A completely different kind of movie from me today. I like all kinds of movies, even those that could be unfairly labelled as ‘chick flicks’. This may be one of those movies. The Big Wedding boasts an all-star cast of Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried and Katherine Keigel amongst others. This was what attracted me immediately. I’ll also admit to being a big sucker for anything to do with weddings, even crap rom-coms. Thankfully this proved to be much more than this.
The movie is centred around the upcoming wedding of Don & Ellies (DeNiro and Keaton) adoptive son Alejandro. Don & Ellie are divorced and Don has a new partner, Bebe (Sarandon). The wedding brings together Don, his ex wife, his new partner and his two biological children – Lyla, a fiercely independant professional woman and Jared, a successful doctor, who is still a virgin, as he is waiting on Ms Right. They all get along famously and the kids love Bebe, so there are no fireworks of that variety, but we are treated to some really uncomfortable and of course amusing situations.
Don and Ellie’s adoptive son Alejandro is marrying the very beautiful and very catholic Missy (Seyfried). The local priest who is to marry them is played fantastically by Robin Williams. He is a recovering alcoholic and a very trendy, clued-up priest. I realise those words do not go together at all, but trust me, he is. He is brilliant in the role. We also find out that Alejandro’s biological mother is to attend the wedding. She is a devout catholic and does not believe in divorce. Alejandro has not told her that his adoptive parents are a divorced couple, so we have a problem. Not only does he expect Don and Ellie to pretend they are still a couple while his mother visits and attends the wedding, he also does not know how to explain Dons partner of many years, Bebe.
The movie follows what ensues with all the pretence and lies. Secrets are uncovered. Relationships are mended, destroyed and rebuilt. Skeletons are firmly hauled out of closets. Will the wedding go ahead? Will Bebe see her stepson marry? Will Don and Ellie manage to pull off the performance of their life?
This story is a family drama, of course with laughs and light points. It is humorous and has that american story quality to it, but it is also sweet, emotional and honest. It has been absolutely slated by critics and most viewers, but what can I say? I enjoyed it. It’s the sort of thing I like to sit down and put on after a hard day, something where I don’t have to think too much. Sure, I like deep, intense movies, but sometimes, I just want to be entertained and feel good. This movie did that for me. Probably not one for a lot of blokes it has to be said, but some guys may just be able to handle watching this with their lady.