The Big Wedding review

Who doesn’t have a dysfunctional family? This lot certainly does. In the adaptation from the French film, The Big Wedding is a story of the many complexities of relationships within a family.

And to name a few: extramarital affairs, racist in-laws, mid-life lesbian tendencies, celibate 29-year-olds, prudish parents and adopted children. You’ll either watch this film nodding along, or you’ll laugh at those who don’t have it as easy as you do.

When Alejandro (Barnes), the Columbian adopted son of Don (De Niro) and his ex-wife Ellie (Keaton) becomes engaged to Missy (Seyfried), the reactions to the announcement are mixed. Missy’s parents are not happy to raise half-Latino grandchildren; Alejandro’s non-English-speaking birth mother cannot know that his adoptive parents are divorced; and the stepmother and current wife of Don, Bebe (Sarandon), wonders where she fits into the picture. Throw in marriage troubles, raging hormones and long-running grudges – you’ve got a movie.

The Big Wedding is a simple yet enjoyable flick with a big-name cast. De Niro, the father of the groom, is by far the stand out in the film, playing a charming-yet-bastard of a guy who’s never sure if he’s going to get lucky or a punch to the face. Keaton, the mother and ex-wife to De Niro, plays… a Keaton role, but we love her anyway.

It’s so predictable and it’s nothing you haven’t seen before – but you won’t really mind. There’s laughs throughout and it’ll leave you feeling good, whatever your family situation. The big joke towards the end (at the wedding, obviously) isn’t quite as funny as intended, but nevertheless, it’s a fun film.

Don’t rush to the cinema – buy this one on disc, it’s a nice feel-good flick to have on the shelf for a rainy day.
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SECOND OPINION | Stuart O'Connor ★
The Big Wedding is awful. Truly awful. It's the kind of film that makes you wonder if any of the cast read the script before signing their contracts. It opens with De Niro about to have oral sex with Sarandon when Keaton walks in, and it gets worse from there. The script is terrible, the dialogue clunky. It's crass, it's vulgar and it's just not funny. It's yet another film that De Niro is clearly doing just to top up his retirement fund, and it looks as though Keaton, Williams and Sarandon are joining him. This is definitely a wedding that you do not want an invitation to.

The Big Wedding at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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