The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding

Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton and other notable names star in a disastrous film about a disastrous wedding. Full of flat jokes and poor characters, all in support of a tired, hackneyed set-up, “The Big Wedding” is one you should just tell, “I don’t”.

Don Griffin (Robert De Niro) and his long time girlfriend Bebe (Susan Sarandon) are about to host the wedding of his adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and his fiancé (Amanda Seyfried). Don’s ex-wife Ellie (Diane Keaton) is coming back for the weekend, as are his biological daughter (Katherine Heigl) and son (Topher Grace).

Alejandro drops a bombshell on the family, however, by informing them that he’s never told his biological mother that his adopted parents divorced. She’s a devout Catholic coming to the country all the way from Columbia, and Alejandro fears that if she finds out, she’ll be incensed and cause an uproar at the wedding. After a period of debate, the family decides that the only thing to do is for Don and Ellie to pretend to still be married for the weekend, leaving an insulted Bebe out in the cold.

That should make you groan right there. “Pretending to be ____” for a wedding is a tired comedic set-up that needs to be put out of its misery once and for all. Hopefully this dud is the bullet that will do just that. But that’s not all. Along with the deflated premise of people putting on pretenses, “The Big Wedding” tosses in an unexpected pregnancy, a 30-year-old virgin and the public revelation of affairs long past into the mix. Unfortunately, none of them add any real humor to the proceedings. They’re just trite tropes to toss into the “wedding disaster” mix.

Lame jokes routinely fall flat, and there’s far more family drama than you’ll care to sit through. The moments that don’t fall flat are occasionally uncomfortable, as well, including seeing De Niro and Sarandon (or Keaton) in a variety of sexual situations. This is a movie seriously in need of some added humor somehow. Maybe they should have hired a comedy consultant.

The cast performs admirably given the shoddy script they have to work with. De Niro’s Don is a womanizer and recovering alcoholic with family repair work to do. It’s not the world’s most well-written character, but at least De Niro doesn’t mail it in. Similarly, Keaton and Sarandon give game efforts as his past and current wife/girlfriend. Topher Grace draws the short end of the stick as a doctor who’s supposedly still a virgin at age 30, but he too buys into the part. Heigl is given a much larger role than you’d expect, but she was fine… Heigl haters will have much more to complain about with other aspects of the film. Robin Williams and Amanda Seyfried both are probably thankful that their parts were so small.

It made me wonder who writer/director Justin Zackham is connected to… why all these people signed up for this. I couldn’t find any answers, short of he’s the writer of “The Bucket List”.

“The Big Wedding” is unfunny and dull. The high concept is as stale as month old bread, and you’ll feel it. The cast give it the old college try, but not even industrial strength defibrillators could bring this dormant turd to life.


Daniel Fogarty

35 thoughts on “The Big Wedding

  1. I agree with you on the judgement you have given for this movie. It has flat jokes and it is so full of poor characterization. Robert Di Nero need not have accepted roles like this.

  2. You and I seem to have a lost a little piece of ourselves while watching this. It’s okay, it’s all in the day of a life of a movie critic. Good review brotha.

    • Yeah…. this isnt anywhere near that calibre. I’m not even sure how anyone could have thought it would be. 😦 Why he takes these roles is beyond me. Cash? He cant need the cash that bad, can he?

  3. I have rules when it comes to avoiding films like this. If it involves from someone who wrote a movie that I despised and features Katherine Heigl, stay the fuck away from that film!

  4. Goes to show that a solid movie is more than a dream cast list. I’ve always believed the power of the script and cinematography brings the best out of an actor. OH, and the score.

  5. I saw a trailer for this at the cinema the other day. The first time I’d seen it, because I wouldn’t willingly subject myself to it by watching it online. In the cinema, they’ve got you! You can’t escape! Terrible trailer! Completely terrible.

    And your review confirms it’s a terrible movie as well!

    • It was every bit as awful as the trailer implied, Monkey. I’m tellin’ ya. 90 minutes of slow, unfunny dreck. Worse than unfunny, cause I was always seeing the things they THOUGHT would be funny and rejecting them, which is a mildly painful process.

      Not that this was tooooooo painful a movie or I’d have given it an F. But I certainly cant recommend it under any circumstances! 😯

  6. Well Fogs, this is another one of those movies I don’t regret missing the press screening for, ahah. It just looks awful even from the poster, even the gorgeous Ben Barnes and the pairing of De Niro & Keaton doesn’t entice me to even rent it.

  7. I just saw the trailer for this last night and it looks really bad. i was cringing through the jokes and they were the ones that were deemed good enough for the trailer! What the hell is de niro playing at?

    • To borrow one of Al’s lines, yeah. LOL

      I wish I knew why it was. The only thing I can think is that he never got one of those huge movie paydays like Downey did for the Avengers for example (reportedly $50 mil) so now he has to stay prolific in order to stay in the high life. It’s all I can think.

      Cause he sure as hell didnt take this project on for the prestige of it. 🙄

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