Friday, 11 August 2017

Movie Review: The Big Wedding (2013)

A feeble comedy, The Big Wedding is a an underwritten and mostly unfunny attempt at farce.

In suburban Connecticut, Don Griffin (Robert De Niro), his ex-wife Ellie (Diane Keaton) and his current partner Bebe (Susan Sarandon) are set to host the wedding of Don and Ellie's adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) to Missy O'Connor (Amanda Seyfried). The other Griffin children are Jared (Topher Grace), a hunky doctor still seeking his first sexual experience, and Lyla (Katherine Heigl), who has recently separated from her husband. Ahead of the wedding Alejandro and Missy seek the advice of Father Moinighan (Robin Williams), who is a recovering alcoholic like Don.

The wedding arrangement are rocked when Alejandro announces that his biological mother Madonna (Patricia Rae), who is arriving from Colombia, is a strict Catholic and he has never told her that his adopted parents are divorced. Don and Ellie agree to pretend that they are still married, much to Bebe's disgust. Meanwhile Alejandro's biological sister Nuria (Ana Ayora) immediately sets her sights on Jared. A messy situation gets worse when passion seems to reignite between Don and Ellie, and secrets are revealed involving Missy's parents Muffin (Christine Ebersole) and Barry (David Rasche).

A case of throwing as many recognizable names as possible at the screen and hoping for the best, The Big Wedding is a colossal waste of talent. Directed and written by Justin Zackham, the film sputters and stumbles in search of any meaningful traction, and mostly settles for an endless stream of juvenile sexual jokes involving adults who should know better.

Zackham litters the script with references to oral sex, out-of-wedlock affairs from long ago, lesbian encounters, extended orgasms, handjobs, loud coupling and the size of specific body parts. The material is what would be expected in a raunchy low-budget teen comedy aimed at the undiscriminating market. But here it is applied to a cast featuring multiple Academy Award winners in search of an easy pay cheque.

Worse still, most of the attempted comedy is in the form of lazy verbal sparring rather than actually creating funny situations. By the second half of the film it is clear that anyone can say anything about anyone, everyone is guilty of some sexual proclivity or other, but none of it matters because it's all talk and the film is heading to the same bland conclusions no matter what.

De Niro cannot help but stand out as much better than the material, and Katherine Heigl is the only other cast member who appears to be trying. The others mail in performances that are way too easy, with Williams a particularly lazy culprit.

Despite the stellar invitation list, The Big Wedding is as enjoyable as a bed wetting.

All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.

1 comment:

  1. as a Robin Williams film, this is yet another dud from the post 2000s from Robin's career. But for House of D, Insomnia and One Hour Photo, the 2000s has been a terrible decade in my opinion. movies such as the Big Wedding, Death to Smoochy, as well as dross like Autumn Rush and Old Dogs brought an end to his reign. Good Morning, Vietnam, Mrs Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Hook, The Fisher King, Awakenings, Good Will Hunting were amazing, not to mention Mork & Mindy as his TV work.

    but films such as this one were just bad. even as a fan of his, Robin Williams is like Julia Roberts - great talent, wonderful and amazing actor but some of his movie choices were pretty bad.


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