Just like a lot of other Americans, on a hot, steamy night last week I went to see this summer’s one hit movie, Wedding Crashers I used to love to go to the movies. But, unfortunately for the movie business, I, just like a lot of other Americans, have almost stopped going. In fact, all around me in the theater, people were saying how they hadn’t seen a movie in months.
The reasons are pretty obvious, though the drop-off seems to be coming as a big surprise to those Hollywood moguls who are usually so sure, by instinct or by focus group, that they have their finger on the public’s pulse. (I guess they are the same crowd who assumed a movie in Aramaic couldn’t possibly do boffo at the box office.)
For the benefit of the moguls reading: Why are we all staying away? Because ticket prices are too high, of course. And popcorn and Diet Pepsi prices are even higher. Most important of all, many movies are simply a snore. Don’t you prove that every time you or your beloved fall asleep in the middle of a Blockbuster DVD?
But Wedding Crashers was very funny, though a little long. And some of its raunchiness seemed added-on as if the nude scenes were there to prove that this was definitely not your father’s summer comedy.
Still I had a special reason for going to see it. In case you don’t know, it is about a couple of thirty-something guys who crash weddings as a way to pickup bridesmaids and other romantically inclined female attendees. The crashers, well played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, are getting just a little too long in the tooth for this semi-sleazy gambit. The underpinning of the movie is really about how these Peter Pans slowly realize that they have become rather pathetic. It takes one very good (and very beautiful) and one very bad (and very cute) young woman to make each of them acknowledge this. The only solution? The next wedding they attend must be their own. Yes, Wedding Crashers, for all its raunchiness ends up the rare chick flick that even the groom can love.
The movie is set in Washington, D.C., with lots of lovely views of the monuments on the Mall. Now it just happens that last week I also attended a wedding in the nation’s capital. It was the wedding of my thirty-something son. And although I am pretty certain Jonathan was never a wedding crasher, he, like so many thirty-somethings inside the Beltway, had taken his time to dance the first dance with the bride rather than a bridesmaid.
By the way: There was an announcement about the wedding in the New York Times. And though some of you may wonder about the Times’s interpretation of major news events, let me tell you they factcheck those wedding announcements as vigorously as Judith Miller protects her sources. My son and his fiancée had to fax their academic degrees to the Times just to prove they really were graduates. And the announcement even included the name of the doctor the bride’s mother, a nurse, had worked for before she retired. The Times called the doctor just to make sure.
The Blyth wedding was perfect, the bride beautiful–she had deftly planned every single detail–and the one uncontrollable, the often humid, often drizzly, always annoying D.C. weather cooperated and was quite pleasant. In every way, it was a very Washington wedding. The ceremony was held in historic Christ Church in Old Town Alexandria where both George Washington and Robert E. Lee once worshipped. Congressman Bob Barr, for whom my son once worked, read the familiar and beautiful selection from First Corinthians. And the dinner afterwards was in an event space in Arlington that has a great view of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson, Lincoln, and Iwo Jima memorials.
At the wedding, my son told his guy friends that they had not been invited to a wild and crazy bachelor party because there had not been one. Jonathan explained that his brother, the best man, had come up with lots of suggestions for ending his bachelorhood in amusing, even spectacular, ways. He had suggested, for example, that they go skydiving together. Jonathan reported, “I said to him, ‘You must be kidding. I don’t want to go skydiving.’ And then I realized my brother has been married four years and has a baby. Does he know something I don’t know?”
Jonathan then went on to talk about how he had met Amy at a Fourth of July party he gave to watch the fireworks over the Mall. And how, as they dated, she made him realize that he was not only ready for marriage, but that he was in love, and wanted to marry her. When you are a thirty-something guy, what it takes, just as Wedding Crashers suggests, is the right woman. It may be corny but it seems to be true.
Classically, all comedies end with weddings and this summer’s hit movie is in that tradition. Nothing makes us walk away with a smile like a final wedding scene.
Especially, when you are the mother of the groom.
–Myrna Blyth, former long-time editor of Ladies Home Journal and founding editor of More, is author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness–and Liberalism–to the Women of America. Blyth is also an NRO contributor.