A Very Merry Bridesmaid
Well, here we are again. I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s the fact that we started a week early? I don’t know but I am out of gas. Like completely out of gas. I’ve had trouble finding the motivation to write these up which is pretty unusual. This has long been one of my favorite silly hobbies. But lately, these recaps have just been something to get through. I’ve really been enjoying watching the movies though! That’s what’s weird. Anyway, let’s get after it.
Our movie begins twenty years in the past. Our leading lady is about to turn 10 and is struggling being left out by her brother and his best pal who are both 12. She gets some advice from a woman who I realize much later is supposed to be one of those 12 year old boys’ grandmothers. She could easily be his mother. This advice basically creates an anxiety problem in Leah for the rest of her life. The grandma explains there are several milestone birthdays in your life where you should stop and reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. Apparently 10 is the first one. Guys, the “milestone birthdays” is like the most common phrase of all time and yet, this movie introduces it as a brand new concept. Like every single human for the last century hasn’t viewed turning “30” as a significant birthday and felt overwhelmed with whether they’ve accomplished what they wanted to by then. Anyway, Leah heads home in a state of panic, crippled by this newfound requirement to determine whether she’s accomplished enough by each new milestone age.
Flash forward twenty years, and Leah owns a store with items from all around the world. I mean, that’s not bad for an almost 30 year old right? Anyway, her brother is about to come into town for his wedding. He is getting married on Christmas Eve, which also happens to be Leah’s birthday. If that is not the most inconsiderate thing across the board, I don’t know what is.
When Leah’s brother Paul and his fiancé, Julia arrive at home, the family learn that all of Julia’s luggage (including the DESIGNER WEDDING DRESS SHE CHECKED) is lost. Not on a different flight. Not on its way by the next day. LOST. And gang, NO ONE REACTS APPROPRIATELY. They’re like, dang that sucks but airlines, right? LOL. But also, privately I would be saying to my family, this woman should have insisted she carry on that dress! Absurd.
So, Paul’s best friend and former next door neighbor, Drew, has also just arrived home. He likely smells like patchouli oil and is only missing white person dread locks. He is a world traveler. Just bopping around, not knowing which way is up. He and Leah have a lovely little afternoon chat by his fire pit. He remembers that her birthday happens to be the same day as her brother’s wedding. And not only is it her birthday, it is her 30TH birthday and he seemingly vows to make a big deal about it. No one else in her family seems to care or remember.
Paul’s wife Julia has a mixed bag of a back story. Both her parents died but little tidbit has kind of turned her into a bridezilla. She MUST: get married on Christmas Eve, wearing the same designer as her mom did, and at her childhood home. Well, this home was up for sale or something? So that was out the window. But, she is still able to inconvenience every single one of her guests by scheduling their wedding on Christmas Eve. Couple that with the fact that likely everyone of their guests will have to travel since most of their friends are likely in Boston. This couple just seems SUPER FUN. Okay so second, her wedding dress MUST be this specific designer. Look, no one is more devastated than I am about her dress being lost. But at this point, we’ve got to come with a Plan B and she seems pretty reluctant to do that throughout this movie. As for that third point, Paul has a great but also TRULY TERRIBLE idea to surprise his fiancé with both a MAJOR purchase and a wedding venue change. Yes, he has secretly bought his fiance’s childhood home. Later, he tells her “we” bought it but I don’t know how that’s possible without her signing anything.
So, to accomplish this insane surprise, Paul enlists the help of his family. Instead of them demanding he turn around right now and discuss this major financial commitment with the person with whom he is about to enter a formal partnership, they’re all like-sure we’ll help. HOW IS ANYONE GOING TO LEARN ANY LESSONS?
For her part, Leah is having a mild existential crisis. She is about to turn 30 and laments to her friends that she has not accomplished anything; or at least, she hasn’t accomplished all that she hoped she had by 30. Guys, Leah owns her own store. She lives in a gigantic home with immaculate decorations and furniture. And, she drives a Volvo XC90. I think she’s doing JUST FINE. Her main complaint is that she hasn’t travelled as much as she wanted to. She definitely COULD travel. However, her dad had some heart trouble on and off for a while and it made her afraid to go very far.
Drew is solely focused on celebrating Leah’s birthday. And thank goodness because he is the only person who seems to remember. First, he takes her on a horse drawn carriage ride through town. Despite growing up in this town, she’s never gone on one! I think they might do some holiday baking as well but I can’t remember now. They also spend a ton of time working on a gazebo in the backyard of Julia’s childhood home.
Leah also helps Julia find a wedding dress. Her friend happens to be a stylist and finds the perfect one. I am not sure how she found one that was just Julia’s taste after Julia searched every dress shop in town but here we are.
Finally, we have the big financial commitment reveal. Julia is quite panicked until she sees what he purchased. She’s like, you bought this house? And he’s like, no WE bought it. And she’s like how could WE buy this house if I wasn’t involved at all? Did you forge my signature? Are you really going to make such a gigantic decision for both of us without talking to me? How can I possibly marry you if you don’t view me as an equal decisionmaker in this family? And then she calls the wedding off on principle. OH WAIT NO. No one learns any lessons because the end justifies the means. I GUESS.
So then we have the wedding and Leah remains a dutiful solider, celebrating her brother’s wedding instead of her own birthday; which has already likely always been downplayed because it’s on Christmas Eve. So now, Leah gets to share her birthday with our Lord and Savior and her brother’s anniversary! SO GREAT.
At the tail end of the reception, the family finally acknowledges Leah’s birthday and they gift her all of their airline miles which is a pretty generous gift! Do they have a separate birthday cake for her though? Or is the wedding cake doubling as a birthday cake? We NEVER find out. However, luckily for all of us, after the wedding, Drew has one more surprise planned.
He leads Leah to that gazebo they fixed up for seemingly no reason; or was the actual ceremony out there? I can’t remember. Anyway, he has one last mini birthday celebration planned, including her own birthday cake! What a relief!! Anyway, he is not going to another country after Christmas? Or is he and is she going to? Anyway, he is going to put together this like cultural educational experience right in that town and would like Leah’s help. I gotta be honest, I heard him explain this dream of his and I never understood what he was talking about. It was like, a school? Or just a curriculum that focused on a variety of cultures? He talked about kids all staying in the same place rather than traveling around? I just couldn’t keep track. But regardless, Drew and Leah kiss and are likely going to be in close enough proximity to make a relationship work. So that was that!
As you can probably guess, I didn’t pay a ton of attention while this movie was on but I enjoyed it overall. That’s been getting me through the last several movies-not paying a ton of attention and not letting it become one more thing I have to get through. Just too much going on! Anyway, what did you think?