Watching “Bridesmaids” When You ARE a Bridesmaid

The first time The Boyfriend and I watched Bridesmaids together, he sat open-mouthed through the credits before uttering, “Well, that was depressing.”

I was baffled.  It wasn’t my first time watching the movie, and hitherto I had found it so hilarious that I laughed my behind off through each and every re-watch.  It wasn’t until I was going through wedding season again as a bridesmaid myself that I also started to feel that depressing vibe.

And, watching it again this weekend, I began to put my finger on why.  Here are just some of the reasons why Bridesmaids gets some of us teary-eyed instead of belly-laughing.

Weddings aren’t the time to reassess your own relationship status.

Becca: Is this your husband?
[Annie turns around and we see an older looking man standing behind her]
Annie: No. No. No! No! I don’t know him. I’m sorry.
Annie’s Mistaken Husband: Do you wanna go for a walk later?
Annie: Oh! I can’t.
Annie’s Mistaken Husband: All right.
[looking disappointed he turns and walks away]
Annie: I can’t. I’m sorry.
Becca: I am so sorry!
Annie: I’m not…I’m not with anybody. I’m here solo.
Becca: Let’s start it again. I’m…
Kevin: Re-re-re-rewind!
Becca: I’m Becca. This is my husband. You don’t have a husband!
[realizing what she’s just said]
Becca: Sorry!

Weddings have a natural knack for emotionally punching you in the gut where, oftentimes, you are at your rawest and most vulnerable — your romantic relationship status.

If you’re not in a relationship, you fear and loathe the search for a “plus one.”  (As well as fear and loathe what — or whom — you might do under the influence of an open bar).

If you have a partner, there are the non-so-subtle hints of “you being next” — which is problematic for many reasons.  Among them:

1.) No one but you and your partner know where your relationship is in terms of commitment.

2.) Not every woman in a serious, committed relationship wants to be married.

Bbridesmaids-dress-shoppingeing a bridesmaid is infinitely harder when you’re fat.

[at the Brazilian restaurant]
Becca: Helen, aren’t you eating any meat?
Helen: Oh, it’s not good to eat a big meal before a fitting, you know? Feel a bit bloated, so.
Megan: Not me. 
Helen: No?
Megan: No. Physically I don’t bloat.
Lillian: You’re lucky.
Megan: It’s a gift.

The scene in Bridesmaids before that infamous gross-out scene (think mass, bridal party food poisoning and a tiny bathroom), in which the bridesmaids dresses are being selected at a chic Chicago boutique is hard to watch as a plus-size woman.

The idea that Melissa McCartney’s size (at least a 20) would be available in the samples a small shop would be carrying on its racks is so unrealistic that it’s almost laughable.

When it comes to bridesmaid dress shopping, we fat ladies are left on the sidelines: pretending to be okay with shapes and styles that may look great on the thin bridesmaid trying them on — while all the time we know that the ruching will make us look fifteen pounds heavier.

Just let us pick out our own dresses.  Whether your bridesmaids are size twos or size twenty-twos, they’ll be eternally grateful.  It’ll be infinitely cheaper, your pictures will still look cohesive (just give us a color swatch!), and we’ll actually be able to wear our dresses again.

Everyone defines success

Lillian: Why can’t you be happy for me, and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?

When it comes to weddings, you don’t have to be able or willing to spend a bunch of money on your wedding to prove something.

Actually, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.  Ever.  In your life.

So whether you’re the bride or a bridesmaid, just saying no to a destination bachelorette party is not an indication that your love or your friendship is not up to snuff.

Brides: this is not “your time.”

[shouting to Annie as she is destroying the decoration at Lillian’s shower]
Lillian: Have you lost your fucking mind?! What are you doing?
Annie: What am I doing? You know what? You wouldn’t know, would you? Where have you been? You have no idea! Let me fill you in, okay? Ever since you got engaged, everything’s turned to shit!
Lillian: You know what? This is supposed to be about my time! You have managed to ruin every event in my wedding! Thank you very much!

You don’t have “dibs” on the year or so between when he ‘puts a ring on it’ and your wedding day.  The world keeps turning and, with it, all life’s tragic, beautiful, complex, and frustrating things are happening.

Not every woman is interested in infinitely discussing the minutiae of place settings.  Stop monopolizing the conversation, please.

No matter how much drama is happening with your wedding, in the end, it’s just a party.  Relax.  And, since the rest of us are still muddling through Real Life, and since we’ve been there for you through your wedding ups-and-downs, we’d appreciate at least an occasional check-in on our everyday dramas.

What do you have to say, dear readers?  As bridesmaids (or brides), how did you feel about Bridesmaids when you watched it — the first, second, or third time?

Comment below!


2 responses to “Watching “Bridesmaids” When You ARE a Bridesmaid

  1. Fun post, Ann. I love the movie and tend to watch it whenever it’s on TV (which is a lot), but more because of Chris O’Dowd and that storyline. I’ve always found it frustrating though because both women (Lillian and Annie) are kind of unintentionally horrible to each other, especially the whole Vegas trip. I think Annie can be more aware of the stress that’s usually involved in planning a wedding (perhaps not in this case with Helen doing most of the planning), but Lillian could be more sensitive to Annie’s plight and not insist on an out of town bachelorette party–especially with a (best) friend who’s afraid to fly.

    • LOVE the Chris O’Dowd storyline — the only time I get angry with him is when he springs the whole “baking in the morning” thing on Annie . . . not cool, dude. Annie’s jealousy definitely impacts her actions, but I just find Lillian to be (a), such a pushover, and (b), a pretty big narcissist.

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