Opening in theatres this Friday from director Justin Zackham and Lionsgate comes a family gathering that almost wasn’t with THE BIG WEDDING.

This film tells the story of young lovers Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) who are getting married. Al’s parents are Don (Robert DeNiro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton) who are divorced. Don now lives with BeBe (Susan Sarandon) in the home shared with his siblings Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace).

Everyone is coming home for the big wedding as Lyla is having marital problems of her own and Jared is living the life of a doctor-virgin. If that wasn’t entertaining enough – Al’s biological mother Madonna (Patricia Rae) and sister Nuria (Ana Ayroa) are coming to town for the big day.

Al’s problem is that Madonna is a serious Catholic with serious issues with Father Moinighan (Robin Williams) making things worse. Wanting to do what’s right he asks his divorced parents to please pretend to be married for a few days. This sets off Bebe and a chain reaction begins of chaos and insanity only a family can understand. Missy’s folks aren’t much better as Muffin (Christine Ebersole) and Barry (David Rasche) put in their twisted two cents.

Confused yet – well, it’s your typical modern family with skeletons rattling everywhere!

FINAL WORD: Where do I begin? Lets see DeNiro is hilarious as Don – a man who is clearly going through a mid-life crisis or perhaps has been a schmo for years but his family indulges him. DeNiro allows himself endearing moments, hilarious moments and flat out in-your-face silliness that seemed flawless.

Keaton once again gets to be the levelheaded person in the film. Wanting to do what’s best for her kids she sets herself up for a lot of awakenings regarding her relationship with Don and BeBe. Keaton has always done very well being strong yet allowing her characters to show their vulnerability and this time the humor is frosting on the cake.

Sarandon as BeBe has a history with this family and one that hasn’t all been resolved. Wanting to find where she fits into the madness isn’t easy for this character but Sarandon takes her jabs where she can get them without forgetting who it is she loves and why.

Barnes as Alejandro is stupidly endearing. By stupidly I mean what a thing to ask of your parents dude – never start your life off with a lie as he learns the hard way. Seyfried is funny as Misty as her parents are just plain ridiculous and how they got through life I’ll never know.

Heigle as Lyla has Daddy issues that are seriously ridiculous. Time to grow up lady and remember that parents are people too – that being said she is funny. Grace as the virgin doctor Jared goes through a lot and the end result can be a little pervy if you ask me – just saying.

Rae as Madonna does a good job of being the strict Catholic mother to Alejandro yet doesn’t seem to notice daughter Nuria played by Ayroa is a bit of a loose cannon (and I’m being nice here).

Williams as the Father is hilarious because he does so in a subtle way. Keep up with what he says because in lay some of the jewels of laughter God help us all!

Other cast include: Kyle Bornheimer as Andrew, Megan Ketch as Jane, Christa Campbell as Kim, Quincy Dunn-Baker as Kevin, and Marc Blucas as Andrew.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE BIG WEDDING three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film is so disturbing with its twists and turns but I couldn’t stop laughing and jaw dropping! It wasn’t until most of the way through the film that I realized these people could easily be in my family – because we are the same way. No filter and no holding back!

The twists, turns, humor and most of all the love this family portrays holds many interesting lessons about families. In the midst of all there is something to be said for being honest, open and ready for the crap only a family can put you through.

I’m sure the film will get a lot of backlash for its moments of crudeness and antics but heck – I had a good time anyway. Good thing I can think for myself eh?

In the end – it’s never too late to start acting like a family!



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Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.


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