I don’t believe in hell, but My First Wedding makes me wish I did. Because its protagonist, Nick, needs to go to hell.
My terrible habit of watching wedding movies has exposed me to a lot of creeps, selfish drama-mongers, and irrational weirdos. It’s exposed me to bizarre deception schemes and elaborate lies. But I’ve never seen a character so damnable as Nick.
Nick is a carpenter refurbishing a church. He’s working on the confessional booth when a young woman named Vanessa comes in. He puts in about ten seconds effort trying to stop Vanessa from confessing to a civilian, but as soon as he realizes her confession is about sex, he instead goads her to say more about her lust to get his rocks off.
Vanessa is set to be married in three days. Her fiancé André is Catholic, and is waiting for marriage to have sex. Vanessa is not Catholic, and the pressure of abstaining is getting to her. Like, really getting to her. Simple eye contact with a male stranger is enough to incapacitate her with lust.
[This is Rachel Leigh Cook’s “incapacitated by lust” face. She’s very cute, and I want her to have a better career, but she’s no Meryl Streep.]
Nick, now “Father Nick,” agrees to provide one-on-one spiritual counseling to help Vanessa with her carnal urges. Of course, he wants to help her INDULGE in those carnal urges. WITH HIM. But he is dressed as a priest, and priests are CELIBATE, so you can kind of forgive Vanessa for not catching on to his scheme.
I mean, until he allows her to drunkenly snuggle with him on the couch while he wears a t-shirt that reads “Let’s Get Jiggy.” This should raise suspicions that he might not be a priest. It might also be suspicious that he DOES get jiggy. With her. By which I mean he has sexual intercourse with her. The night before her wedding.
Posing as a priest to seduce an engaged woman is pretty evil, but Nick doesn’t stop there. His Plan B is sending his sister to seduce André. Yes, André the principled virgin. It’s not enough to break up André’s planned marriage, he also needs to make Andre think he’s going to hell. While using his own sister as a pawn in his creepy sex plot. Nick is a complete disgrace of a human being. Nick makes Charlie Sheen look like a really nice and stable person.
He’s so awful that he also performs a sham wedding for Vanessa and André when all of his seduction plans aren’t enough to make them break up. And then crashes their honeymoon and feigns demonic possession to stop them from consummating the marriage. Not because they never got married, mind you, but because he’s in love with Vanessa. Allegedly. Really, I think he’s in love with elaborate lies. That explains his behavior much better.
When Vanessa and André finally realize that Nick isn’t a priest, they head to a church for a proper marriage. Which Nick crashes, begging Vanessa to choose him. Because this is a wedding movie, that works. But this is the most unbelievable of all the many, many, many “marry me instead” endings I’ve suffered through. I would have preferred the “hell is invented just for Nick” ending, but that might have been too dark for mainstream audiences.