E-mail from my stepdaughter, Morgan, 23: "My friends and I were writing back and forth about how disgusted we are with movies like the horrific bride one with Anne Hathaway," she writes. "I feel like something needs to be written about how tired we are of seeing these movies that make the holy grail of our lives the wedding band."
Many have written about the horror of "Bride Wars". I think it's a marketing tool for the fashion and wedding industries. The New York Times' Manohla Dargis thinks Hollywood executives think that women have a gene for tulle. She's equally disgusted that the wedding film "is one of the few storylines that afford American actresses screen time."
Wedding movies are attractive to Hollywood because they purvey pretty ingenues in beautiful dresses that are paid-for product placement by coutourieres such as Vera Wang, pretty ingenues flaunting wedding blings that are paid-for product placement by jewelers such as Tiffany & Co.
And wedding movies are also inherently attractive to writers at least since the Greeks because a wedding resolves the inherent narrative conflict of bringing two combative characters together. Me, I like movies that have weddings but aren't necesarily about them ("It Happened One Night," "The Lady Eve," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Elaine May's "The Heartbreak Kid" but not the Ben Stiller remake).
Still, what Morgan and Manohla and I worry about is that about the only time we see women on screen they are talking about diamond clarity and carat or planning a destination wedding. What happened to women characters like Greer Garson's "Madame Curie" who discovers radium? Or to Sally Field's "Norma Rae" who fights management for union rights? Or to Julia Robert's "Erin Brockovich" who leads the fight for restitution for the casualties of corporate greed?
My guess is the occasional farce like "Bride Wars" wouldn't make us irritable if we were also seeing screen representations of women in less trivial pursuits.
Your thoughts? (Or your favorite movie brides?)