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Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live fame and co-produced by Judd Apatow, directed by Paul Feig. Wiig plays Annie, a single, late-thirties woman stuck in a dead-end job and a dead-end relationship. She faces a new source of anxiety when her old friend Lillian (played by fellow SNL alum Maya Rudolph) gets engaged to a rich guy and seems poised to leave Annie behind for her rich, fancy new friends, especially Lillian's prospective new best friend, Helen (Rose Byrne).

Designed as something of a Distaff Counterpart to The Hangover and other films of its ilk, and was a massive success, showing that female-driven buddy comedies could be hits and launching others in its wake. It was also a Star-Making Role for many of its actresses, especially Melissa McCarthy.

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This film provides examples of:

  • The Ace: How Helen appears most of the time.
  • Acrofatic: Megan is rather overweight but is very flexible.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Deconstructed. Annie prefers her jerkass fuck buddy rather than the sweet, loving cop she met, but that's just one of the ways her self-destructive tendencies come to the surface. She clearly has feelings for Rhodes, but can't bring herself to act on them, just as much as she can't bring herself to fix up her life. Rather than take the chance of going after someone better, she'd rather settle for a relationship that she knows is bad for her in the long run to avoid being hurt.
  • The Alleged Car: The sad little vehicle that down-at-the-heels Annie is forced to drive around.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Rita and Becca, who are married to and show attraction to guys, but also share a drunken kiss on the plane to Las Vegas.
  • Alpha Bitch:
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    • Annie encounters a snotty tween girl while working as a jeweler and they fall into a cycle of out-insulting each other. To be fair, the girl is perfectly civil until Annie starts insinuating her best friend will dump her, both starting and escalating the argument.
    • Helen seems like an adult version of this trope at first, but is sympathized somewhat later on and becomes more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Always Someone Better: Helen is seemingly this to Annie, constantly attempting to one-up her and is often successful. She is also rich and attractive, and Annie feels threatened by her budding friendship with Lillian. Played with, in that it's revealed Helen has her own problems in her life and has been muscling in on things more as an (admittedly rather thoughtless) attempt to over-compensate for her own unhappiness as opposed to downright maliciousness towards Annie.
  • An Aesop: You are the only person that can fix your life. Take responsibility for your actions.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Parodied when Megan is telling Annie about her terrible experience in high school.
    Megan: And by Megan, I mean myself.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Annie's rant at the bridal shower starts off as being about Helen's constant one-upmanship and theft of Annie's ideas, goes on to insult the stupidly extravagant shower she is throwing, and ends with a few sentences on the gigantic decorative cookie.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Becca and Rita share a kiss while drunk after confessing their marital problems to each other.
  • Bad News in a Good Way: Annie's roommates when they tell her to move out.
    Brynn: We'd like to invite you to no longer live with us anymore.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted greatly with the bridal shop scene. In fact, the whole movie could be seen as the incarnate of averting this trope.
  • Betty and Veronica: Rhodes, the kind, domestic, and sweet police officer, is the Betty to Ted's sneery, condescending, fratboy grown-up Veronica, with Annie as the Archie in the situation.
  • Big Fun: Megan, who is always behaving in outlandish, bizarre, and humorous ways. Played with in that she seems unaware of how a lot of her behavior is perceived.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: A few examples exist throughout the movie:
    • A variation at the engagement party, where Annie and Helen compete in their speeches to prove who is the better friend to Lillian makes for an uncomfortable experience for everyone.
    • Annie goes on a huge rant at the bridal shower upon learning that Helen plans on taking Lillian to Paris - something which Annie told her about in the first place.
    • Lillian's dad gives a bitter speech at the engagement party (that everyone treats as funny) where he repeatedly declares that he can't afford to pay for the wedding.
  • Blatant Lies: Several times, especially at the bridal shop where the girls get food poisoning and Annie attempts to divert both the shop assistant and Helen:
    Annie: Nothing's happening... I think everybody has the flu.
  • Brick Joke: Played with. During Annie's meltdown at the bridal shower, she sarcastically asks if Lilian and Helen are going to ride around Paris on bikes with baguettes in the front baskets. A deleted scene on the DVD and Blu-ray release shows an online video of them doing just that while a mortified Annie watches.
  • Broken Bird: Annie due to losing her bakery during the recession, her subsequent breakup, her dead-end job, and eventually having to move back home with her mom.
  • Central Theme: Hitting rock bottom and getting back up.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Annie's car's busted tail-lights and dodgy ignition. She gets in a fender-bender when the car behind her can't see her braking, and despite the minor bump, the car speeds away. This leads to Rhodes chewing her out for her irresponsibility (and he's definitely not talking about anything other than the lights) and adds to her ongoing Humiliation Conga.
  • Chick Flick: The question of whether or not this film is one is a good way to start an argument.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Despite repeated denials, Megan was right about the guy sitting next to her on the plane being an air marshal.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Occurs during Annie's tantrum at the bridal shower, particularly in regards to the giant decorative cookie.
    Annie: Look at this shower! Look at that fucking cookie! Did you really think that this group of women was gonna finish that cookie? Really, and you know that reminds me actually, I never got a chance to try that fucking cookie! *runs outside and marches towards the cookie* STUPID FUCKING COOKIE! *starts destroying it and shoving the pieces towards her face* Oooh, delicious!
  • The Comically Serious: Megan, despite her status as a Cloudcuckoolander, often (though not always) speaks in a serious, oddly formal cadence at odds with her crude, outlandish dialogue.
  • Country Matters: Annie calling her tweenage customer this is what finally gets her fired.
  • Cringe Comedy: The bridesmaids' dress fitting, the plane trip to Las Vegas, the bridal shower, and when the main character is "helping" customers at work can all be considered this.
  • Dance Party Ending: The film wraps up with the girls dancing together to "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A good portion of the cast, but particular mention belongs to Rita.
    • Silent Snarker: During Annie’s meltdown at the wedding shower, it’s clear from Rita’s facial expressions that she agrees with everything Annie says.
  • Deconstruction: Of the "woman who needs to get her life together does so over the course of the movie" genre; try as she might to come out on top, Annie progressively makes things worse with her attitude.
  • The Ditz: Annie's female roommate, in a somewhat Obliviously Evil fashion.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Officer Rhodes.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Annie does this on purpose to attract Rhodes' attention when he's deliberately ignoring her. He's under the impression she always drives badly, since she was swerving when he first pulled her over and generally keeps her car in bad condition.
    Rhodes: That stuff you were doing would've been dangerous for a good driver!
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rita and Becca getting drunk on the plane and swapping horror stories about their marriages. This ends with both women randomly and awkwardly kissing.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: On the flight to Las Vegas, Helen gives Annie tranquilizers and alcohol to cope with her fear of flying.
  • Everyone Must Be Paired: Every character ends up in a relationship or is in one from the beginning. Helen, Becca, and Rita are all married, Lillian marries Doug, Annie ends up with Rhodes, and Megan is revealed to have gotten together with the air marshal, with whom she shared a single (admittedly flirty) scene, and he accompanies her to the wedding. Even Annie's divorced mom is heavily implied to hook up with the guy who fixes Annie's car at the very end.
  • Everything's Precious with Puppies: The wedding shower party favors are puppies. With little pink berets.
  • Fair Cop: Annie's roguishly handsome love interest, Officer Rhodes.
  • Fat Idiot: Both of Annie's roommates.
  • Freudian Trio: In the platonic love triangle at the center of the film, Annie is the Id, Helen is the Superego, and Lillian is the Ego.
  • Friends with Benefits: Annie and her fuck buddy, played by an uncredited Jon Hamm.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Lillian is delighted with last year's designer dress, so this year's must be even more fabulous, right? Wrong.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Megan lets out a belch at the beginning of the bridal shop scene, and Annie wipes sweat away a little later. Initially, this seems to be Megan's Hypocritical Humour and Annie feeling pressure from Helen... until everyone, save for Helen, gets food poisoning.
  • Food Porn: Considering Annie is a professional baker who once owned her own business, we see this a few times. Notable examples include that one flowered cupcake she makes near the beginning of the film and the apology carrot cake she bakes and decorates for Rhodes.
  • Gender Flip: Megan is an obvious one of Alan from The Hangover.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Played with. After her "The Reason You Suck" Speech fails, Megan tackles and wrestles with Annie, refusing to let up until Annie slaps her. It's the slap that proves to them both that Annie still has some fight left in her, and is the catalyst for her picking up the pieces of her life, starting with apologizing to Rhodes.
  • Gilligan Cut: When comforting Lillian from her apartment before the wedding, Annie tells her that she's sure the wedding will go perfectly, and since Helen is planning it, it's sure to be tasteful. Cut to the wedding, which includes a waterfall, fireworks, and a really tacky laser light show.
  • Godwin's Law: Intoxicated Annie versus an ornery flight attendant.
    Annie: Velcome to Germany! Auf wiedersehen, asshole!
  • Glad I Thought of It: Helen turns down Annie's idea for a Parisian-themed bridal shower, claiming it's overdone, only to end up using it herself. Also invoked when Helen surprises Lillian with a trip to Paris for the two of them - which she only knew Lillian wanted because of Annie.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: When Annie attempts to continually upstage Helen during the engagement toasts, she eventually runs out of things to say and tries to tell Lillian something meaningful in Spanish, which comes out unintelligible.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Annie's jealousy of Helen makes everything worse for her. She's surprised to learn that Helen is actually jealous of her for Annie's genuinely close relationship with Lillian, and tries to compensate with elaborate gestures because that's what she's good at.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Outside of the Freudian Trio of Annie, Lillian, and Helen, the three other bridesmaids form this: Becca is the maiden (of the "naive ditz" variety), Rita is the mother, and Megan is the crone, although Megan takes on the mother's tendency towards plumpness and eccentricity, while Rita has a sharper tongue.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Annie and Lillian.
  • Hollywood Law: After the main characters' flight to Las Vegas is diverted to Casper, Wyoming due to Annie's in-flight antics, nothing else happens. In real life, anyone taken off a plane this way is sent the bill for the diversion by the airline, whose landing fees and fuel costs usually run into at least five figures. Given that Annie is also seen being escorted by two officers, she'd likely be facing federal charges of interfering with a flight crew as well. However, none of this is brought up or even mentioned again after the scene ends.
  • Humiliation Conga: The movie might as well be called Annie's Humiliation Conga. She lost all her money in a failed business venture, got dumped shortly afterwards, currently works in a dead-end job, lives with a weird guy and his weird mooch sister, and is in a Friends with Benefits relationship with a total jerkass. And that's just at the start of the movie. She goes on to lose said job for insulting a young customer, gets kicked out of her apartment, drives away her best friend and potential love interest, and has to move in with her mother...
    Annie: Hey, Mom. You know when you thought I'd hit bottom? That wasn't the bottom.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Rita's complaints about her sons swearing at her turn out to be this.
    Rita (to her sons): Hey! Shut your filthy fucking mouths!
  • Ikea Erotica: Quite a few of Annie's facial expressions with Ted makes it clear that she isn't enjoying anything he is doing with her. It's especially noticeable when he grabs and massages her breast and she just looks around confusedly.
  • Implausible Deniability: Annie's roommate's excuse on reading her diary.
    Brynn: At first, I did not know it was your diary. I thought it was a very sad, handwritten book.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Lillian's wedding dress, designed by a famous fashion designer in France, went a little too far with the ruffles. It's so over-the-top that both Annie and Lillian can do nothing but laugh.
  • Incest Subtext: Annie's roommates, who are brother and sister, are seen bathing together at one point.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: When brainstorming ideas for Lillian's bridal shower, Becca suggests a Pixar-themed bridal shower.
  • The Ingenue: Becca, who is extremely sweet, naive, and a fan of all things Disney.
  • Insult Backfire: Annie's remark that Lillian needs to get her head out of Helen's asshole, "which I'm sure is perfectly bleached!", prompts this.
    Lillian: You know what? It is! And you know how I know? Because I went to the fucking salon with her, and I got my asshole bleached too! AND I LOVE MY NEW ASSHOLE!
  • Intoxication Ensues: Annie's effort to deal with her fear of flying has unfortunate consequences.
  • Jerkass:
    • Jon Hamm's character, Ted.
    • Annie's male roommate, Gil.
  • Karma Houdini: Helen. Despite the fact that she is the main antagonist, she never seems to get called out on anything and continues to upstage Annie right up until the end of the film. That being said, Helen is gradually revealed to be quite sympathetic herself, being more thoughtlessly over-eager rather than actively malicious.
    • Our first glimpse of Helen's true nature comes when we see how her stepchildren treat her.
    Helen: You guys need a ride home later?
    Stepson: Fuck off, Helen.
    • Annie's roommates, Gil and Brynn, never receive any comeuppance for their rudeness or for kicking her out of the apartment.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Played with; Once Helen and Annie are left by themselves in the dress shop, Helen sees Annie sweating and visibly trying to keep from throwing up due to the food poisoning. Helen repeatedly asks her if she's okay, but Annie insists she's fine and even requests a snack to prove it. Helen brings Annie a candy-coated almond, which Annie chokes down to make her point. While Helen isn't outwardly malicious in this scene, she doesn't call Annie out on her visible discomfort and instead chooses to allow her to suffer the consequences.
  • Lad-ette: Megan.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Hinted at with Annie's mom and the car mechanic, Bill Cozbi. "Don't I know you from AA?"
    • A surprise hookup is also revealed at Lillian's wedding: Megan and Jon, the air marshal.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Annie's made-up boyfriend while she talks to Ted, George...Glass.
  • Loser Protagonist: Annie, who starts out working a dead-end job which she later gets fired from, forcing her to move back in with her mother, is almost forty years old and still unmarried. Throughout the movie, she also serves as the third wheel to her best friend, who is engaged with a rich man and also has a new best friend in the form of a Rich Bitch who lavishly flaunts her wealth.
  • Mile-High Club: Megan attempts to join this on the plane with air marshal Jon.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: A la Carrie Bradshaw, Annie keeps her bra on for sex with Ted.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer and advertising is all about the bridesmaids as a group, despite that not being the case in the movie overall. The second trailer actually portrays the movie much more accurately than the more frequently shown first trailer because it chooses to focus more on Annie and Lillian's friendship.
  • Never My Fault: One of the things Rhodes calls Annie out on in his angry "tail-lights" rant is her tendency to fall back on blaming others for what happens to her, which allows her to wallow in depression and victimization instead of taking any action that might actually help get her life sorted out. He phrases it in terms of a car accident that resulted because her tail-lights weren't working, but it's pretty clear what the subtext is.
    Annie: [Referring to her car accident] I just... Helen just—
    Rhodes: [Interrupting, fed-up] Agh, don't... this didn't happen because of Helen. This happened because you didn't get your tail lights fixed. It's pretty simple.
  • Nobody Poops: Greatly averted in a scene where the bridesmaids get food poisoning from a Brazilian restaurant during a dress fitting.
  • No Social Skills: Helen over-plans lavish parties to make up for the fact she has very few close female friends.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Rhodes' actor, Chris O'Dowd, was prepared to put on an American accent for the role, but the production liked his native Irish accent so much that they told him to just use it.
  • Officer O'Hara: Subverted by O'Dowd using his native accent and playing the part as written, not the stereotype.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: A jilted Rhodes snapping at Annie to get her "fucking tail lights fixed" because doesn't she understand how "badly she can hurt people"? ...with these... broken lights?
  • Out of Focus: After being major supporting characters in the first half of the film, Rita and Becca are more or less Demoted to Extra for the second half. They still appear, but have very few lines and no plot importance.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Annie and Helen trying to one-up each other on their speeches about Lillian at the engagement party.
    • In the gag reel, Megan tosses off around thirty different options for the shower. Eventually it just sounds like word salad.
    • Annie's many attempts to get Rhodes' attention in the car. Particularly when the car rolls veery slowly past him with no visible occupants.
      Annie: *badly disguising her voice* Hey, who's driving that car?
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: On the flight to Las Vegas, Annie tries to sneak into first class wearing a pair of sunglasses. It doesn't work.
  • Plane Awful Flight: For Annie. The flight itself goes pretty smoothly, but gets off to a bad start because Annie can't afford first class and ends up the only person in coach from her party. To calm her nerves, Annie takes a pill from Helen with booze, which leads to her essentially hallucinating thanks to an extremely paranoid seat mate. It then gets especially bad for everyone else when Annie starts screaming about there being a woman on the wing, leading to the entire bridal party getting kicked off the flight.
  • Posters Always Lie: The posters (like the one at the top of this page) show the bridesmaids in dresses they don't wear anywhere in the film. While those dresses are short and pink, the actual ones are long and purple.
  • Potty Failure: Occurs during the infamous food poisoning scene in both a sink and in the street.
  • Power Walk: The bridal party does one of these while boarding the plane to Vegas.
  • Proper Lady: Whitney from the Belle en Blanc dress shop, right down to the Prim and Proper Bun. It only makes the bridesmaids' fitting all the more cringeworthy...
    Whitney: Don’t you dare ruin that dress!
  • Precision F-Strike: Annie at the bridal shower, which then transitions to a Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Lillian unveiling her clownish and over-the-top wedding dress to Annie.
    Lillian: Don't. You. Dare. Laugh.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Several throughout the film:
    • Helen stealing Annie's idea for a Parisian-themed bridal shower, particularly after saying the idea was overdone. Annie bites her tongue... until Helen presents Lillian with a bona fide plane ticket to Paris.
      Annie: What woman gives another woman a trip to Paris?! Am I right? Les~bian!♪ We're all thinking it, aren't we?
      (the guests shake their heads unconvincingly)
      Becca: I'm not.
      Megan: I was.
    • Officer Rhodes isn't exactly happy when he delivers his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Annie after her car accident, but he's at least attempting to keep his temper under control... until her ride comes along and it turns out to be her Jerkass fuck buddy, Ted. At this point, he finally snaps and storms off.
  • Reality Ensues: It's revealed at the end of the movie that Helen's extravagant ideas for Lillian's wedding ended up raising the price far beyond what was predicted, and her father can no longer afford to pay. This contributes to Lillian's breakdown at the climax.
    • Annie also constantly forgets to get her tail lights fixed, which eventually culminates in her car getting badly rear-ended. Rhodes is pretty quick to point this out to her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Annie gets one from Megan after her meltdown at the bridal shower leads to Annie getting uninvited from the wedding. With the speech, Megan is hoping to inspire Annie to "fight for [her] crappy life" rather than sit around and feel sorry for herself.
    • Annie also gets one from Nathan, which initially starts out as an admonition for not getting her tail lights fixed after she gets into a car accident, and eventually morphs into a rant about how much she hurt his feelings and her refusal to take responsibility for her life.
  • Rich Bitch: Helen. Subverted though, as she turns out to just be lonely and desperate for friends.
  • Running Gag: People at the engagement party asking Annie "Is this your husband?" only for her to turn around and see various complete strangers standing next to her.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Rhodes.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Rita.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Taken to the logical extreme. Lillian's fiancé, Dougie, has zero characterization and exactly one line throughout the entire film.
    Dougie: I do.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signs of Disrepair: After getting uninvited from Lillian's wedding because of her meltdown at the bridal party, Annie sees the words "COCK BABY" spray-painted on her former bakery shop.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Annie, who is still deeply depressed by the loss of her bakery and breakdown of her relationship, is very snarky and rude, even to people who are trying to help her.
  • Stalking Is Love: Annie repeatedly trying to rouse Rhodes' attention by performing illegal maneuvers in her car. These include speeding, tossing litter at his window, pretending to swig booze, talking on her cell phone, doing donuts beside his car, blasting loud rap music, and going topless. It takes bumping into the back of Rhodes' police car with hers to finally get him to acknowledge her.
  • Stepford Smiler: Helen. She appears happy on the outside, but is miserable and lonely on the inside.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Megan uses this as a motivational technique on Annie, and it works.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Annie has an epic one at the bridal shower after Helen reveals she's taking Lillian to Paris. As a result, Annie destroys a giant decorative cookie and throws food around. She slightly overreaches when she attempts to push over an eight foot tall concrete chocolate fountain.
  • The Illegal: Annie's roommate Brynn appears to be in this scenario, as it is mentioned that she cannot work (and therefore contribute to the rent) because she is on a tourist visa.
  • Themed Party: Helen is apparently very good at these. She throws a lavish Parisian-themed bridal shower for Lillian, (which was originally Annie's idea that she previously turned down) and tops it off by giving Lillian a trip to Paris with herself.
  • Toilet Humor: The first sign of trouble brewing at the dress shop is when Megan lets an enormous belch.
    Megan: I want to apologize. I'm not even confident on which end that came out of.
  • Transparent Closet: Becca's husband, Kevin, is implied to be either gay or asexual, as he insists on them having sex in the dark, under the covers, only after they've showered separately... and half the time, he's too tired to even do it.
  • Triang Relations: The Heterosexual Life-Partners version of Type 7 where Annie and Helen are both competing to be Lillian's best friend.
  • True Companions: The film portrays Annie and Lillian to be these, having been best friends ever since childhood, until Lillian gets engaged and starts to become better friends with the wife of Dougie's boss, Helen.
    • Megan actually proves herself to be a very loyal friend to Annie, as she gives her the harsh talk she needs after her meltdown at the bridal shower and gives Annie the motivation to take back control of her life.
  • Twincest. Implied between Annie's roommates, Gil and Brynn, who are brother and sister and do a variety of strangely close things together, such as bathing.
  • Twitchy Eye: Annie as she chokes down a candy-coated almond in the midst of food poisoning.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Even though most of what happened to Annie isn't her fault, some of her reactions just make her look like a jerk, including her behavior towards Rhodes and her temper tantrum at Lillian's bridal shower.
  • The Voiceless: Lillian's fiancé, Dougie, shows up in a total of two scenes throughout the entire movie. Despite being mentioned a lot, his only real line is when he says his vows at the wedding.
    • Perry (Helen's husband and Dougie's boss) is also mentioned, but only appears once with no dialogue.
    • Lillian's mother also appears in the engagement party and wedding scenes, but says nothing.
  • Volleying Insults: Annie starts one of these fights with a preteen girl at the jewelry store.
    Annie: I feel bad for your parents.
    Customer: I feel bad for your face.
    Annie: Okay, well, call me when your boobs come in.
    Customer: You call me when yours come in!
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Subverted; the girls get kicked off the plane because of Annie's antics before ever reaching Vegas.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: The infamous (but hilarious) food poisoning scene.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: During the food poisoning scene, Rita sprays vomit on the toilet and wall before she can get the lid up, and then Becca throws up in Rita's hair.
  • Wake Up Make Up: Both parodied and invoked in the opening scene, when Annie tiptoes into the bathroom to freshen up while her fuck buddy, Ted, is asleep. She then makes self-deprecating comments about how she looks first thing in the morning when he wakes up and compliments her.
  • Wedding Finale: The final scene is Lillian's wedding to Dougie.


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