Rachel Getting Married (USA; 113 min.)


directed by: Jonathan Demme
starring: Anne Hathaway; Rosemarie DeWitt; Bill Irwin; Mather Zickel; Anna Deavere Smith; Debra Winger
Rachel Getting Married
 

Michael says: "Jonathan Demme is a little too self-indulgent for my tastes for his dogmaesque attempt in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Ann Hathaway plays Kym, a young woman taking a break from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding. She will be staying at her father’s house along with her sister, the bridal party, the musicians, and other miscellaneous participants. Meanwhile, her mother lives nearby with a large home of her own. As the tense gathering unfolds, it soon becomes clear that Kym was involved in some horrible family tragedy that has caused many a tense relationship, guilty, regret and recriminations in each member of the family. For the first three quarters of the film, we see the family dynamic play out until it reaches an apex in a confrontation between Kym and her mother. The final quarter of the film is a bizarre, documentary-style, view of the wedding itself. Here’s where the film really goes off the rails for me, as we must witness lengthy scenes of musicians, dancers, partiers… an excess that only the wealthiest could possibly afford at a wedding.

"There are strong moments in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, with Kym’s dad, played by Bill Irwin (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE; IGBY GOES DOWN) putting in a standout supporting performance. Ann Hathaway acquits herself well, adding to her BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN performance to prove that she’s got the chops to do drama. Debra Winger is a little strange as Kym and Rachel’s mother, but I’m not sure if that was a function of the writing or the acting. Ultimately RACHEL GETTING MARRIED was a failure for me. It was definitely no MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, which I enjoyed a great deal more. (Sorry, Hilary). 2 ½ cats."

 

Jason says: " I readily admit, I was sort of staying away from this one because, well, it looked a lot like MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, and though I was pretty sure Noah Baumbach was nowhere near it, the whole 'look how messed-up suburban people are despite their nice houses!' genre annoys me no end.  Fortunately, Rachel is fortunate to have a trio of impressive performances from Anne Hathaway (Kym, the sister in rehab), Rosemarie DeWitt (the Rachel of the title), and Bill Irwin (Paul, the father trying to please both), some of the best of the year that may not get recognized because they aren't exactly showy.

"I admit, there were bits I might like to cut - director Jonathan Demme makes absolutely sure we see Kym's need to make herself the center of attention, to the point where I was groaning and really hoping there would be more to this.  To counter that, though, I was impressed with how enjoyable the actual wedding itself was - it's the kind of ritual that I'm not the hugest fan of in real life, but Demme and writer Jenny Lumet create a very enjoyable ceremony.  I also really like the way Demme often makes us look for Kym in shots, even though she's the lead character. 3 cats

"Seen 3 January 2009 at The Captiol #6 (second-run)"

 
Carolyn says: "I was afraid it would be a lot like MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, but it was quite different.  The familial interaction worked better.  4 cats"
 
Toni says: "I was looking for reviews of this film and I am glad to hear that I am not alone.  I really did not feel any connection to the characters.

"I did not truly feel the suffering much except for the big scene with Kym at the AA/other drugs Anonymous meeting; however, part of me wanted the movie to just end.  The wedding was beautiful but was it realistic that musicians would follow along with every scene and everyone that attended the wedding hung out before the wedding beyond just the parties.

"Also, who gets Sister Carol and Robyn Hitchcock at their wedding – the music was great but it was a shield for frankly a very weak plot.  What made Kym get into drugs in the first place with such what appeared prior to the tragedy to be such an easy life in a 'perfect' Connecticut home.  At least, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD showed the lost dreams and the times for women in the past and had characters that you cared about to some degree…my partner fell asleep during the film and asked if it was worth seeing the end of the dish after giving up after the dishwasher contest scene where they just happened to have a dish of Ethan in there…it felt like a Sundance-Lifetime co-produced film and I agree with Michael on the rating of 2 1/2 cats.

"The cats are for Anne Hathaway’s acting which shows she can honestly play a bad girl, the cute guy from Hawaii that she has a fling with, and getting to see Robyn Hitchcock and Sister Carol in their performances (why not just make a music video of their performance than have to make this movie J)…"

Thom responds: "I think you were a little harsh. There were a lot of interesting asides and there was a certain freshness attached to it. It really was more of a drama than a comedy and if looked at that way I thought it had a lot to offer (4 cats ). And pray tell me what characters did you care for in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD? While liking that film I loathed the characters. "

Toni responds: "Well, I did not 'like' them per se, I felt for them in their forced roles in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD …or like in MILK showing a person for what he is not a perfect man but someone you cared about what happened too…Revolutionary Road did not make you sit through a 1/3 of the film of the wedding party sitting and watching like an outsider, scratching your head…

'I am sorry but RACHEL GETTING MARRIED did not work for me – I found the characters bratty and self involved and the tone felt like Dogma films meet Lifetime…it makes you want to see a documentary on a 3rd world country to see people that have real suffering or even just lower middle class kids…it is much harder to have sympathy for the rich frankly unless there is a really compelling story like with I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG which I think deserves the 5 cats

"Everyone has an opinion and I have seen many films that I love both trashed and praised on Chlotrudis and I normally rarely speak up to be honest because it can be hard to take the heat because people are so passionate about their opinions…"

Marilyn responds: "The reason I love this group is if I wait long enough, someone will be honest and say a movie that everyone is raving about is only so-so and while there are some nice moments, it is not a good movie.  If a beautiful woman takes off her make-up, is given a bad hair-cut, and pushes emotion in a scene meant to be emotional, it does not make her a great or even a very good actress. The sister (Rachel) was so much better than Hathaway.  She (Rosanne DeWitt) was the surprise here. I also thought they felt they needed a wedding to make this movie because that formula has worked before and decided to make it different by adding a 'Bollywood' feel.  That too was boring.  Thank you.  PS---REVOLUTIONARY ROAD should not be mentioned in the same paragraph as this movie."

Scot responds: "I loved Bill Irwin in this, but then I'd watch him eat bag of Cheez Doodles for two hours. Other than that, didn't care for the film."

Julie responds: "I liked this movie. Excellent performances from Bill Irwin, Ann Hathaway, Rosemary Dewitt....and Dewitt's rather obnoxious friend.

"And Robin Hitchcock's performance - Awesome stuff! How cool would that be to have Robin Hitchcock play at your wedding!!!

"I liked this so much better than MARGOT AT THE WEDDING which I abhorred! Jason's comment made me laugh- yeah Noah was nowhere in sight so I figured it'd be safe to watch Rachel.

"I liked REVOLUTIONARY ROAD but did not like Leonardo's character - but that's the
way the character had to be and he did it well-

"SPOILER - but not a really big one at all -

"In RACHEL:

"I esp liked the scene where Ann wants to be the maid of honor and wants the gray dress - The whole sister bond thing there was very touching I thought-

"I liked the ending a lot as well- I think I'd give it 4 cats

"It's been awhile since I saw it but it had some wonderful moments - All in all it kept my attention-

"I really loved Ann Hathaway's haircut/style! Way too nice for someone coming out of rehab! I think she had a lot of makeup on as well - But yeah, I do believe Dewitt was the more noteworthy and memorable character of the 2 sisters. "

Toni responds: "I liked the sisters and felt more compassion for the 2 in I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG.

"Interesting to ask, those of you who like Dewitt better are you older or younger sisters J?  I am younger and connected more with the other performance but would rather be at the cool wedding itself than have watched the film J…

"Did the person who said it and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD should not be in the same paragraph hate RR or like it?"

Marilyn responds: "I thought RR was a very good movie and Kate Winslet was spot on. (that was the Oscar performance, I thought)  Leo was no slouch either. BTW I am the youngest of two sisters.  And, I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG was also a much better movie than RACHEL and I am not a Scott-Thomas fan. OK.... back to my corner of the world."

Julie responds: " I am an older sister but my younger sister acts like the older one - I never said I liked Dewitt better, just that she was unexpectedly good and memorable for some reason-
I went back and forth on liking her character - the character was torn and she did a good job with that-

"I thought I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG was extremely well done and Scott and Zylberstein were both fantastic. I saw that movie (with a  friend who suggested it),  at the very beginning of 2008,  so some of the details are lost but yes overall that was a much better movie. But the movies are just so different, I would never try to compare them."