What is it with some of these ensemble comedies? It is almost as if the cast are signed and that is all that matters. The more that appear, the more it seems that not only are films like these money orientated but money obsessed. Such is again the case with this film, The Big Wedding. This film is like a multi-levelled cake where none of the bases have been cooked right. Right off the bat this has been one of the year’s worst reviewed features but it is not distinctive enough to be a contender for worst film of the year, it is just a shambles.
The script offers the rare giggle but the problem is that the film has no real structure with its humour. Gags are thrown left and right by a script with no joke structure and the direction is unable to bring about any control or order. Any laughs drawn are at the behest of that particular cast member’s charm but too many cooks don’t spoil this broth because the ingredients were wrong to start with. The film is a remake of the 2008 French film Mon frère se marie (My brother is getting married) but has little real fire in spite of an all star cast. The big names show up and do their bit but it is all messy. There are worse comedies, there are worse wedding comedies but The Big Wedding is a film that is stuck in a rut, unsure how to use its extravagant cast.
Each person has been here before, Robert De Niro is the smarmy patriarch (à la Meet the Parents), Diane Keaton is the assertive matriarch (à la The Family Stone), Katherine Heigl is the woman with a turbulent relationship (à la everything), Amanda Seyfried is the bewildered bride (à la Mamma Mia!) and Robin Williams is the dodgy priest (à la License to Wed). It is uninspired but it is some of the bizarrely unbothered atmosphere that’s the real oddity here. By film’s end the plot is a literal orgy of character breakdown, whereby everyone just sleeps with each other. Even more bizarre is the coldness that accompanies this. It is hard to warm to any characters in a film that are this shallow. Characters whom so flippantly are unfaithful, liars, racists, prejudiced and, at one point, commit incest (which is apparently fine?).
This is just an incongruously, uncaring feature that fails to use the cast correctly and boasts merely a few scattered laughs in an otherwise dubious film. It is bad but not quite New Year’s Eve and Movie 43 bad. The nicest thing that can be said is that you may not hate this film, as it would mean feeling enough for it to muster such an intense feeling. The Big Wedding is just a scattershot, forgettable caper filled with strange choices.
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