The Big Wedding review

Justin Zackham
Robert De Niro
Katherine Heigl
Diane Keaton
Amanda Seyfried
Topher Grace
Susan Sarandon
Robin Williams
Rated: R

This movie dares to ask “how many sub plots can you fit into one movie?”

“The Big Wedding” follows a large family that has been split apart by a few different issues over the years. Mainly, Don (De Niro) and Ellie (Keaton) were once married for many years and had three children, Jared (Grace), Lyla (Heigl) and the third, an adopted child, Alejandro (Barnes). The two are now split up and Don has a new woman in his life named Bebe (Sarandon).

Alejandro is the one in the family getting married with the character Missy (Seyfried).

Things would seem like just a normal wedding if it wasn’t for the fact that Alejandro’s birth mother will be attending the wedding and is a devout catholic who believes divorce is a sin. So Alejandro convinces Don and Ellie to act as though they are still married so he can make sure his mother gives her full blessings.

What “The Big Wedding” suffers from is that there is just way to many subplots going on and a lot of them are just meaningless and unfunny. There is one with Topher Grace and Alejandro’s sister, there is one with Katherine Heigl’s character who recently broke up with her boyfriend and another with Robin Williams as the father who will be running the ceremony.

All of that and more could probably have been cut and just have focused on the family trying to pull of this story on Alejandro’s mother. That’s pretty much what “The Birdcage” did. “The Birdcage” had a lot going on, but also stayed focused on the task at hand, pulling off a trick over other people. “The Big Wedding” does the opposite and spreads itself way to thin with so many things going on that don’t hold enough weight to really be funny or have any meaning.

The main plot point suffers from this too, as it in a way sort of becomes drowned out by the other plot points going on.

The characters felt either a bit miscast or were downright annoying. Everyone acts a bit too over the top at times, almost like they are caricatures instead of characters. As an unfortunate bonus, the characters aren’t necessarily likable and a lot of the “problems” in the film could be handled by simple conversations. It’s a shame because there are obviously actors and actresses who know how to perform, but they are just not given any good material and worse they don’t seem to really care.

The worst is that a lot of the comedy is playing towards the lowest common denominator having more sex jokes and slap sticks without having any level of real wit. If there is a movie that should have that type of humor, it’s this one. At the very most, the film can only provide a chuckle or two. “Iron Man 3” delivers more laughs than this.

“The Big Wedding” didn’t necessarily have a bad idea in theory, but it just dropped the ball in the writing department. Unfortunately it seemed like the filmmakers thought that having a bunch of sub plots going on would provide for more funny situations and make a great comedy instead of just focusing on a simpler story with better written humor. 1 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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