Movie Review: The Big Wedding




Director : Justin Zackham

Starring : Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Robin Williams, Patricia Rae

Running Time : 89 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinema Now


It’s never too late to start acting like a family

Alejandro(Barnes) and Missy (Seyfried) are getting married. Alejandro’s adopted parents Don and Ellie (De Niro and Keaton) have been divorced for years and Don is living with Bebe (Sarandon). Alejandro has managed to keep this secret from his ultra- conservative Colombian birth mother Madonna (Rae). But Madonna has decided, much to everyone’s surprise, to attend the wedding.


This news throws the entire family into chaos and it is decided that Don and Ellie will simply pretend to be married for the weekend that Madonna is visiting. As the family, including the almost 30 year old virgin Jared (Grace) and the recently separated Lyla (Heigl) begin to descend on the family home for the upcoming nuptials hilarity, as they say, ensures.


The opening scenes of the movie between Ellie, Don and Bebe are hilarious and raunchy. De Niro as the funny guy still amazes and delights me, Keaton’s character is not as uptight as she usually plays and Sarandon is, as always, simply glorious.

This family is quirky and dysfunctional in a very ordinary way. The dynamics would be familiar to many of us …..  from the daughter still angry at her father for having an affair to the new in-laws desperate to impress. The young soon to be married couple watch their families seemingly spiral out of control and in trying to keep everyone else happy, find themselves at odds with their own wedding.


There are lots of laughs to be had with some tender, touching moments as well. This is not a thigh slapping, in your face comedy, it is clever comedy. Sure, some of the jokes fall flat but I never thought I would be spending 90 minutes laughing either. The dramatic moments are just enough… nothing too deep but enough to engage you.

The moments shared between Alejandro and his 3 mothers are the best in the movie. He is after all, for the weekend at least, the centre of this entire, crazy family. Although very different, his relationships with each of these women are very special and wonderful to watch.


In contrast, his sister Lyla’s relationships with the men in her life….. her father, husband and brother …. are markedly different. They are also less engaging. But perhaps that has more to do with Heigl than anything else. For the most part, as an actress, I find her particularly dull and a little off-putting. Strange because I loved her in Gray’s Anatomy.


When we throw into the mix Missy’s uptight parents, who have a few secrets of their own and Robin Williams as the local Catholic priest, this movie is for the most part great fun. It’s a nice comedy drama that, even though predictable in parts, is still entertaining. To be honest, with a stellar cast such as this movie boasts, I was expecting much more. The large ensemble cast movie, so popular in recent years, can be a hit or miss affair and while this is a hit, it is only just. I think that’s the problem, I expected too much.


So I suppose you should walk in with no expectations, take the movie for what it is and just enjoy.


A big thank you to Event Cinemas and Chicks at the Flicks for your hospitality

Love Flick xx





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