Review: The Big Wedding
To appease the biological mother of their adopted son on his wedding, a divorced couple pretends to be married, much to the dismay the father’s current girlfriend. And then there are other shenanigans, like someone being a virgin, another being dumped, and another having a weird fetish.
Who’s in It?
Who’s not in it? Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, and Susan Sarandon are the bizarre love triangle of a certain age, while Katherine Heigl (not completely insufferable), Topher Grace (boyish), and Amanda Seyfried (forgettable) are the well-off children. Robin Williams also shows up, and you better believe he makes his presence known.
The Big Wedding is less a celebration of love and faith, and more simply an orgy of absurd domestic issues and illicit affairs that is seen as funny and easily-fixed instead of ugly and awful mainly because the people involved are rich and white.
Don (De Niro) has been with the pug-loving Bebe (Sarandon) for 10 years, after having divorced Ellie (Keaton). Don and Ellie have three kids, two adopted, one Columbian, and all of them with some neurosis, of course. One is a doctor, one is a lawyer, and one is really good looking, again, of course. Poor Missy (Seyfriend) is marrying into this messed up family, but her parents are just as odd. I guess money allows you carry on that way.
Unnecessarily crass and instantly absurd – Williams shows up as a priest, really – the film is a big mess offering a bunch of guttural laughs, but they ones that come along with a twinge of guilt and embarrassment.
It’s predictable, excessively simplistic, completely meaningless, and in fact unbelievable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of laughter. There are plenty, and they are loud, but fleeting. It’s a strange combination of a tired absurdist family comedy combined with actors playing characters we’ve all seen before. Stop me if we’ve done this: Seyfried is in love and getting married; De Niro is trying to be funny; Topher Grace is awkward; Heigl is being overly dramatic and annoying; Robin Williams is….Robin Williams. Stop stop stop.
What’s unnerving is that the film seems to go out of the way be diminishing and condescending for no reason, adding in gratuitous language, sex, and vomiting, again for no reason. Actually, the impetus is money. The only way reason this dysfunctional family can mess around during a lavish wedding, can cheat and lie and abase religion, trust, abstinence, and parenthood, is because they big fat checks. So too now does this cast.
Should I See It?
Funny and/or eye-rolling the moment, nothing is especially memorable. Though Williams’ priest is pretty racist when talking to the soon-to-be-married couple.