Emma Allen from “Bride Wars” (2009)

Emma, played by the beayooootiful Anne Hathaway, is your garden variety ‘nice’ girl. She’s polite, sweet, modest, teaches at a middle school and is a submissive, shell of a person who caves so easily and simply doesn’t know how to say “no”. She’s extremely likable, though.

She’s so used to being the “nice” girl that pleases people, that she never learns how to assert herself. She’s always been the submissive one in her friendship with Liv, her best friend, and that is the case with all the other relationships in her life, be it her colleagues or her fiance. It’s always about the other person. It’s never about Emma.

But there’s so much more to Emma than just the niceness. I suppose some children grow up repeatedly being told that they need to be “good” and “put other people before themselves”, that they end up never being who they truly are. In a way, their self worth comes from thinking that they’re a nice person. They think that’s the only way people will like them. But that isn’t who they really are.

Emma knows it. She knows deep down that that she’s really a different person, but it takes her feud with Liv to admit that to herself and to fully realize it. It took the idea of something really, really important and special to her being taken away, like her wedding not happening the way she always dreamed of it happening, for her to stand up for herself.

The threat comes in the form of her best friend, and that is what makes Emma realize that she needs to start living her life for herself; that saying “no”, and putting yourself first sometimes is so important. She loses a few people in that process, but luckily not Liv herself.

Usually when the less dominant person in any relationship starts asserting themselves, the relationship breaks beyond repair. It’s the ones that truly love and care for you that stay despite the changes. They just get you and are genuinely concerned about your well being even if you’ve had a nasty fight.

I think we’ve all known an Emma, or were Emmas at some point in our lives. Emma’s a great girl in the beginning of ‘Bride Wars’, but do you have the courage to break free of your own shackles and become the brilliant woman she becomes at the end?

(Images from various sources on Google.)

I dissect films, series, books and podcasts, and write the occasional profound essay on life.