Ellie (Diane Keaton) and Don (Robert DeNiro) have been divorced for ten years, since he cheated on her with her best friend BeBe (Susan Sarandon). Don and BeBe have been together ever since and Ellie has been galivanting around the world trying to find peace with herself. She returns to the gorgeous New England house that she and Don built together for the first time in a decade for the wedding of their adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) to the daughter (Amanda Seyfried) of their longtime neighbours Barry and Muffin (David Rasche and Christine Ebersole).
Also on hand for the nuptials are Don and Ellie’s daughter Lyla (Katherine Heigl), who hasn’t spoken to her Father since he broke up the family, and their son Jared (Topher Grace), a 29-year-old doctor who’s been saving himself for the “right woman”. As if that weren’t full house enough, Alejandro’s very conservative birth Mother (Patricia Rae) and sister (Ana Ayora) are flying into town from Columbia, making it necessary for Don and Ellie to pretend to still be married and for BeBe to move out of her home for the duration of the celebration. Oh yeah, and Robin Williams plays a Catholic priest. Do hijinks ensue? You betcha they do!
How to put this nicely? This is a big ole mess of a movie that still manages to be mind-numbingly pleasant enough. You’d think with this incredible cast signed on the material would be, at the very least, well thought out. Not so on an epic level – there are so many inconsistencies and contradictions in Justin Zackham’s screenplay its impossible to not sit in the theatre and attempt to puzzle them out even as the film plays out in front of you.
It also doesn’t help that the film seems to have no proper protagonist–Keaton’s Ellie is set up as such at the beginning but loses that crown as soon as the kids are introduced–and the various storylines assigned to each character compete for the spotlight, rendering them all oddly soulless and unaffecting. Topher Grace’s bit about possibly losing his virginity to Alejandro’s sister is especially poorly written, and kind of offensive to women – can we please finally retire that way overused fiery, Latina temptress stereotype already?
The house is really pretty though, so you can always spend the time daydreaming about owning a pseudo-mansion on the water during the film’s many eye-rolling moments.
Is The Big Wedding Opening Weekend Worthy?
Not unless you’re a Keaton/Sarandon/De Niro completist and cannot rest until you’ve seen all of their films on the big screen. Otherwise this is strictly something you should save for when you have to rent a movie to watch with your older family members. Get out the wine and watch them get tipsy and reminisce about the various romantic mistakes and indiscretions they’ve racked up in their lives. That might be even more entertaining than the movie itself.
The Big Wedding Trailer
The Big Wedding Production Gallery
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