Set in a large country house in Devon in the 1930s, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding is about the difficult decision faced by a young woman on her wedding day.
Romantic and spirited Dolly Thatcham (Felicity Jones) is preparing to marry kind but dull Owen Bigham (James Norton). But as she hides upstairs drinking rum to calm her nerves, she struggles to forget a summer fling she had with handsome Joseph Patten (Luke Treadaway).
Meanwhile Joseph lurks downstairs, trying to find a way to see Dolly so he can explain that he truly loves her. Dolly’s mother (Elizabeth McGovern) shows her disdain for Joseph all the time and tries to stop him from seeing Dolly. When Dolly and Joseph finally meet just before Dolly leaves with her husband, Joseph asks her to run away with him. Dolly now has a final decision to make.
Love, relationships and marriage; family reputation and obligation
Nothing of concern
This movie has some sexual references. For example:
- Joseph is teasing Dolly’s sister Kitty while sitting with other people at the dinner table. He says to Kitty, ‘I’m told Peter has a tattoo. It’s up to you to find it for us’. Kitty’s mother tells Joseph not to be disgusting.
- During the movie’s climax, Joseph tells the wedding guests that Dolly rushed to marry Owen because she is pregnant and the baby could actually be his.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows some use of substances. For example:
- All the wedding guests are drinking socially.
- One woman says, ‘I need a drink’. Her husband replies, ‘You’re fond enough of that’.
- Two women talk about a man named Tom, who is apparently ‘as drunk as a skunk’.
- When Joseph arrives at the house, he gives a small package to an eight-year-old boy, saying, ‘They’re homemade, so the strength may vary. One every two hours, preferably at mealtimes’.
- While getting ready for her wedding, Dolly drinks from different bottles to calm her nerves.
- People smoke cigarettes and cigars.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is limited sexual activity in this movie. For example, there are two passionate kisses between Dolly and Joseph. One happens in flashback, and the other is on Dolly’s wedding day.
None of concern
None of concern
Ideas to discuss with your children
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding is a quintessentially British movie about love, obligation and sacrifice.
It presents a young woman’s struggle to decide between the man she loved and who broke her heart, and her safe and financially stable fiancé, for whom she feels very little passion. The movie shows this isn’t an easy decision to make. It suggests that following her heart and choosing her ex-lover would be an ultimately foolish act.
The movie also emphasises the importance of not running away from your problems. Dolly has rushed into a marriage because of both a broken heart and a pregnancy. As a result, she’s dealing with the consequences of her actions, just as she will need to deal with the consequences of her choice between the two men in her life.
Although there’s little in this movie to disturb young children, its themes make it more suitable for teenagers and adults. It lacks interest for children under 12 years.
You might want to talk about the following issues with older children:
- The complexity of romantic relationships: what do you think of the way Dolly sorts out her dilemma and makes a final choice?
- The nature of family obligations and social class and the impact they have on individual people: how has this changed since the time in which the movie is set?
- The way characters use alcohol to deal with emotional stress: how else could they have sorted out their problems?