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Familz Issues In Jenny's Wedding Movie

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Jenny’s Wedding

Directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue

In the story for Jenny’s Wedding, Jenny is torn between choosing what her family wants her to do and what she wants to do. This follows her as she gets asked if she is dating anyone (with her family assuming that it is a man), to her sister, Anne, making up a rumor about Jenny dating a married man, to Jenny announcing to her parents, Rose and Eddie, that she is gay and her “roommate,” Kitty, is actually her girlfriend of five years, to her proposing to Kitty, Jenny coming out to her entire family, and ending with Jenny marrying Kitty in a hotel. The story includes some finer details, such as Kitty and Jenny talking about when and how Jenny should let her parents know that she is gay, as her family are the only people she has not come out to, and details about the family, such as their residence in a conservative town, that shape the story and create conflict that Jenny ultimately has to overcome.

The movie centers around Jenny’s private goal to marry Kitty, raise a family, and have the life that her parents talk about Anne having. Yet, this goal is not easily reached due to two main sources of conflict. The person versus person aspect of this conflict is when Eddie tells Jenny that he will not come to her and Kitty’s wedding because a marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two women. Eddie also takes is personally that Jenny is a lesbian, and refuses to communicate with her for a long duration of the film because of his anger toward her choices and his opinion of them. This component of the conflict is resolved when Eddie’s friend talks to him, telling him that it is not Eddie’s fault that Jenny is gay. The conversation moves Eddie to come to Jenny’s wedding, resulting in a happy ending for the married couple. The person versus self aspect of this is Jenny’s internal struggle to tell her parents and family her sexuality. This is seen when Jenny talks to Kitty about how she gets frustrated every time her brother tries to set her up with some guy. Another instance is when Jenny and Kitty are sitting in the car together and Kitty tells Jenny that she’ll have to go in alone to tell her family. This conflict gets resolved two times: once when Jenny tells her parents and once when she tells her sister. Jenny says that telling her family she’s gay lifted a weight off of her shoulders, signaling how it was a burden and internal conflict that she had to overcome.

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In the movie, Anne talks about grass a few times. Grass is a free motif in the movie used to represent happiness. This thematic idea is shown through Anne’s words and actions. The first time the grass is brought up is when Jenny knocks on Anne’s door and Anne states that the grass is dead. This ties into how she is not happy with her marriage, but does not come to this conclusion until later on in the film. When Anne waters the grass, she is smiling, showing a physical embodiment of happiness correlated to the grass. She is happy because she feels as though she is cultivating her happiness and well-being. Anne also states several times throughout the film: “Happy people don’t have dead grass,” showing that grass is representing happiness, and it is not until her grass is green that she is able to feel happy and kick out her husband whom she feels is a complete bum. Grass is Anne’s happiness, where green is happy and dead/brown is sad.


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