“It’s like a rom-com that even I wouldn’t want to watch… it’s like a really bad rom-com that’s, like, too obvious and not funny.”
That’s actually the most surprising part: Even though “Girls” is known for being extremely weird and offbeat, the episode (written and directed by Dunham) uses a ton of Hollywood wedding cliches that always show up in TV and movies. Was it on purpose? A parody? Hannah’s quote suggests it’s a wink at the viewer; after all, she delivers the line after having sex with her boyfriend in a car near the venue. Either way, here’s the complete list of matrimonial tropes the HBO comedy uses:
The bride tries to show she’s so chill.
At first, Marnie attempts to prove that she’s cool with whatever happens. “I’m a totally easygoing girl,” she assures her makeup artist. That blows up instantly, especially when she freaks out when Hannah’s new boyfriend Fran (Jake Lacy) crashes her wedding prep.
She describes her wedding aesthetic as “Laurel Canyon classic” and “Ralph Lauren and Joni Mitchell — artistic but also with a nod to my cultural heritage which is ‘white Christian woman.'” (The makeup artist interprets this as “Selena Gomez meets Jesus.”)
The bride embraces being a control freak and goes crazy.
Marnie orders Hannah to organize the bridesmaids’s hair and makeup sessions. When Shosh (Zosia Mamet) sits to get her hair done, Marnie tells the makeup artist to “make sure you run everything by me before it’s final, I just want to make sure I sign off on it before it’s set in its spray.”
But if there’s one thing Marnie can’t handle, it’s that Hannah doesn’t want to style her very short hair: Even though Marnie points out they have flower crowns, braid headbands, extensions and weaves, all for the taking. “I don’t f—ing care, you just have to wear something!” she snaps. Marnie has a very specific vision for this wedding aesthetic and it’s inspired by an Edward Sharpe video and it will not be altered.
The bride’s mother is a monster.
The opening scene features Marnie’s mom (Rita Wilson) yelling at the wedding staff outside: “Candle, flower, candle, flower!” Later, she hates Marnie’s flower crown and doesn’t hesitate to tell her: “Honestly, you look like a Starbucks cup.”
The bridesmaid who doesn’t believe in the wedding industrial complex.
It’s no surprise that Jessa (Jemima Kirke) doesn’t see the big deal about weddings. She bathes in a stream and runs through a field to air dry, and she rolls her eyes as she has to put on her typical bridesmaid dress, annoyed at taking part in such a mainstream activity.
The bridesmaid who is way too excited about the wedding industrial complex.
Would it surprise you that Shosh didn’t bring a plus-one because she takes her bridesmaids duties, like, super seriously? She also talks Marnie down in her own chipper way when the weather looks ominous: “Oh, it’s never been about to rain less in the history of the universe.”
Two wedding guests inappropriately hook up.
Adam Driver returns as Adam, Hannah’s ex-boyfriend. He waits about two minutes before he passionately makes out with Jessa, Hannah’s best friend, after they bond over a cigarette and wedding madness: That will not end well.
The groom freaks out.
Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Marnie’s fiancé, has a freakout post-meditation and runs into a lake. It’s up to Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Marnie’s ex who is still in love with her, to calm Desi down and convince him to get married.
Secrets are revealed.
Desi has been engaged seven times before but never gone through with a wedding. Fran accidentally lets this slip to Hannah; miraculously, she does not tell Marnie.
The wedding threatens to tear the bride and her best friend apart, but they make up over a tearful talk right before the ceremony.
Hannah acts like a jerk to Marnie on her wedding day, but it’s because she’s so scared that Marnie is getting married and everything is changing. In the end, when Marnie is having a meltdown in the bathroom over her too-heavy makeup, Hannah puts it all aside and the two are best friends again.
“Do you think I’m making a mistake?” Marnie tearfully asks.
“No,” Hannah says with only a little hesitation. “I am with you every step of the way.”
A wacky wedding employee.
Bebe (Bridget Everett), Marnie’s hair and makeup artist, leads a rock-and-roll lifestyle and once did Sophia Bush’s makeup — so she has no patience for Hannah and Marnie’s drama when they think she did a terrible job. “Sophia Bush? Grateful!” she screams when the “Girls” girls don’t appreciate her artistry.
A musical “getting ready” montage.
After Bebe flees, Jessa waltzes in and magically takes control: As Lord Huron’s song “Fool for Love” cheerfully plays in the background, she wipes off Marnie’s ridiculous makeup, helps with her hair, and makes Hannah and Shosh look beautiful.
While there will surely be trouble later (again: Desi has been engaged a total of eight times and the two barely know each other), as the episode ends, the clouds clear up. And Marnie and her bridesmaids happily skip to the altar as the sun shines, a perfect Hollywood ending.