Thursday, December 19, 2013

Must See Streaming TV of the Week: The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid (1990)

Network: CBS
Original Air Date: September 20th, 1990

Life is funny sometimes. Back in my golden days, when I worked at a video store and the word VHS didn’t elicit the response, “Whoa, retro,” I couldn’t be bothered with romance movies. I was just discovering the fascinating world of cult films. And, while I still linger in that ether of all things dark and macabre, I also find that I like some things to be frilly and pink. Who knew, right? I’m not sure when the love bug hit me, but cupid’s arrow must have found its way to my heart during a viewing of something on Lifetime. It’s speculation now, all I can say is that I now hope every film seals itself with a kiss (romantic kiss or kiss of death, of course!). Still, while I possess no compunction towards the sentimental, I have also never really taken a shine to the big screen world of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. I’ll take the small screen schmaltz any day! And I say that without a hint of hipster irony, so please take that into consideration while I gush over The World’s Oldest Living Bridesmaid.

Apparently my gushing makes Donna uncomfortable
Donna Mills is Brenda Morgan, a high-powered attorney who may always win in the courtroom, but can’t seem to find as many victories in the bedroom. While she’s involved with a gorgeous dentist named Brian (Winston Reckert), any happiness she feels comes less from contentment and more from convenience. Things quickly go south when he wants her to give up her career for a life as his bride. Enter Alex Dante (Brian Wimmer with an oh-so-90s romantic hero ponytail). He is a sexy artist daylighting as a secretary to make ends meet. He becomes Brenda’s unlikely but strangely compatible lover. But of course, what good is a romance movie without a few wooing woes?

Is this a wooing Woe? Certainly not.
What I enjoyed most about Bridesmaid was that the film did not have a bad guy. While Brenda is definitely more on the serious side, she is a likable and even relatable character. Seriously, if there is a bad guy in this movie, it’s Wimmer’s ponytail, because it dampens the romance just a bit. The 90s was tough on all of us…

The scenario was a little too fastidious to say it was handled in any way that reflected realism, but the issues were very well handled and believable. Brenda does not want kids, and is old enough to know she made the right decision, but while Alex says he’s fine with that, he still has a few more years to change his mind. Don’t get me wrong, Bridesmaid is not weighed down by real-life problems. This is a romantic comedy, and it has a few stellar moments of farce, most notably delivered by Art Hindle, who plays Roger, Brenda’s “Perfect Man.” He is debonair and gorgeous, and about as interesting as a wet noodle. Granted, wet noodles are yummy and so is Art, so we’ve killed two birds with that platitude. Roger is perfectly vapid, and Hindle is absolutely wonderful in the part!

Enough about me, honey. What do you think of my hair?
Mills’ own production company, aptly named Donna Mills Productions, produced Bridesmaid. She first stepped behind the camera in 1986 because she wanted more say in the projects she was appearing in. In an interview Mills said, “I’m not just a producer in title. I really get in there and work with the editors and costume and set designers. I like the satisfaction of having the final product be what I want it to be. As an actress, you have no control over that.” And talk about sets and costumes. It’s all perfectly early 90s glamour, and it was nice to see Mills, who is best known as Queen Bitch Abby Cunningham on Knots Landing, play a softer character, and with humor. She’s the best. The best.

I was really excited to find The World’s Oldest Bridesmaid has been added to the Amazon Instant Video queue. It came in quite handy during finals week! 
Promotional Still for The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid


Barbara said...

I laugh because Donna is 19 years older than Brian. A little license of fantasy taken there?

Anonymous said...

Really, Barbara? Mills is incredibly gorgeous -- a younger man would be lucky to have her, and he'd know it. (Especially in 1990)