Confessions of an American Bride April 19, 2011Posted by H$ in 0-12, confessions of an american bride, H$.
Whatup! I did not expect that I would have much time to work on this blog once I moved to Baltimore, and for a while that was true. It took a week to get my cable switched on, for fucks sake. But now that I am settled and as comfortable as one can be thousands of miles away from all they know and love, I am getting bored. Most nights I sit in my quiet one-bedroom apartment and watch the hookers and the rats edge around the security lights in my alley. I drink a midnight mimosa, which is a can of diet Pepsi that I have drank enough of to pour in about an ounce of citrus vodka. I listen to the same Mountain Goats album over and over again (All Hail West Texas, if you’re curious) and wonder if I have irrevocably ruined my life in pursuit of my dreams.
But hey, my place has a washer/dryer in it, so that’s something.
Anyway, there is nothing that ameliorates loneliness more then a movie that makes you hate humanity in general, so I decided to watch a Lifetime movie in the romantic comedy genre. And hey, it worked! I had to watch “Confessions of an American Bride”, and it’s your fault, so fuck you.
OK, it isn’t your fault, but man what a shitty movie. Sam is a perky lady who wants to get married more then anything in the world. As a child, she’s so into the idea of getting married someday that she’s a bride for every trick-or-treat. This allows her to draw a fun word-picture about how “life is like trick-or-treating, and sometimes you have to take a stupid apple instead of candy, but your wedding is the day that you get everything in the world you really want!” This is a stupid metaphor for life, but a great metaphor for Sam. She cruises through life in a hypothetical princess dress, a beggar and a chooser, whining and obsessing over a hypothetical wedding that will never live up to her expectations but still fuels her self-centered idiocy. I’d love to say this all comes back to bite her in the ass, but it’s a Lifetime movie, so no.
She’s also the most self-conscious, irritating Bridget Jones clone ever. She is utterly incapable of interacting with the world in any way that doesn’t smack of appletinis and snaps for her girlfriends. She’s constantly dropping science like “Dudes have porno, and ladies have wedding websites!” She works for some kind of consulting firm where they make up cereals, and her contribution is low-carb chocolatey cereal for ladies like her. Cause you know, ladies be eatin’ chocolate at breakfast, but ladies also be watchin’ their carb intake. Everything she does is a cry for attention or a cutesy acknowledgment to her low self-esteem. There’s even a scene where Sam is eating some potato chips, stops, and apologizes to the camera for pigging out.
GODDAMNIT SAM. THIS IS YOUR MOVIE. EAT THE FUCKING CHIPS, WATCH A FUCKING PORNO WHERE SOMEONE GETS MARRIED OR SOMETHING, AND RELAX.
Sam finds a perfect punching bag in Ben Rosen, a dude she meets at a bar and is instantly smitten with. Ben is like the generic best friend of a better dude protagonist in a better movie. He’s affable and charming, but he lacks the charisma and character to be a protagonist in his own right. Since the movie can’t be arsed to give him much to do, he overcompensates with showy dramatic gestures of affection that are kind of unsettling. When he and Sam start dating,
she tells this lame pity party story about how nobody asked her to a dance. In response to that, he rents out a high school gym and plays a romantic love theme while they slow-dance. He also decorates the place with crepe paper and balloons and even handmade a banner for the whole affair. I guess the movie wants us to think this is cute, and it is to a point, but if you think about it for too long it gets seriously creepy. Why would you want to date someone who is so obsessed with you that he lavishly re-stages your most disappointing memories? And what the hell is wrong with someone who, in their thirties, is STILL obsessing about shit that happened to them in high school? Ben indulges Sam’s worst qualities with no restraint. So, of course, he asks her to marry him.
By the way, he does this be renting out a hotel room and luring her to it by saying he’s her boss and he wants to meet about a client. She shows up and he pops the question. Then he gets out the ‘cham and they presumably bang all day, or at least until late check-out. Sam complains about her job throughout the movie, but if I worked somewhere that was flexible enough to let me take the afternoon off with no warning to nasty up a hotel room, I’d shut up about it.
Later, we find Sam sitting at a desk, scrambling over her laptop and wedding magazines. Ben asks her to come to bed, and she basically calls him an idiot for not immediately beginning work on their wedding plans. Ladies and dudes sure have different priorities, right? It’s like they’re from different planets or something!
So, since this movie apparently takes place in 19th century goddamn Britannia, the kids don’t live together before they get engaged. Cue some wacky misunderstandings! Oh man, she wants an ANTIQUE CHEST, but he wants A MANLY FISHTANK! He wants A BIGSCREEN TV TO WATCH THE GAME, and she wants A GIANT-ASS PORTRAIT OF PRETTY FLOWERS! Golly, these gender collisions tap a rich, deep vein of hilarity.
Another rich vein of hilarity: racism! There is no more time-honored tradition in lazy entertainment than jokes at
another culture’s expense. Happily Ben is Jewish, or this movie would have really missed out on a golden opportunity to exploit come cultural stereotypes for cheap laughs. Ben’s mom is an overbearing, whiny monster who flips out because her son is willing to wed in a church and serve shellfish at the reception. You get the feeling that it’s supposed to be funny, but there’s an unsettling implication that maybe the screenwriter really thinks that all Jewish people are bundles of neurosis and spite. Mrs. Rosen would kill if she was the warm-up act before Springtime for Hitler, but she’s kind of out of place here. Anyway, Mrs. Rosen and Sam’s WASP-y excuse for a negligent mom butt heads at every turn, further compounding their stress and misery.
So their families hate each other and her tampons are all up on his jock strap. What could the possible resolution to this be? Perhaps the reappearance of a college crush, who is put in the movie specifically to lead Sam astray. Fancypants Luke apparently needs some consulting from Sam’s firm, and admits he has a crush on her way back when. She’s all “oh goodness me” about it, and confides to her bridesmaid/girlfriends that she’s into him too. They’re all horrified, but seriously? If having a crush on someone that isn’t your significant other is so lifeshaking that you consider calling off your wedding over it, then your ass doesn’t need to be getting married. To anyone. Ever. Sam “accidently” kisses Luke and lies to her fiance about it, because hell, why not just make things worse.
The hideous mechanism of the movie lurches forward. Sam says Luke’s name during sex, which she plays off OK until he actually shows up at her house to ask about something or something. Ben is suspicious, and they go to pre-marital counseling. They are counseled not to get married, so good call there, counseling guys. They decide to part on amicable terms, and Sam is free to pursue Captain Hotstuff. Ben’s going to, I dunno, see the world or something.
You know where this is going, right? Sam goes on a date with Luke, and he turns out to be kind of a jerk. She also finds a video of Ben learning to waltz for their wedding, proof positive that he does care about all of her stupid girly bullshit. They have a dramatic meetup and re-fall in love. Then they get married. Some more stuff happens but oh my god I am not talking about this movie any more. I am done. DONE.
That’s right, 0. I dropped the goose egg on this sucker. There was nothing awesome about this movie on any scale. No objective awesome, no ironic awesome, no awesome whatsoever.
Star Power: 1
Shannon Elizabeth probably deserves a point because I knew her name before I watched the movie. Eddie McClintock is apparently NOT the name of a streetwise 20’s pool hustler, but is instead an actor who was in this film. The more you know.
And here’s the sweep. By simultaneously reinforcing every negative stereotype about women and weddings, and throwing in some xenophobia for good measure, this thing is a Roman orgy of Lifetime themes and plot points. But it isn’t the fun kind of orgy. More like one where everyone vomits and somebody dies.
11. I wouldn’t bother. I hated this so much that instead of linking to it, I am linking to the last episode of Parks and Rec. It restores the faith in love that this movie destroys. Cross your fingers that Hulu gets some better movies up soon.