A Big Waste of Talent - A review of The Big Wedding
Summary: For a movie that’s supposed to be about a wedding, it seems overly obsessed with sex and the sexual antics of a less-than-classy dysfunctional family and the extended friendships to which we’re introduced.
Robert DeNiro, when he has the right script and cast, can do virtually anything on the screen, from comedy to action to romance. Here, though, he just can’t seem to make us want to believe that he’s a gracefully aging Lothario who left his wife for her best friend.
Unfortunately, we also can’t really find it in our hearts to feel any sympathy for this completely disjointed clan who gather together for the wedding of their youngest son, adopted Alejandro, who is about to be married to his childhood sweetheart.
With a cast including Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Deniro, Topher Grace and Robin Williams, I expected a lot more and walked away feeling unsatisfied.
Despite having what appears to be an endearing plot about two divorced parents who have to pretend they’re still married in order to fool Alejandro’s birth mother who unexpectedly decides to come to the wedding, the story meanders off into the obscure and every road seems to lead to perpetual sex or the consequences of sex.
Despite his likability, no one in the cast seems to like Deniro’s Don (his name, not his occupation) who cheated on his wife Keaton and is currently living with Sarandon. Heigl’s Lyla is the daughter who can’t stand her father or what he did to her mother and Grace is the eldest son who’s saving himself for the right girl, assuming that she’ll ever find him.
The resulting shenanigans get weirder as the story unfolds. Trysts are revealed and Grace finds the “right girl” but everything leaves you feeling just a little bit dirty when all the puzzle pieces fall into place.
Even the normally wonderful Williams stumbles with his delivery here. He plays the priest who is set to marry the young couple, but his obvious distaste for Alejandro makes him out to be an intolerant bigot and breeds even more offensiveness in the film.
The lovers are played by Ben Barnes of ‘Narnia’ fame and Amanda Seyfried, who can do no wrong even in a patently offensive romantic comedy like this one. They’re the two innocent bystanders looking on with the rest of the audience. The day, after all, should belong to them, but they almost seem tacked onto the story as an afterthought.
I usually like romantic comedies. They’re supposed to make us believe that perfect relationships are possible even for flawed individuals. But here, every turn of the page of this story just makes us appreciate the single life all the more.
I give The Big Wedding 2 out of 5 stars.
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