Oh, get married already.
I have an excuse for being MIA the past little while. Ok, the past two weeks. I was actually on vacation. Like, a for-reals vacation. Like, no work got done. Like, went out into the wilds where the interwebs, and even cell phone service, couldn’t find me.
It was lovely. And, hence, no blogging from me.
Anyhoo. During my day-long travel back from said vacation (I’m still working on the jet-lag hangover), I made the unfortunate decision to watch The Five-Year Engagement. Now, I’m not one for rom-coms, but I thought it might be funny.
It was a little funny. Kind of. It was also looooooong. And, aside from overstaying its welcome on my personal TV screen, it got my panties in a bit of a bunch.
I knew things weren’t going well when, at an engagement party, the sister of the bride goes on about how she “doesn’t believe in the institute of marriage” but can’t really get through her speech because she’s bawling her eyes out. BECAUSE CAH-LEARLY SHE ACTUALLY ONLY CLAIMS THAT SHIT BECAUSE SHE ISN’T THE ONE GETTING MARRIED.
Wow. Obvious much? And who, really, is surprised when she hooks up with the loser BFF of the groom THAT NIGHT? And then falls in to a baby/marriage with him? I mean, shit. Even the angry chef-boss-lady who goes on about how stupid commitment is has a super-hot GF, and is therefore no longer angry, by the end of this flick (when it finally arrives).
Is there anything that pays more homage to the institute of marriage than the romantic comedy? Anything that doesn’t do more to hold up arguments against the institution of marriage, and call them false? Any vehicle we have that doesn’t try harder to make us believe the only path to real happiness is through finding The One and getting goddamn hitched?
Moreover, this one is so blatantly Marriage-Oriented, it even attempts to avoid the typical OMG We’re Soul Mates! mantra of all other chick flicks – by specifically trying to argue that marriage should Just Happen, and we don’t actually need to find The One. As the sister who-says-she-doesn’t-believe-in-the-institution-of-marriage-and-is-then-married puts so well (while pretending to be Elmo, no less):
“MAYBE it’s not about finding the best cookie. MAYBE it’s about just picking a cookie and taking a bite!”
What if you don’t like cookies? What if you want to eat lots and lots of cookies? What if you’d rather have steak?
Of course, in the end, this movie pulls a fast one – as in, they really WERE soul mates! Ha ha ha! Gotcha!
In addition to all that jiz, is it any wonder the LGBTQ+ community wants to have marriage equality? In a culture that spawns this bullshit all. the. time., is it really that hard to understand why they aren’t going to buy the whole “sorry, you can’t have marriage – but here’s a civil union!” thing? And it’s not just pop culture. From rom-coms to religion, we hold up marriage on this fucking pedestal – and then we pretend we don’t understand how degrading and painful it is to deny that to someone. We act like it’s the epitome of romantic relationships, that it IS one of THE Life Goals, and then we make it inaccessible. Is it any wonder this is a focus of LGBTQ+ advocacy?
Of course, clearly I am just sick of marriage on a pedestal, period. And don’t even get me started on how this lil movie made HER move to pursue HER career the undoing of the relationship. That, my good friends, is a whole ‘nother post.