Recently, I spent the night watching a bunch of commercials for Everest College that had been recorded onto my DVR. Occasionally, the Everest commercials were interrupted by 1994’s made-for-tv movie Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.
Why Was I Watching It?
Back when I was like 10, I used to always watch Saved By The Bell: The New Class every Saturday morning. Even at that age, I knew that show was kinda stupid and that Dustin Diamond’s Screech Powers was one of the most annoying television characters of all time. But I still watched it and occasionally, I would catch a rerun of the Old Class as well. (Quite honestly, up until a few years ago, there was never a time that reruns of Saved By The Bell weren’t being broadcast somewhere.) By the time I was in high school, I appreciated Saved By The Bell as being almost a type of performance art.
As of late, it’s been difficult to find Saved By The Bell reruns on television and that made me a little bit sad because I felt like my childhood was disappearing and that I might be turning into an adult. So, imagine how happy I was when I discovered that MTV2 now shows a two hour-block of Saved By The Bell every afternoon and, thanks to the wonderful thing that is the DVR, I can watch them without having to quit my job to do so. Yay!
Two weeks ago, MTV2 showed the final Saved By The Bell movie, 1994’s Wedding in Las Vegas. Though I knew, of course, that Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Kelly (Tiffani Amber Thiessen) had gotten married at the end of the original series, I had never actually seen the wedding. And I have to admit that I really didn’t have much desire to see the wedding until it suddenly showed up on my DVR…
What Was It About?
This is one of those rare cases where the film’s title truly tells you everything you need to know. Zack and Kelly get married in Las Vegas while their friends Screech, Slater (Mario Lopez), and Lisa (Lark Voorhees) have wacky adventures of their own. Zack has $1,200 dollars to try to put on his dream wedding but, as often happens in the world of Saved By The Bell, there are countless complications that are largely the result of Zack being a sociopathic pathological liar. Zack loses all of his money but, instead of telling Kelly the truth, he attempts to win the money by becoming a male escort. Meanwhile, Slater falls in love with a girl who is being pursued by the Mafia and Lisa (Hey, I just noticed that we have the same name! Yay!) ends up flirting with a hot guy who has a pony tail and who, fortunately, happens to be as rich as everyone else that she went to high school with.
What Worked And What Did Not Work?
Normally, I separate this into two separate questions but that’s kind of pointless when you’re dealing with something like Saved By The Bell: Wedding Las Vegas. The main thing that works about a show like Saved By The Bell is that absolutely nothing really works. It’s all very silly, shallow, predictable, dated, occasionally cringe-worthy, and, in its way, very calming. Despite the film’s many flaws, it’s difficult to really justify criticizing it too harshly because you know what you’re getting into when you decide to watch something called Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas in the first place.
Almost everyone in the cast is really cute in a 90s kinda way and even the usually horrible Dustin Diamond (who I hated even when I was ten years old and watching him on the New Class) is tolerable in Las Vegas. Though the film — much like the series — is focused on Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack, I’ve always felt that Zack was overrated. Mario Lopez, with his confident smile and perfectly chiseled body, was (and still is) the hot one. Whereas Zack always seemed to have an off-putting air of entitlement, Slater knew what he wanted and he took it. That trend continues in Wedding In Las Vegas where Slater won’t even let the Mafia stand in the way of getting a date.
This film is technically a comedy though you don’t so much laugh with it as you laugh at it. However, there was one moment that made me genuinely laugh out loud and that was the scene where “the gang” visits a 24-hour wedding chapel and director Jeff Melman gives us a quick tracking shot of the long line of couples waiting to get married. Along with the expected Elvis impersonators, there’s also a very pregnant girl standing next to a scared-looking boy who has an old man pointing a shotgun at him. That made me laugh.
This is yet another one of the shows where every single problem could have been avoided by the characters just not acting like idiots. Seriously, I don’t know what’s worse — that Zack felt that it would be better to become a male escort as opposed to just telling Kelly the truth or that Kelly so quickly forgave him. (Me, I would have been so mad at him but it doesn’t seem to bother Kelly that her future husband lied to her on the night before their wedding.)
As I stated before, there’s a lot that technically doesn’t work about Wedding in Las Vegas but it is Saved By The Bell, after all.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
If ever get married in Las Vegas, I imagine it’ll be quite a bit like Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, in that I fully expect that 1) I’ll stay at a nice hotel, 2) I’ll get a mani/pedi with my best girlfriend, and 3) the Mafia will somehow be involved.
That said, Dustin Diamond will not be invited to my wedding.
Nothing can stand in the way of true love. Especially when you’re rich and white.