12 minutes ago
Friday, 7 June 2013
Film: 'THE BIG WEDDDING'
Robert de Niro (yet again determined to show that he can 'do' comedy - yawn!) and Susan Sarandon are a living-together couple following his divorce from Diane Keaton, the formerly married pair having an adult son and daughter as well as an adopted son, the latter being about to get married. The prospective groom's non-English-speaking natural mother is coming to the wedding but, being a devout, traditional Catholic who doesn't accept divorce, there is the problem of her being disapproving towards her son's foster parents. Solution? De Niro and Keaton will pretend that they are still married for the duration of the mother's stay. Sarandon doesn't like the idea and leaves the home in a huff - but to everyone's dismay, unexpectedly pops up as official wedding caterer. I'd have thought that this situation, though totally unoriginal, might have provided some entertaining fireworks as there is comic potential in having her embarrass the 'pretend-married' couple in various novel ways - but that idea doesn't get off the ground. I can only think that the director had to find some way of keeping Sarandon in the film after her walk-out.
Robin Williams appears in three brief scenes as the officiating priest - with nothing of note to add.
Mother duly arrives, with her predatory adult daughter who sets her eyes on groom's single brother (note: not gay), played by one, Topher Grace (a name I didn't know, but pretty damn hot!). And there's also the presence of De Niro's and Keaton's daughter in sour mood. having just broken off a relationship with her partner. Will they manage to get together again before the film ends? What suspense! Ha ha! Oh, what a hoot this all is!
Film culminates in one of those alfresco wedding-dos that seems to be a feature of so many American films since 'The Godfather' - and where revelations tumble out, jaws drop, reconciliations offered, refused, then accepted - and everyone finally, happily and willingly drowns in a treacle of gooey sentiment.
One of the things that really bugged me about this film was the frequent presence of music which nudges one when to laugh or, at least, when to wear a favourably-disposed smile. It's one of my pet hates. If a situation or a line in a film is funny then I'll laugh without any assistance, thank you. I do not need to have it underlined, as though giving me permission to do something which I may not wish to do!
It's one of those films which I wished I hadn't bothered with and saved my money. But, having succumbed to be drawn to it by the big names appearing, I'm obliged to give it a score. So, with one point each for the mere presences of Sarandon, Keaton - as well as for the newly discovered hottie, Topher Grace - it achieves a grand total of.......................3/10!