Magazine article Screen International

The Big Wedding

Magazine article Screen International

The Big Wedding

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Justin Zackham. US. 2013. 90mins

Though nothing like as uproarious as it wants to be, The Big Wedding gets some fairly amusing (and relatively raunchy) comedy as well as some mildly affecting drama out of its familiar dysfunctional-family-gathering scenario. And it does so with the help of a strong dual-generational cast - led by Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl and Diane Keaton - that should help this Americanisation of 2006 French-Swiss release Mon frère se marie connect with the increasingly active baby boomer audience.

De Niro, Keaton and Sarandon make an enjoyable love triangle even without much help from a script whose banter is never quite sharp enough.

Reaching beyond that core female-skewed audience will be the real challenge when Lionsgate opens the Millennium Films production wide in the US (with an R rating) this weekend and when the film rolls out internationally through independent distributors during the early summer months.

Writer-director Justin Zackham (best known for scripting boomer hit The Bucket List) sets his adaptation in the pretty Connecticut home where sculptor Don Griffin (De Niro) is hosting the wedding of his adopted son Alejandro (played by the UK's Ben Barnes, from the Chronicles of Narnia films) to Missy (Les Miserables' Amanda Seyfried).

To appease Alejandro's religious Latina birth mother, Don pretends he is still married to ex-wife Ellie (Keaton) instead of living with girlfriend Bebe (Susan Sarandon). Also arriving for the ceremony are, among others, Don and Ellie's romantically troubled daughter Lyla (Knocked Up's Heigl), their virginal son Jared (Spider-Man 3's Topher Grace), Alejandro's sexy birth sister (newcomer Ana Ayora) and the local priest (Robin Williams). …

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