Yesterday, I just watched the movie Bridesmaids for the first time and there is a certain scene that keeps playing over in my head. I usually don’t watch rom-coms, but there is so much similarity between me (and I would say any human being for that matter) and the main character Annie, that I had to share. The emotions of this movie are quite profoundly raw and authentic. And if we’re really honest I think we can all relate with the feelings of jealousy and rage that this particular scene portrays.
First of all, a little background to the movie. The main character, Annie, is a single woman with a lot of issues. She lives in Milwaukee and opened up a bakery which went out of business. She works a job in sales which she hates and eventually loses. She is broke and gets kicked out of her apartment and has to move back in with her mom. Her relationships are horrible and she hangs out with a guy who treats her like garbage.
This is all going on simultaneously as her best friend, Lillian, is engaged and appoints her as her maid of honor. But one of the other bridesmaids is Helen, the wife of Lilian’s fiance’s boss. Helen is the polar opposite of Annie, rich, sophisticated, and an excellent event planner. She can give Lillian everything Annie can’t. Helen tries to steal Lillian from Annie and outdoes her in every area. Annie can’t seem to do anything right. Annie brings all the bridesmaids to a restaurant where they get food poisoning (which in turn ruins all the dresses). Annie makes the plane go down early when they fly to Vegas for the bachelorette party. And finally at the engagement party Annie loses it. This is the scene I was alluding to, the cookie scene.
I should mention that at the engagement party Helen planned everything. Annie goes to the party and it is on point. Helen even planned the invitation card to be a music box where a live butterfly flies out. There is a horse that the guests ride to the party. The party favors are cute puppies with pink berets. And the theme is Paris, which was Annie’s idea. There is a fondue fountain and everything is perfect and gorgeous. Later at the gift opening, Helen even buys Lillian a ticket to Paris because that’s where Lillian has always wanted to go and Helen books an appointment for Lillian to meet a famous designer there to design her dress. Once Annie sees this she blows it.
The Cookie Scene
Annie goes berserk and makes a run for the huge cookie decoration and punches it. She starts swearing and smashing the cookie. She ruins all the decorations and throws chocolate fondue all around. It’s actually a quite painful scene to watch and yet you can’t look away. All,I could think was, “this woman has a lot of unsolved issues and it’s not until now that she is dealing with them.” Basically, she was triggered and it was the build up of her own failures career wise, finance wise, relationship wise and now friend wise. Lillian of course does not approve and she kicks Annie out of her wedding.
Later Annie gets into a car accident because her brake lights blew out and she hasn’t replaced them, even though she has been warned. The police officer makes an ominous statement saying, “You don’t realize that you hurt people.” This is the beginning of enlightenment for Annie.
How this relates to me
The reason this scene kept playing in my head is because it’s very relevant to where I am at this moment. I just received an email that triggered a lot of pain, a lot of unresolved issues, a lot of broken relationships. And like Annie I really want to go punch a huge cookie and swear and let people know how mad I am. Maybe this is why I am particularly drawn to this scene, I admire her bravery. She is brave in a sense for finally acknowledging her emotions, but in another sense her timing is off because she hasn’t dealt with these earlier. Emotions are funny things.
“The heart has reasons that that reason cannot know”- Pascal. Emotions are not simple matters and they have their reasons, even though their reasons might not be logical. Emotions are triggered by something whether that may be wrong thinking or wrong perceptions of events or not. I am not one to dismiss my emotions. So I applaud Annie for acknowledging them.
But at the same time Annie is not someone I want to emanate. The timing and circumstances were not right and she really hurt her best friend Lillian. After her behavior Lillian kicks her out of her wedding. This scene showed me that we don’t realize that we hurt others. The hurt we cause others are most likely because of our unresolved issues, because of our broken tail lights that we didn’t take the time to fix. These broken brake lights cause accidents and often it’s not the other person’s fault they just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Take Away
There’s another scene in the movie at the end where a different bridesmaid, Megan, comes after the party and confronts Annie’s self-absorption. Annie is basically throwing herself a pity party and says she has no friends, but Megan takes offense at that because she’s standing right in front of her.
I’m not going to lie. I love pity parties and I enjoy having them. There is this sick enjoyment from wallowing in misery and self-sabotage and rage. And getting everyone else in a bad mood because I am in a bad mood.
I haven’t learned how to live by Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” I want everyone to feel bad when I feel bad. I want to reply all to that email and cuss some people out. I want to smash the proverbial cookie. I really really do. I really really want to and it boils down to this: I am hurting. I was hurt by someone and that person is not hurting (seemingly), but I want that person to hurt. My issues are because there is a huge gash within me that has not been healed.
And yet ultimately, who allowed that event? Jesus says, “You would have no authority over me at all, unless it was given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin (NET Bible, John 19:11, emphasis mine).”
We’re not going to get into the whole debate of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility right now, but I will say that God plays a part in the story of my life (a quintessential role). I have a lot of questions for him. But maybe the renewal of my mind is necessary to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV, Romans, 12:2).”
There is a lot of the gospel that I don’t understand (God’s love blows my mind). There’s a lot of things that I would write differently if I wrote the Bible. There are certain parts that I would take out as Thomas Jefferson did. Like the part about blessing those who persecute me (Romans 12:14) and not repaying evil back with evil (Romans 12:17).
There a lot of parts of my life that I wish I could erase and change and crop and modify and airbrush. But I am not God. God is God and He has his reasons and He is praiseworthy, all day, every day (Psalm 146:1-2). If He is not praiseworthy who or what else possibly could be?
I just want to end with another scene I like from the movie, where Annie does not give up. She fights back. (If you don’t watch the whole thing, at least watch from 1:21).