight the night before the wedding and they sort of break up except they don’t tell anyone the next morning when they go to the pre-wedding fancy outdoor sit-down breakfast with elaborate floral centerpieces, and Julia Roberts shows up in a long-sleeved crop top (!) and causes a big scene and then there’s a low-speed chase and a stolen catering truck and the bride goes and hides in the bathroom at Wrigley Field (!?!) and it has to be late morning or early afternoon by now, and “the wedding is at six pm!” and shouldn’t the bride in a big fancy high-end wedding have, like, hair and makeup appointments? Where is the photographer capturing the day? And Julia calls one of the other bridesmaids and tells her to ‘bring my dress to the church’ and makes sure Saint Diaz and Kermit Baloney kiss and make up. And we cut to the ceremony in the church, and somehow Julia’s hair and makeup are perfect and so is Cameron’s and it happened like MAGIC because they didn’t have any time to get ready or get dressed or anything.
Then the Sassy Gay Friend shows up again at the end of the reception and takes Julia for a spin around the dance floor after they talk to one another on cell phone the size of bricks. Because an editor for a food critic has enough money to fly across the country twice in one weekend, just because.