The movie I chose to review about sexism is Bride Wars. Bride Wars is about two female best friends Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) who are both getting married on the same day, at the same time, and at the same venue. The two are portrayed as being best friends forever until one does not switch her wedding day after finding out they were to be married on the same day.
The two go about their separate ways in planning their weddings and use tactics to get back at each other, such as changing the color of the spray tan or changing the color of the hair dye. Wedding day arrives and an embarrassing video of Emma plays as she is walking down the aisle to which she proceeds to interrupt Liv’s wedding by tackling her in front of the alter.
This ends with Emma calling off her wedding and breaking the engagement and Liv getting married. The two then make up and return back to being best friends. The movie ends with Emma returning from her honeymoon after marrying Liv’s brother and both announcing that they are pregnant with the same due date. The film Bride Wars presents the viewer with the typical stereotyped view of women, especially brides-to-be. The movie portrays the main characters as overly emotional crazed bridezillas.
This message is troubling because it is portraying brides as selfish and crazed bridezillas who will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Much like other movies of its kind, Bride Wars begins by presenting two female best friends who are inseparable. In this film the movie begins with Liv and Emma whose dream is to get married at The Plaza Hotel in June. Fast forward about twenty years and the two are still inseparable. Soon after Liv finds a Tiffany and Co. box in her and realizes it is holding an engagement ring. She goes to a bar with Emma and meets up with two other friends and announces to them she is engaged before the ring is even on her finger.
After ordering tequila shots for everyone, one of the females at the table toasts Liv and states “and condolences to Emma the Maid of Honor for Liv is sure to be the most nightmarish bride, ever.” This is where the audience begins to see the troubling message of sexism. The sexism portrayed in Bride Wars is also evident in other films such as 27 Dresses.
In both films, the brides are portrayed as being extremely selfish. It also portrays the brides as being willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy no matter what they have to do to get there. In the film 27 Dresses, Jane (Katherine Heigl) has been a bridesmaid in 27 other weddings and is secretly in love with the man her sister is about to marry. In the film, one of the male characters says “Brides kill to get in there (wedding section of the newspaper).” While this quote is figurative, it is portraying that brides are concerned about whether everyone knows about their wedding.
This relates to a scenario in Bride Wars where Emma is proposed to first and Liv forces her boyfriend to propose to her in his office at work the following day. Another similar occurrence is that Liv and Emma have to use one of the most expensive venues in New York City, The Plaza Hotel. They also use one of the most famous wedding planners in New York City, Marion St. Claire (Candace Bergen). When Liv and Emma book their wedding dates with her she asks them if they want to check with their prospective grooms before making a final decision. Both brides immediately reply no.
These scenes help to show how brides are portrayed as self-centered because they do not even care what their soon to be husband wants. In 27 Dresses Jane’s (Heigl) sister Tess (Malin Akerman) is shown several times telling her sister what to do and making sure that it has been done. This also is a selfish portrayal because the bride wants to make everyone do everything for her. In Bride Wars, neither Emma nor Liv would change their venue or wedding date because that is where they were dead set on being married. Also, they both had to use the best wedding planner in the country and Liv wore an expensive Vera Wang gown.
In 27 Dresses, Tess cuts up her mother’s wedding dress that Jane was to wear in her wedding whenever she got married. Tess cut it up so much that she could not have had it pieced back together. These scenarios also portray that brides will do whatever it takes to get what they want, even if it involves hurting someone that they are very close to. These scenarios are also helping to contribute to the problem of sexism in Hollywood films about women. Bride Wars also portrays brides in a manner that leads to viewer to see them as “bridezillas”.
“Bridezilla” as defined by oxforddictionaries.com is “A woman whose behavior in planning her wedding is regarded as obsessive or intolerably demanding.” In the movie both brides split in separate ways after neither could agree on a different venue for their wedding day. The film portrays them as acting like “bridezillas” by showing Liv and Emma in various ways getting revenge at one another.
For example, Liv finds out when Emma’s spray tan appointment is and sneaks into the tanning salon and changes the bottle of spray tan with one that literally turns her orange. After this occurs, Emma finds out Liv is getting her hair dyed, and she sneaks into the salon and swaps the bowl of hair dye causing Liv’s hair to turn blue.
According to The Learning Channel (TLC), on their list of “Ten Signs You’re Turning into Bridezilla” the ninth sign is that “you’re angry.” Both of these tactics present both soon to be brides as angry. Another sign is that “your bridesmaids ‘defriend’ you”. This is also evident in the movie as the two brides become enemies after their dates were mixed up with their wedding planner.
A third sign is “you have a vision and you’re sticking too it.” This is the main cause of the drama in the film. Both brides had envisioned being married at The Plaza Hotel in June since they met there as little girls over twenty years before. The tension caused by both brides inability to be flexible, even though they were best friends, almost cost them their relationship with each other. This dramatic issue portrays both brides as bridezillas because they did not care their relationship was going to be affected; they were both determined to do what they wanted no matter what.
It is films like Bride Wars that present viewers with the stereotypical portrayal of soon to be brides and how Hollywood perceives them as acting. While Bride Wars does provide a good laugh, it is also hindering the public view of brides and women in the way they are being presented. Hollywood producers know that movie goers will not pay to see a film if it does not have some kind of drama or outrageous plot line. That is why so commonly is films about females you will find that it is usually overtly sexist and very stereotypical in its connotations.
Moreover, the only way this problem would be stopped is if people stopped paying to see movies which portray women in a sexist fashion. However, everyone is not going to boycott seeing every movie produced. Bride Wars presents its two main characters in a very sexist and stereotyped manner. The film presents Liv (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway) as two very selfish and crazed “bridezillas”. The film’s message is very overtly sexist and shows that women who are soon to be married are selfish and crazy. The message is troubling because it is adding to the ever growing list of movies that present women in a sexist manner.
Works CitedBride Wars. Dir. Gary Winick. Perf. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Screenplay by Greg DePaul, June Diane Raphael, and Casey Wilson. 20th Century Fox, 2009. DVD. Obenschain, Chris. “10 Signs You’re Turning into Bridezilla.” TLC. TLC, 2011. Web. 02 May 2013. Oxford University Press. “Bridezilla.” Definition of in Oxford Dictionaries (US English) (US). Oxford University Press, 2013. Web. 02 May 2013. 27 Dresses. Dir. Anne Fletcher. Perf. Katherine Heigl, Malin Akerman, James Marsden, and Edward Burns. Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna. 20th Century Fox, 2008. DVD.
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