Rachel Getting Married

This week’s Movie Tuesday feature was Rachel Getting Married, a drama/dark comedy about a dysfunctional family (aren’t they all) coming together for the eldest daughter Rachel’s wedding. The story centres on Kym, Rachel’s younger sister and former drug addict, who comes out of rehab to join the wedding proceedings. She is the most watchable character of the entire film – outspoken, outrageous, guilt-ridden, an emotional train wreck. Anne Hathaway has done well shedding her Princess Diaries goofy persona, with her breast-baring turn in Brokeback Mountain and then this stellar Oscar-nominated performance. Too bad the rest of the film fails to match this excellence. Director Jonathan Demme (of The Silence of the Lambs fame) uses hand-held cameras to (maybe) heighten the reality: make it seem like a homemade wedding video, and perhaps in that way depict honesty. That said, in terms of ugly family dramas this is rather lame (does anyone remember Festen?), and whilst this is probably more realistic, it is patience-testing. (Was it intended that we should feel Kym’s boredom staying sober at the wedding?) The latter third of the film also sees Kym much subdued (and reconciled with her father and sister), which one must say makes her much less interesting. It was a nice surprise to see Debra Winger though, playing Kym’s mother and looking more beautiful than ever. The unresolved rift between mother and daughter does leave the audience with the hope that that wound would one day heal.

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