Movie Review: 'The Big Wedding' -- 1 star
The Big Wedding
Directed by Justin Zackham
Starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried
There's a moment early on in "The Big Wedding" that perfectly sums up the movie. Robert De Niro's character is staring out his living room window with a pair of binoculars. His long-term girlfriend and his ex-wife, who are played by Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton, respectively, pop in. De Niro turns around, binoculars in hand, and says something to the effect of: "I haven't seen this much tail around here since the dog died."
That might seem like a typically lame Hollywood one-liner, and in many ways that's about all it is. But there's a brief, revealing moment just after he says it, in which his co-stars noticeably grimace before resuming the inanity. And, really, that's about all you need to know about this wedding flick, a movie so lazy and moronic that Sarandon and Keaton couldn't even disguise their apparent disgust.
This is a clichéd, sanitized "comedy" that trades on ethnic stereotyping, contrived storylines and a general vision of the world that bares so little resemblance to reality that the film may as well take place on a different planet. The characters behave like aliens, the actors don't even bother trying to give interesting performances and the movie unfolds in a dead zone of frenzied stupidity.
Alejandro (Ben Barnes), the adopted son of Don (De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton), is set to marry blonde princess Missy (Amanda Seyfried). There's only one problem: Alejandro can't bring himself to tell his religious birth mother Madonna (Patricia Rae) that Don and Ellie are divorced and, get ready for this, Madonna's coming to the wedding.
Cue manufactured crisis mode, as Don and Ellie must pretend to be married, thereby removing Sarandon's Bebe from the equation. While one line of dialogue - "Mom, Don and Ellie are divorced" - could have solved the problem and saved us all the trouble, no one seems up to the task.
So we're stuck with a movie that strains and wheezes to fill 90 minutes. To cover the gaps, lots of stars turn up. Look, there's Robin Williams playing a priest. Wait! There's Katherine Heigl as the bitter, pregnant sister. Is that Topher Grace as an unlucky-in-love brother whose fortune changes when Madonna brings along Alejandro's buxom sister Nuria (Ana Ayora)? It sure is!
"The Big Wedding" is the kind of movie where casting Christine Ebersole as a woman named Muffin is seen as the height of comedy. No thanks.