–Nicole Richie (The Simple Life: 'Til Death Do Us Part)
If Simple Life fans are used to seeing Hilton and ex-best-friend Nicole Richie wreak domestic havoc in the lives and kitchens of American families on their long-running and incomprehensibly popular reality show, they might wonder about the lesbian wedding episode that aired last week on E!
In this episode ("The Bowden Family") a lesbian couple with two teenaged daughters leave the clueless rich girls a list of household chores, and oh yeah, ask them to explain the facts of life to the kids while they're out.
But instead of breaking all the appliances and scarring the kids for life, Paris and Nicole decide to try something completely different.
In an effort to avoid doing the laundry, Nicole and Paris interrogate the girls and learn that the two moms are living in, well, sin. They decide it would be a lot more fun to throw a wedding–make that two competing weddings–than cleaning the refrigerator. And while there's plenty of “Oh my God, can you believe the tacky dresses at this wedding store?” shtick to go around, most of the snark is directed at homophobes both near (fundamentalist neighbor who refuses to go to the wedding because “I believe in God”) and far (the table reserved for George W. Bush, invited by Richie, goes unclaimed all night).
Paris also takes the lesbians for that little something every bride-to-be needs along with all the old, new, borrowed, and blue: Micro-dermabrasion. But not before Paris herself gets some tough love from the dermatology specialists about the effects of sun damage on her own skin. Brown spots, they assure her, are her future, if she doesn't change her wicked sun-worshiping ways. Paris hides under a parasol and swears to invest heavily in sunscreen from that point on. And, somewhat incidentally, the brides get their pores sanded for the big occasion.
Meanwhile back in the suburbs, Nicole is bonding with the daughters, trying to assemble a guest list and find a location for the wedding. She asks the girls for the names of their moms' friends. They seem perplexed, until one of them answers, “They do have two lesbian friends. But I don't know their names.” The girls also feel that their moms would most like to be married in a pool hall, but Nicole's efforts to find one aren't very rewarding. Most of the pool halls she calls aren't really interested in being the site of a lesbian wedding.
The brides select two different sets of wedding outfits, one set of butch tuxes over camisoles, the other, traditional white gowns. Both have in common what may be the theme of this wedding: Cleavage.
Fortunately, Nicole managed to find a wedding site, what appeared to be a dyke bar complete with pool tables and butch biker chicks creating a pool cue tunnel for the couple to walk under, a gospel choir, and a newly ordained Nicole conducting the ceremony. (The Universal Life Church minister who ordains her also solemnly instructs that same sex marriages aren't legal in California and Richie must therefore must refer to the union as a “commitment ceremony.” Nicole is less than impressed by this information and stubbornly continues to call it a wedding.)
At the ceremony, the brides wear traditional white dresses and read odes to each other's favorite body part in their vows. What could have been painful is actually funny and touching, mostly because the brides have the look of love in their eyes the whole time. And Nicole seems genuinely moved.
Paris's wedding is more traditional, held under a white tent with roses, a caterer, a big old bride-to-bride kiss, and a mariachi band. The brides even ride in on white horses. There are tears, and cheers, when the lesbian minister marrying the two women at Hilton's white wedding says she is marrying them “by the power vested in me by God and what I believe will in the future be the laws of this country.”
But the best moment of the night is when a fundamentalist neighbor refuses an in-person invitation by Nicole and the girls to attend the ceremony due to her belief in a deity who wouldn't approve. When invited, she and her family burst into fits of mocking laughter. One of the couple's teenaged daughters fixes them with the evil eye and snaps, “And how exactly is that funny?”
While Hilton may be self-centered–trying on all the slinky wedding dresses herself despite the fact that they're as suited to the much older and less-svelte couple as their suburban lifestyle would be to Hilton–she throws one hell of a lesbian wedding.