All reviews by Stafford Christensen.
Film is a powerful but subjective medium; this is a personal take on movies both classic and contemporary....
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Here Comes The Bride - Dysfunction Implied
- Rachel is getting married. Why should anyone care? I am honestly still not sure - I certainly did not care. Rachel Getting Married is basically about the young Kym getting out of rehab for a weekend to attend her older sister's wedding. Though her family makes an attempt to welcome her back, Kym opens old wounds whether she tries to or not and the family proceeds to fight with one another, cry tears of all kinds, and yup, you guessed it: party(?) for the near two hour duration - oh yeah, and Kym has a quickie with a dude in the basement, there you go, that's the movie right there. Rachel Getting Married (2008) is one of those films that tries to be great by simply portraying a numb-skulled dysfunctional family. The filmmakers should have tried something else.
Unfortunately, the film does not allow anyone to care at all about any of the dysfunctional characters except for Kym, only that "care" is actually more like misplaced frustration that almost everyone in the film is constantly against her. Every character is phony and unlikable and the audience spends a vast majority of the film's two hours watching pointless scenes that feature these unlikable characters having fun at the rehearsal dinner and then the wedding. Why should we care about any of these scenes? They are not fun but tedious and, again, feature nothing but fake and unlikable people. And, seriously, if this is how rich people get married, I never want to be rich.
When not enjoying themselves, the film's characters turn around and yell at each other for the film's remainder, which would not be as bad if the film's drama worked. Alas, it does not - mainly because, on top of just not being likable people, these characters are not portrayed well at all by most of the cast. The actors who fair well are Anne Hathaway as Kym (who was nominated for an Oscar for this film), Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel, and Mather Zickel as the best man. Most other actors are not good at all - Anisa George is incredibly annoying throughout the entire film as Rachel's best friend Emma, Tunde Adebimpe succeeds at being a mobile set piece as Rachel's husband-to-be, and Bill Irwin easily takes the blue ribbon home as the worst actor of the film as Rachel and Kym's father, getting nothing but head shaking and chuckles as reactions to his would-be tense scenes.
Rachel Getting Married spares no expense in trying to look and feel like an independent film, and a bad one at that. This film is just not cinematic in any way. Now, independent films can look good and feel cinematic, but the good ones look raw yet cinematic at the same time - take 2004's Sideways for example. Rachel Getting Married, on the other hand, throws out great film-making choosing instead to incorporate an MTV "Real World" style look and feel which does itself no good at all. So what the viewer gets with Rachel Getting Married are three good performances inside of a cheap-looking web of "who cares" dysfunction. I would not be surprised if Rachel Getting Divorced is next - but you can count me out of ever seeing that one.