Tying the knot sometime this summer is Prime Video’s Shotgun Wedding, an action-packed romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel as a pair of newlyweds who find their wedding rudely interrupted by terrorists. As the couple fight to save their family members, they renew their matrimonial vows and rekindle their romance.
With the high-concept conceit, Shotgun Wedding joins a rich tradition of romantic comedies, action movies, and genre films that revolve around a wedding ceremony gone horribly awry and the heroic need for redemptive revenge. Those looking for the weirdest, wildest, and most entertaining wedding movies are at the right destination.
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Ready Or Not (2019)
Stream On Spectrum
The first movie fans of Shotgun Wedding ought to follow up with is Ready Or Not, a wickedly amusing action-horror-comedy with a blistering turn by Samara Weaving. The story tracks Grace (Weaving), a bride-to-be whose wedding night is heinously upended by her sinister new in-laws who force her to participate in a human-hunting ritual that puts her directly in the crosshairs.
Hailed for its incisive social commentary on the outmoded traditions of matrimony, deeply diabolical plotting, and indescribably wild ending, Ready or Not uses over-the-top violence as a metaphor to make its larger point about how society views the social contract of marriage.
Kill Bill (2003)
Stream On HBO Max
Arguably the most violent desecration of a wedding ceremony this side of a bona fide horror movie, the Bride (Uma Thurman) getting shot in the head at point-blank range by her baby’s daddy (David Carradine) in Kill Bill incites the entire revenge plot of Quentin Tarantino’s epic love letter to Kung-Fu films of yore.
Littered with hilariously witty dialogue as only Tarantino can write, Kill Bill uses its sympathetic wedding-on-awry conceit to frame one of the most satisfying action movies of the past two decades, conjuring such deep support for The Bride’s gory trail of comeuppance that, despite knowing its wrong, makes fans root wholeheartedly for her to kill Bill.
Stream On Tubi
Those looking for a dose of cerebrally trippy science fiction to go with a dangerously interrupted wedding ceremony, climb into the warped mind of Lars von Trier’s sense of Melancholia. Kirsten Dunst stars as Justine, a woman who should be happier than ever on her wedding day. However, her lavish upscale ceremony is dashed by Melancholia, a giant blue planet hurling directly at Earth.
A singular artist with a unique vision each time out, those familiar with von Trier’s best work know to expect some of the strangest themes met with some of the most unforgettable imagery. While Melancholia won’t likely make as many people laugh as Shotgun Wedding, it will no doubt leave them with the same existential uncertainties brought about by the interrupted wedding ceremony.
Palm Springs (2020)
Stream On Hulu
For another thought-provoking genre-bender that fuses comedy, romance, sci-fi, and action to tell an offbeat wedding-gone-wrong story, Palm Springs is the place to be. The story uses the well-worn time-loop conceit to tell the unique story of Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti), two wedding guests who relive the same day over and over until they can find a way to break the loop and go back to normality.
A genuinely touching and zanily refreshing rom-com that uses the cool time-loop to conceit to make a profound statement about the stale repetition of long-term relationships, Palm Springs manages to fuse multiple tones and genres into one unforgettable getaway experience. As such, it’s a perfect companion with Shotgun Wedding.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Stream On HBO Max
The terrorists in Shotgun Wedding may as well be named John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), the two raunchily immature and inappropriate Wedding Crashers who make it their life’s work to interrupt blissful matrimonial ceremonies for their own romantic gain. Alas, when John falls head over heels for Claire (Rachel McAdams) while storming her wedding, he follows his heart and makes quite a fool of himself.
Despite the lack of shoot-em-up action Shotgun Wedding promises to offer, Wedding Crashers is one of the best movies of its ilk thanks to the terrific rapport between Wilson and Vaughn, a big-hearted message about friendship, and for featuring a riotous partylike vibe from start to finish.
Stream On Hulu
If Wedding Crashers is good enough to make the grade, so too is the raunchy, heartfelt, and highly-acclaimed R-rated rom-com Bridesmaids. The interrupted wedding ceremony in the film derives from the bitter rivalry among Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) close friends Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Helen (Rose Byrne), who vie to become her maid of honor, leading to a renewed bond among best friends.
Praised for its touching depiction of female friendship, flagrant gross-out humor, and remarkable performances by Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids is a reminder that even when wedding celebrations begin poorly, they can rebound in a big triumphant way.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
Stream On Starz
Arguably the most amusing and rewatchable romantic comedy action movie in recent memory, the onscreen chemistry between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the stuff of movie legend. While the wedding ceremony itself plays less of a factor, the bored-stiff married couple learning that they are secret assassins hired to kill one another leads to one of the all-time great domestic quibbles on record.
The way in which John and Jane Smith hilariously hash out their marriage while trying to kill each other in elaborately violent set-pieces is clever as can be, and very much in the vein of what Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) are required to do in Shotgun Wedding. Witty, fast-paced, and irreverently subversive toward traditional rom-coms, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a ton of fun to behold.
Very Bad Things (1998)
Rent On Apple TV
Peter Berg’s oft-forgotten yet hysterically wicked dark comedy Very Bad Things follows an ill-fated bachelor party that, much like an inescapable Twilight Zone episode, continues to get worse and worse until the nuptials between Kyle (Jon Favreau) and Laura (Cameron Diaz) end in abject horror. In other words, it’s a perfect film to watch along with Shotgun Wedding.
Boasting a terrific cast that also includes Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, and Daniel Stern, the action picks up when a sex worker is accidentally killed in the bathroom of a swanky Las Vegas bachelor party. Agreeing to bury the body in the desert, Kyle and his friends make one fatal mistake after another until his wedding ceremony with Laura ends with the unhinged best man approaching the bride-to-be with the rings. Weddings this horrific have never been so much fun.
The Wedding Guest (2018)
Stream On Netflix
Those compelled by the basic premise of Shotgun Wedding but could do without the overt comedy should definitely see Dev Patel’s excellent performance in The Wedding Guest. Patel plays Jay in the action-thriller, a mysterious man with a secret who travels to Pakistan to besiege a wedding ceremony with a shotgun and duct tape with plans to take the bride-to-be hostage.
Aside from the nearly identical premise that it shares with The Shotgun Wedding, it’s the searing performance by Patel that carries the hostage thriller a long way, especially as his cryptic character is slowly peeled back as the wedding progresses. Despite the lack of levity, it’s one of the best wedding-gone-wrong action movies on record.
Rec 3: Genesis (2012)
Stream On AMC+
While a shoutout to The Bride of Frankenstein is in order, the most germane horror movie to watch along with Shotgun Wedding is Paco Plaza’s hyper-gory viral zombie sequel REC 3: Genesis, a soul-shaking whirlwind of abject carnage sure to make Shotgun Wedding look like Bride Wars by comparison.
With a physically exigent performance on par with The Bride in Kill Bill, Leticia Dolera steals the show as Clara, a bride-to-be whose big day is completely ruined when the guests begin turning into ill, aggressive, flesh-starved ghouls. The violence is so over the top and cartoonish at times that it becomes laughable in the best ways, giving a whole new meaning to the matrimonial adage “until death do us part.”
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