Royal Wedding (1951)

credit: blog.seattlepi.comFred Astaire tap dances on the ceiling and nobody really cares about anything else in this movie.

 

What with all the hullabaloo about the royal family’s new baby the last couple of weeks, I thought this might be a good time to feature this movie.

This movie was pretty trendy at the time, including a role played by Winston Churchill’s daughter, as well as Peter Lawford, the “I don’t actually sing” member of the Rat Pack. You’ll also notice a fairly young Jane Powell, probably most famous for her movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers a decade later.

And the icing on the cake: This movie also has Keenan Wynn, the villain from that deep, thought-provoking movie called Herbie Rides Again.

By the way, when you first start watching this, don’t get freaked out by the opening scene. You might be smarter than me, but I didn’t realize they were performing on a stage until about halfway through the number. I just thought it was going to be a super cheesy movie—which it kind of is, but a different brand of cheese.

credit: makingniceinthemidwest.comOH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW:  The editor of this movie should win an award. And when I say “should win an award” I mean “should never forgive himself for the really crappy job he did.” I haven’t seen anything this choppy since Paul Bunyan. (Cuz he chops stuff…Get it? Get the joke?)

This movie is about two couples, one of them being comprised of two people who preferred to play around with lots of people instead of committing to just one person.

And while the film doesn’t really dive too deeply into the subject of marriage, like many other love stories, it quietly displays marriage as the ultimate goal and consummating crown of relationships.

There are those who think the institution of marriage is no longer needed. But it is not just a nice custom or merely a social convenience.

The apostle Paul prophesied in the last days that people would forbid to marry, and unfortunately, he was exactly right. (He also said it was better to marry than to burn, but since most things are better than burning, I thought I’d go with the marriage-forbidding one.)

credit: brightlightsfilm.com

So why is marriage a big deal?

It’s far easier to sleep around with whomever we want whenever we want, and avoid the whole messy “responsibility” thing. But God does not take sex outside of marriage lightly. And neither should we.

Can we actually expect to find fulfillment and lasting satisfaction just by living with somebody, having one foot in the bedroom and the other in the doorway in case things get hard? That’s not happiness.

Having someone fully, absolutely, unquestionably committed to you and your children is happiness. And anyone who says otherwise is either too ashamed of their cheap imitation of a relationship to acknowledge the truth or they are woefully ignorant of the life they could be enjoying if they stopped living beneath their privileges.

True love must include the idea of permanence. This is marriage.

And when I say “marriage” I mean a real marriage, not a legalized wannabe substitute that falls obliviously short of the two eternal roles meant to be provided by partners of complimentary genders. Marriage is a crucial contract, and I refuse to be part of its definition demolition.

For those who are single and wish to be married, I know it’s not easy, and you’ve probably had some long nights lying awake in bed wondering why God hasn’t brought you that opportunity. And I’m sure there isn’t much I could write that you haven’t heard before. Just live your life, set awesome goals and accomplish great things. And in the mean time don’t settle for someone who is almost what you deserve.

One more thing: For me, getting married has been totally worth it. We have our challenges and disagreements just like everyone else, but our disagreements never escalate into fights because both of us already agree on the eternal fundamentals of happiness. (Interfaith marriages are about 10x harder for that exact reason.) And a couple with that foundation rarely argues over anything that could be remotely close to important.

Marriage is not just for royalty, or those who want to keep with “tradition” — but every marriage can be a royal one if both are fully committed to the other’s happiness.

“And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.” – Doctrine & Covenants 49:15

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