Maybe you had to have been there
9 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Ceremonies are ceremonies. Their forms exist so people can repeat conventions and draw reassurance from joining in the collective experience. Some slight deviations are OK particularly in marriages, but also particularly in marriages, sunshine must--MUST--prevail. It's no wonder that in strangers' weddings only the accidents are interesting. And in "Rachael Getting Married," there just aren't enough "accidents."

The film started by jumping right into midstream, with all the throwaway lines and quaky camera of a home movie. If people were saying anything important, I didn't know. I needed subtitles.

The actresses--especially Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Debra Winger--were gorgeous. I could have looked at them forever. But despite their suburban Sturm und Drang, I could not see beneath their surfaces. What made them the way they were? Only Bill Irwin, the father, showed himself in trying to hold his family together, and I felt great sympathy. But never mind. The film ignored him.

The best scene turned out to be his and the groom's loading and unloading the dishwasher--no, I'm not kidding--which built with some genuine spirit before it luffed away into stone, cold "significance."

The rehearsal dinner and the wedding itself were too real, that is, too long, too personal, and too embarrassing. "Love"? You want yet another toast about "love"? Gag me with a spoon.

More isn't better. The sheer number of disjointed moving parts throughout the movie diminished each one. How many bands were there anyway? Where did the dab of Indian influence come from? Brazilian? Carribbean? Jazz? Was the lame altar song from the cypher of a groom supposed to hint the music was on his side? Then why wasn't the bride's family more amazed?

Actually, hold that thought. Don't know. Don't care. Don't go.
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