Bridesmaids quickly became one of the most popular comedies of modern times and an instant classic, and what makes it so unique is how it approaches wedding planning. The 2011 movie follows a group of not-so-best friends who compete for the bride’s affection, which results in a string of the most disastrous events imaginable. Between getting diarrhea during the wedding dress fitting, becoming too disorderly on a flight, and outright warfare between Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Helen (Rose Byrne) when competing for the bride of honor role, the movie flipped female comedy tropes on their head.
Bridesmaids is one of the few outright comedies that have been nominated for Oscars, as the 2011 release was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. The movie was enormously successful upon release too, as not only was it a surprising awards contender but it also made a phenomenal $306 million off a $32.5 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). However, it likely wasn’t planned to be a timeless learning manual for life either, but that’s exactly what it has become. Bridesmaids is full of relatable yet sentimental moments that teach engaged couples what to do when planning a wedding, and more importantly, what not to do.
1 Find A Bridesmaid Who Has Control Of Their Life
Over the course of the two-hour runtime, Annie’s life totally falls apart. She struggles to pay rent, her cupcake company closed down, and she struggles to fit in with the bride’s best friends. However, even though everything that can go wrong in Annie’s life does go wrong, the final act sees her actually doing something about it by openly talking about her feelings, hiring her grievances with her friends, and being open-minded to advise from others. If there’s one life lesson Bridesmaids teaches its viewers, it’s that people can take control of their own lives. Nevertheless, it was still too late and Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding suffered because of it.
2 Don’t Try On Wedding Gowns After Lunch At A Brazilian Steak Restaurant
The philosophy of Bridesmaids gives soon-to-be newlyweds great indicators about what to do and what not to do when planning a wedding. But the dress-fitting scene is nightmarish for any engaged couple. This Bridesmaids life lesson is so obvious it should go without saying, as Lillian and her friends go to get fitted for her wedding dress and their bridesmaid dresses immediately after eating at an all-you-can-eat steakhouse. Dining at the Brazilian steak restaurant results in Bridesmaids’ funniest scene, but it was absolutely traumatizing for Lillian, who ended up defecating on the street in her wedding dress.
3 Find A Bridesmaid Who Doesn’t Try Turning Casual Flings Into Meaningful Relationships
Based on Annie and Ted’s (Jon Hamm) relationship, one of the most obvious lessons in Bridesmaids is that casual flings don’t tend to naturally become more meaningful. It’s clear that Ted only wants to be with Annie on a physical level, but she attempts to turn it into something much more serious than it is, and it’s one of many of her fool’s errands in Bridesmaids. Annie could have saved herself a lot of heartache if she’d learned this early on, and without this core problem in her life, she might have been more relaxed and not as competitive with Helen during the wedding planning either.
4 Helen Proves That Expensive Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better In Bridesmaids
Helen got away with too much in Bridesmaids, as she sabotaged almost all of Annie’s plans, and she criticized anybody who didn’t have the same hobbies or interests as her. As a result, even though Annie became something of a villain too, Helen immediately became the Lux Luthor to Annie’s Superman. Helen always goes for the more expensive option, whether it’s bridesmaids’ dresses or bridal shower planning, but this isn’t always better. That was the biggest mistake Helen made, as she ended up alienating her fellow bridesmaids, who weren’t as wealthy as her and didn’t share her interests.
5 Bridesmaids Proves Friendships Don’t End After Getting Married
Some people believe that they won’t need their friends anymore once they’ve fallen in love, but Bridesmaids proves that’s not true. Bridesmaids is a celebration of friendship, which is most obvious when Lillian becomes depressed without Annie by her side when she gets cold feet about the wedding. Whether it’s before, during, or after getting married, friends still need to work on their friendships, and Bridesmaids demonstrates that with Lillian and Annie’s complex friendship. Bridesmaids 2 needs to happen just to revisit how (and if) their friendship continued after Lillian got married.
6 Don’t Let The Bride Of Honor Patronize The Other Bridesmaids
Helen is one of Bridesmaids’ most interesting characters thanks to her patronizing one-liners and arrogant attitude. However, while Helen might be the vessel for some of the funniest quotes in Bridesmaids, she’s such a mean-spirited person and dampens the Bridesmaids’ whole mood. Helen patronizing her co-bridesmaids say more about herself than the people she’s criticizing, and it just goes to prove that stuck-up people are just insecure. By the end of the film, Helen and Annie become friends of sorts, and there’s clearly a softer side to her underneath that hardened exterior, but that only became evident after she was humbled by Annie.
7 Bridesmaids Shouldn’t Act On Their Jealousy
Annie spends the majority of Bridesmaids being jealous. Deep down, she wishes that she had what Lillian has with Doug, and she wishes that she was still as close with Lillian as Helen is becoming. Jealousy is just another emotion that can’t be controlled, so it’s OK to be guilty and there’s no need to feel guilty for wanting what other people have. However, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to act on that jealousy. Annie literally intentionally ruined Lillian’s shower based on her jealousy, and while it might have been reactionary and wasn’t premeditated, it was the moment when Annie truly became the villain.
8 Bridesmaids Needs To Have A Positive Mentality
Annie loses everything from her home to her job to her best friend in a morbid downward spiral. When she hits rock bottom, Megan shows up to give her a reality check, explaining, “You’re your problem, Annie. And you’re also your solution.” A bridesmaid can’t help the bride if they can’t help themselves. Following Megan’s wise words, Annie finally takes some time to get back on her feet and look at all the mistakes she was making in her life from an objective standpoint. Though Annie finally regained the positive mentality she used to have, that negative mentality almost came at the cost of losing her best friend.
9 Marriages Don’t Always Mean A Happy Ending
Although Lillian finds happiness by marrying Doug, Bridesmaids makes it very clear that getting married doesn’t always equate to a happy ending. Helen, Lillian, and Annie represent three different marriage outcomes. Lillian gets married and has a happy ending, Helen is married but is also miserable, and Annie doesn’t get married but couldn’t be happier by the end of the movie. That somewhat further proves that Helen is the antithesis of Annie. However, that perfectly sets up a sequel that follows Annie planning her wedding to Nathan (Chris O’Dowd), but that’ll likely never happen given that Kristen Wiig turned down Bridesmaids 2.
10 Don’t Mix Drugs & Alcohol On A Flight
Bridesmaids could not make this clearer: Just like eating at a Brazilian steak house, the Bridesmaids life lesson of the airplane scene couldn’t be clearer; Do not mix drugs and alcohol on a flight. When Annie attempts to do exactly that, she embarrasses herself by marching into the first-class cabin before getting the entire wedding crew kicked off the plane, ruining Lillian’s bachelorette party. There are other and much better ways to deal with a fear of flying, like letting Helen pay for a first-class seat, but Annie’s ego wouldn’t let that happen. Instead, Annie tried to drown that fear out with a concerning amount of alcohol and dubious substances.
This story originally appeared on Screenrant