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Movie review: The Big Wedding

Posted 6:09am on Friday, Apr. 26, 2013

R (sex, nudity, strong language, adult themes); 89 min.

Adapted from a 2006 French comedy, and boasting a cross-generational cast of daunting and not-so-daunting stature, The Big Wedding throws up a messy web of relationships, a tangle of siblings and spouses, lovers and lunatics, intersecting in illicit and illogical ways.

In order to pull off this sort of business, the pace should be breakneck — there shouldn’t be an extra second to contemplate the moral lapses and betrayals. Alas, The Big Wedding, which inches along like a stoned snail, gives us all the time in the world.

Don and Ellie Griffin (Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton) are a long-divorced couple whose adopted son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes), is about to be married — to Amanda Seyfried’s Missy. Don lives with Bebe (Susan Sarandon), who was once Ellie’s best friend.

Although Don and Bebe aren’t married, she is like a loving stepmom to Don and Ellie’s kids — Jared (Topher Grace), a closing-in-on-30 doctor who’s still a virgin; Lyla (Kathryn Heigel), a brooder who has just broken up with her beau; and Alejandro, originally from Colombia, who has invited his biological mother (Patricia Rae) to the wedding.

No one is bad in The Big Wedding, but no one is remotely believable, either. Alejandro’s mother cracks wise that all of this is like some crazy telenovela plot, and it is.

Which is all fine and good in a screwball romp. If only The Big Wedding played like one.

— Steven Rea,

The Philadelphia Inquirer

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