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Bad Movie Tuesday: Easily Solved Problems at The Big Wedding

August 27, 2013

the Big Wedding movie poster 1

Spoiler Alert! The Big Wedding is odd. It is like the glossy/unlikable/raunchy step-cousin to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Runaway Bride. It is the perfect example of rich people’s problems being solved within 90 minutes.

Good looking people easily solving their long-standing problems is a staple of cinema. Nothing about them resembles the real world and they are often soul crushing (My Best Friend’s Girl, The Change-Up, Identity Thief, Bride Wars, Larry Crowne, Mad Money, Town & Country, Raising Helen, You, Me & Dupree, Because I Said So). They all feature pedigreed casts and scripts that seemingly are written by a committee who rewrites what other committees write. The Big Wedding is the quintessential rich people lying and becoming better for it film.

The Big Wedding is an odd infusion of three families coming together to celebrate a wedding. A wedding infused with adultery, bisexuality, virginity, pregnancy, Robin Williams and DeNiro talking about “laying the pipe.”  It desperately wants to be a screwball comedy and Love Actually. However, the glossy exterior and cheeky treatment of important issues creates an odd infusion of desperation and insanity. When I say the word “glossy” I mean that everything is clean, the lighting is manicured, there are lemons in every kitchen and it all feels sanitized. It is corporate to the bone and insulting in the way it  treats depressing issues cheekily.  Problems are solved in true Arthur Fonzarelli ways. For instance, people say “I committed adultery! Ayyyy!!!!.” Then, everybody smiles.


The film revolves around a wealthy family lead by Robert DeNiro and Diane Keaton. They divorced years ago and now he is with her former best friend Susan Sarandon. Keaton and DeNiro adopted a kid named Alejandro (everybody says it with flair. He likes being called Al) who is getting married to Amanda Seyfried. Her wealthy family is in town and they are every uppity white person trope combined (they order Colombians chimichangas).  Joining them are Alejandro’s parents who have traveled from Colombia and are massively Catholic (Don’t know about  parent’s divorce). So, DeNiro and Keaton pretend to be married while Sarandon stays at a hotel. Thus, lies and problems that only occur in romantic comedies happen and the three families argue, have sex and find out who had sex in the past.

Joining the narrative is a pregnant Katherine Heigel who might get a divorce because her husband thinks she can’t get pregnant (I think). Then, there is the virgin Topher Grace who loses his virginity to Alejandro’s sister. About 86% of what goes down in this film centers around sex. The other 14% focuses on people lying about having sex.

When The Big Wedding was released I was shocked that a movie with such a pedigreed cast could sneak into the theaters.  I never saw a preview, didn’t know who was in it and wasn’t surprised when the critics attacked it with vitriol (7% Rotten Tomatoe score). It is insulting cinema at it’s finest that doesn’t care enough to offer a good script. The cast of this film has appeared in stellar family/relationship cinema like Bull Durham, Meet the Parents, Knocked Up, Annie Hall, The Bird Cage, In Good Company and Mean Girls. So, it is odd that they would sign up for this. My theory is that DeNiro and Keaton wanted to work together and the rest of the cast wanted to work with them. The problem is that nobody bothered to read the script because they were working with DeKeaton!

The Big Wedding is a remake of a 2006 French film that got lost in translation. It can’t capture the zany hilariousness of The Birdcage (another French remake) or create the likable characters featured in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Sadly, not a French remake). There are no real world solutions in TBW because everything is so manicured and fake. A good cast cannot overcome lazy writing. People cannot be likable if they have no personality. 

Don’t watch The Big Wedding. Watch the films I mentioned above. 


One Comment leave one →
  1. August 27, 2013 5:27 pm

    This movie was god-awful, and I had to see it in theaters! Okay, maybe I didn’t have to, but it was not a pleasant experience nonetheless. Good review.

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