The Citizen Jane Film Festival’s core purpose is to celebrate women both behind and in front of the camera. While the film "The Wedding Invitation" features a strong female cast and crew, its plot and writing diminish the power and strength of women.
Rainy Kerwin, the writer, director and star of the film, has certainly succeeded in fulfilling three tough jobs. However, the character she portrays, Lucy, and Lucy’s friends Ryann and Nectar, played by Camille Guaty and Christina Ulloa, are not empowered women themselves.
"The Wedding Invitation" follows the three best friends on their quest to find dates for the so-called wedding of the year. This highly-anticipated wedding is put on by the girl they have idolized since high school: Denise Masterson, played by Kara Amanda Smith.
The movie starts off with Lucy being dumped by her boyfriend of three years right when she thinks he is going to propose, only to be fired by that now ex-boyfriend, who also happens to be her boss, the very next day. Lucy is a hyper-organized, Post-it addict who survives off of mantras and encouraging, colorful notes. The breakup and subsequent firing are only the start of the cringe-worthy scenes that fill the entire movie.
The first questionable point of the film is the reason Lucy cannot sue for wrongful firing—she apparently signed a contract at the start of her relationship agreeing to be fired if said relationship ended. Not the most insightful move.
When the three women are prompted to find dates for the wedding in only a week’s time, they are shocked to find that they must take charge and find their own men, instead of waiting for men find them. At first, this new game of finding dates in a week startles Lucy, because according to her, men are turned off by women taking initiative in asking out a guy.
What ensues is a series of embarrassing attempts at asking out men, with Ryann vomiting on her prospective date after taking three shots of liquid courage. Through this mission to find dates, however, the women do learn that they are capable of taking initiative.
Because this movie is classified as a romantic comedy, the cheesy scenes that encompass it are to be expected. The film, however, goes one step beyond the typical cheesiness. The days are broken up by inspirational quotes from famous people such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller, just to name a few.
Though the women disappointingly do not find strength in themselves, they do find strength in their friendship. Therefore, the movie pushes across the message that, when surrounded by best friends that you can always rely on, it boosts your own confidence—making you feel as if anything is conquerable.
While jokes were weak, they did inspire raucous laughter from the audience at some of the most embarrassing scenes. One such scene is a bedroom scene where Nectar’s potential suitor finds himself with a ring of her period blood around his mouth.
Overall, "The Wedding Invitation" did not make me feel empowered, but rather belittled by how men should affect my life and make it better. A significant other can always be a positive influence in your life, but it should not be the only influence. Though men made these women weak, the strength of their friendship was enviable and empowering. Therefore, Kerwin did not perfectly capture the strength in an individual, but she did capture the strength in a friendship.
Edited by Katherine White | firstname.lastname@example.org