A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Always a Bridesmaid features a young, attractive, well-educated Black woman whose millennial friends are all getting married. She has suggested that the "love thing" is not for her, and when a suitable and attractive man seems interested, she turns him away. Eventually she changes her mind. Although a woman copes with the pain of her father's infidelity, the film advertises the joys of solid, loving marriages and deep friendships. Language is relatively limited and includes "s--t," "t-t" and "suck." Adults drink alcohol to excess. A bachelorette party features a male stripper being humped by drunken young women in lingerie.
What's the story?
In ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, Corina (Javicia Leslie) is a smart, beautiful 29-year-old who seems to have the dating skills of a toddler. Her close friends (played by Michelle Mitchenor, Amber Chardae Robinson, and Tosin Morohunfola) feel the need to instruct her on how to talk to a man, how to text him, how to flirt. She agrees to go out with a complete creep who turns out to have an arrest on his record for drunk and disorderly conduct, but thwarts the attentions of a lovely and earnest suitor named Mark (Jordan Calloway), a solid guy she and friends already know from their college years. Her pastor/therapist tells her to dump her baggage, including a disappointing relationship of the past and a grudge she holds against her father for cheating on her mom, and to simply choose to be happy. It's easy advice to give, but when Corina finally takes a chance with Mark and he declares his love, she is unable to take it, claiming she is a neurotic, indecisive mess. Will she find happiness?
Is it any good?
It's always refreshing to see a media representation of Black women that's free of stereotyping. Always a Bridesmaid takes for granted a universe of successful, attractive, smart, educated citizens, with nary a White person in sight. On the downside, the message that love is a choice is oft repeated but rarely demonstrated, leaving a talented and attractive cast squirming to bring the movie to life. Screenwriter Yvette Nicole Brown (who does a great job in the role of Corina's pastor) keeps telling us things about her characters but shows us little or nothing. Corina has stated she didn't want to get married, yet she seems unhappy to see her friends marry, as if perhaps she's jealous. None of this is really clarified.
We see Corina falling in love with Mark, even declaring it aloud without misgivings. So when she then turns down his marriage proposal, she just seems like an unpredictable psycho that Mark should run from. We're told she has fears, but nothing we've seen in their developing relationship suggests why a woman seemingly in love would say no. Since there's no rhyme or reason to ending the relationship with Mark, there's no big emotional payoff for us when the couple gets married at the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how sometimes our views of our parents can shape the way we form committed relationships. How did Corina's father influence her love life in Always a Bridesmaid?
Corina's friends work hard to help her find love. What do you think of the advice they give her?
What's the appeal of romcoms? Why are they popular?
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