‘You’re just some bitch who broke my heart and cut up my mom’s wedding dress’: Reading the wedding dress in Hollywood’s romantic comedies | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2044-2823
  • E-ISSN: 2044-2831



In a number of recent romantic comedies including 27 Dresses (Fletcher, 2008) and Bride Wars (Winick, 2009) the wedding dress takes on a particular significance as the daughter desires to wear her mother’s wedding gown on her own big day. This article explores the dress within these films, amongst others, demonstrating, with reference to a discussion of consumption, gender roles and psychoanalytic frameworks, that a complex debate around femininity, inheritance, love and consumption is presented. The mother’s dress is an effective totem object that must be overcome by the daughter, who never wears it, in order to forge her own identity. This renders feminine inheritance unimportant and offers a false notion of personal identity to its heroines. The discussion of the wedding dress is extended to include the tension between the vintage and designer wedding dress in Sex and the City (King, 2008) a film in which the vintage dress is celebrated, potentially representing a more balanced and forward-thinking notion of marriage and womanhood.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): consumption; femininity; Hollywood film; inheritance; romance; wedding dress
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