When Anne Hathaway comes stumbling into her home and creating a ruckus, I immediately thought of my brother. He was a drug addict and was the same way. And like Anne Hathaway, even when sober both people feel the word is against them, they complain, and blah blah blah. Anybody that has a person like this in their family will relate, but I hope it doesn’t turn them off. I enjoyed watching her and her family relate to her. (Is that really the same gal that was once in The Princess Diaries?)
Early on after Hathaway returns to her parents nice Connecticut home for her sisters wedding, and we find out there’s some tragedy in the past.
I loved the fact that her sister was marrying an African-American, and nothing about that was brought up. I remember once watching Siskel & Ebert argue over Jeff Goldblum having a black daughter in one of the Jurassic Park films. Gene Siskel felt it was odd that they didn’t acknowledge that, and Roger Ebert (who’s married to an African-American), thought it was fine that they didn’t address it. I agree with Siskel. When you’re making a movie, you have to think that anything out of the ordinary, audiences will wonder about. I don’t, however, think that applies in this situation – because you can marry anybody, and it’s not 1923. Most people wouldn’t bat an eye at an interracial marriage, so I was happy with the choice of the filmmakers not to address it.
Oh, let’s address the filmmakers — Legendary director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Something Wild, Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, and so much more). It was written by Jenny Lumet – daughter of legendary director Sidney (and granddaughter of Lena Horne). I’ll be anxiously waiting for her next script.
The talented Rosemarie DeWitt plays Rachel, and I love how she is so irritated with her sister taking a little of the attention away from her wedding, yet at the same time appears to be a loving sister.
Debra Winger plays the mother perfectly, and she’s not about to let her daughter have a pass on her past.
Bill Irwin plays a father that’s grief stricken, yet seems to plow ahead with life. There’s a scene where his loading of the dishwasher is questioned, and the funniest scene takes place. It’s a competition to see how to properly load the dishwasher most efficiently. Stop watches are used, and we can all imagine a situation like this happening when family gets together.
A lot of the movie has an improvised style that worked for me, but could’ve been a little sharper. This was like Robert Altman light.
Oh, I almost forgot. The husband is played low-key by Tunde Adebimpe. Music fans will know him better as a member of TV on the Radio. And he’s not the only musician in this. The wedding band is probably the best you’ll ever see at a wedding – Robyn Hitchcock and Fab Five Freddy are part of the group.
There are a few humorous moments at the AA meetings Hathaway attends and overall, this movie had so many interesting things going on I can forgive it for the unnecessary two hour running time.
Look for Hathaway to get some nominations around award season. Let’s just hope Lumet isn’t forgotten for Best Original Screenplay.
I’m giving this an A-.