The Big Wedding

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big wedding

Why couldn’t Robert De Niro have gone all Cape Fear on Katherine Heigl?

The best thing about this movie is that on one side of me sat the prettiest woman in the theatre. On the other side sat the angriest critic in the theatre. Well, strike that. I’m guessing all the critics were equally angry at the fact that writer/director Justin Zackman could have a cast that included Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, and Robert De Niro – and make the worst movie of the year. But hey…Zackman has the honor of doing the same thing with a picture in which he got Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (The Bucket List).

Want some examples at their attempt at humor? Let’s start with the opening scene. Keaton uses a hidden key to get into her ex-husbands house (De Niro). He walks in later with his girlfriend (Sarandon), and instead of announcing her presence, she listens as they have a risqué conversation about oral sex. It leads to them partaking. Of course the adorable Pugs give her away, and we’re supposed to laugh as De Niro falls to the floor.

Want more? How about lines like “Mi casa es…whatever.” Or “Who do I have to lynch to get a Cosmo around here?”

I’m still not sure why the few rows behind me laughed when the couple talks about how they adopted their son from Colombia. Unless Angelina Jolie uttered that line, it shouldn’t illicit laughs.

I can’t write a review with examples of all the bad dialog or this might run over 20,000 words. So, here’s the premise

That adopted son of Keaton and De Niro is getting married (to a poorly cast Amanda Seyfried). De Niro is in a relationship with Sarandon, the former best friend of Keaton. They’re all on good terms, but when the real mother comes to town, we’re told she’s religious and forbids divorce. Therefore, Sarandon is kicked to the curb for the weekend, and the divorced couple has to pretend to be married. I know…it’s like one of the crappy scripts from Three’s Company. And this means we’ll get predictable scenes where this woman is walking around the house, and De Niro has to grab photos off the wall that have Sarandon in them. You know what else he forgets? That his rehearsal dinner is taking place at the restaurant Sarandon works. This gives us scenes that include her being snarky and throwing menus at him. It will evolve later in the movie to her decking him in the face, because that’s always good for a laugh, right? Nothing funnier than finding out somebody cheated on you, and then you giving them a bloody nose (note to Chris Brown: do I have a date movie for you.)

There’s a goofy subplot that involves Topher Grace as a doctor that wants to remain a virgin. For some reason, when his sister (Katherine Heigl) shows up at the hospital…she has to point out to the nurses that he’s really large in that department. The nurses make faces that indicate they want him even more. Seriously, at this point I wanted to know…did Topher Grace and his pot smoking friends from That 70s Show write this garbage?

And if Grace wants to remain a virgin, why the minute he sees Ana Ayora (Marley & Me) does he want to sleep with her? Don’t get me wrong, she’s gorgeous. She’s a Colombian, without that annoying Sofia Vergara voice.

What does the filmmaker think will be funny for their scenes? The usual cliché of her grabbing him under the table while everyone’s eating. I guess if it worked for Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, why not try it here.

More attempts at humor include a racist priest, played by Robin Williams. He predictably falls into a lake while performing a wedding. It’s comedy pet peeve #124 — in silly comedies characters fall into bodies of water. I don’t think I need to put a spoiler alert by telling you that yes, somebody also falls into a swimming pool.

There’s also a story about Heigl not being able to conceive a child. Perhaps we’d have more sympathy, if she was a more likable character. The movie also makes that mistake of trying for sentimentality, which is hard to garner when these characters are all such idiots.

Comedy pet peeve #82 also occurs. That’s where couples fight and yell about various affairs, oblivious to the fact that there’s a roomful of people that can hear every word.

This movie is stupid, and has more unrealistic contrivances than any film you’ll see all year. Perhaps I’d give that a pass if it were actually funny. I might’ve smiled one or two times at Topher Grace’s sarcastic quips, but there were really only two things I liked about this movie. The fact that it ends with Michael Buble singing a version of Save the Last Dance for Me, which reminded me of the great Doc Pomus documentary I saw a few weeks ago; and the fact that De Niro had a line about how he’d “rather gouge his eyes out with a spoon.” It makes it easy for us critics to write that we would rather do that than watch a movie this bad again.

Stay home and watch Four Weddings and a Funeral on cable, or rent the darker Rachel Getting Married. Avoid this at all costs.

It gets 0 out of 5 stars.

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