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Friday, January 09, 2009

Bride Wars

I went to see Bride Wars a few days ago and I swear it is the kind of movie that if a straight man sees it he may well consider giving up heterosexuality forever. I’m sorry, but these women give vaginas a bad name. What a couple of shrews they are. I don’t care how pretty they may be, they are the most shallow, insipid cows this side of the cast of “The Hills.”

I remember the first time I got married, and it was nothing like the psychotic hoopla portrayed in
Bride Wars. These gals (and I use that term because it is more polite than the one I want to use that rhymes with ‘witches') are both determined to have their weddings in New York’s fabulous Plaza Hotel in June, and, naturally, chaos ensues when there is only one date open and they are scheduled to be married in different ballrooms at the same time. Now, to me, this is hardly worth the high-strung histrionics that follow, but there wouldn’t be a movie otherwise, which might not have been a bad thing, but it is what it is, and so the world now has Bride Wars whether we want it or not.

One thing
Bride Wars unfortunately did was remind me of my practice husband, Dennis. I know a lot of people would refer to that individual as their “first” husband, but I think everyone should be eligible for a practice shot at marriage, sort of a “test drive” to sort out all the bugs and annoying habits a spouse may bring to a marriage, so that when you divorce hubby number one you’ll have a way better idea of what you are looking for ~ and not looking for ~ in the “till death do you part” arena. That may sound harsh to many of you, but you never met my Dennis. To call him “a piece of work” is like referring to the Mona Lisa as a “nice attempt at painting for a beginner.” I could probably fill up the entire Internet with horror stories about this guy, but I shall use self-restraint other than to comment on his apparent allergies to churches and spending money, which resulted in our wedding being so chintzy my “bridal gown” came from Sears and the ceremony was performed in the woods behind our house, next to the compost pile, officiated by his idiot brother, who was “ordained” through an Internet church. My Bride Wars were with the groom instead of another bride, which I think would have been a lot more fun actually.

In the movie Bride Wars, Emma (Anne Hathaway; Get Smart) and Liv (Kate Hudson; Fool’s Gold) never make their animosity towards one another look all that serious as they battle for control of “The Big Wedding Day at the Plaza Hotel.” These two best friends since childhood have shared this dream about getting married in June at The Plaza since they were ten. They even acted out the ceremony in the attic of Liv’s home, practicing for that day sometime in the future, until they had it turned it into a full-blown production number both had memorized and tweaked into ‘perfection’.

So now the future has arrived more than a decade later, and by coincidence, both women become engaged on the same day, and they decide to have their weddings planned by the premiere wedding expert in New York City, Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen; Sex and the City). Unfortunately, a clerical snafu in Marion’s office results in both weddings scheduled on the same day, and with no other openings in June for another three years, they either both get married the same day or one of the ladies will have to give up her dream spot at The Plaza. Quelle disaster!

I never could figure out why this is such a terrible thing. It seems that if they are both having their receptions in
adjoining ballrooms at the hotel all they’d have to do is schedule one wedding after the other and then let guests mingle back and forth from one reception to the other since neither woman is willing to merge their receptions. Instead of doing the simple thing though, these vindictive vixens decide to pull a series of (allegedly) comedic pranks on one another that are somehow meant to break the spirit of the other and get the competition to move her wedding date and venue. Whether it’s Liv goosing up the orange content on Emma’s spray tan or Emma switching the bleach with blue dye at Liv’s hair appointment, the evil is never anything that is irreparable, and it is obvious that eventually a resolution will be reached. Yawn. I’ve seen sixth grade girls do things more vicious than these two.

As usually happens in movies of this genre, the men are basically non-existent, as is the good writing, character development, and any real laughs. Bride Wars is about as funny as your average network sitcom episode, which is to say it may make you chuckle occasionally but unless you are stoned out of your mind you can probably see the obvious set-ups coming long before they are supposed to pay off.

One thing I didn’t see coming in my own life (and I know I told you I wasn’t going to go on and on about my practice hubby, Dennis, but, trust me, this is a hundred times more entertaining than anything you’ll see in
Bride Wars) happened two-and-a-half years after my divorce. I hadn’t talked to Dennis since our very acrimonious split, and since then I had moved to another state and created a new (and much happier) life for myself. I did keep in touch with a friend of both of ours, someone we each went to college with, and so she had occasionally fed me bits and pieces of the latest gossip on my ex. I knew before we married that he had bisexual feelings, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that he now had a boyfriend. What did cause my jaw to drop was when my pal Billie Jean told me the boyfriend was some rich old goat nearly FIFTY years his senior and already MARRIED (to a woman even!). I don’t know why I was surprised since he had always been an opportunist, but for some reason I was. Well, FIFTY YEARS! C’mon. This wasn’t Harold and Maude.

Okay, so now knowing all this, here’s the scoop: I’m sound asleep one night when the phone rings. I open an eye and peek out from under the covers to check the time on the digital clock next to the phone on my nightstand. 2:35 a.m. I fumble for the phone while wondering who could possibly be calling me at this hour.

“Hello?” I croak sleepily.

“Gracie? Gracie?” he barely whispers.

That voice nearly causes my ear to bleed. “Dennis?”

“I don’t know what to do,” he says. “I couldn’t think of anyone else to call. I’ve got a BIG PROBLEM. I was having sex with my boyfriend… and he had a heart attack… and died. What should I do?”

“Pull out,” I said, hanging up the phone then going back to sleep. What a moron.

Now that is an ex-Bride’s War done right.

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