Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy, Romance
  • 2013
  • 89 mins

The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding

Synopsis

The adopted son of a divorced couple must convince his estranged parents to feign marital bliss when his biological mother visits for his wedding.

About

Someone's been stealing from the Nancy Meyers playbook: not only does recycled romcom The Big Wedding shamelessly re-gift every single wedding cliché there is, it also borrows liberally from Meyers' glossy portfolio of movie characters with first world problems. Here we follow a set of affluent, middle-aged, white Americans who live in a lakeside model home with interior décor to die for, enjoying romantic entanglements with the kind of painfully attractive men and women that are usually restricted to the pages of People Magazine.

Frankly, even Terry & June would balk at such a hackneyed set-up: Robert De Niro's paunchy playboy and his ex-wife Diane Keaton must put their differences aside and fake a marriage for three days, while adopted son Ben Barnes entertains his deeply religious biological mother on the eve of his wedding. It's a fitting format for a farce, but feels tragically outdated from the outset; you can practically hear the cogs creaking as the story goes through the motions. De Niro at least has fun as the lusty patriarch, pawing at his old flame while grinning that Cheshire Cat smile of his, but the large ensemble cast is mostly filler: Katherine Heigl quickly grates as the daughter with marital problems; Topher Grace is on auto-pilot as the son looking to lose his V-plates (at 29 – yeah, right); and Amanda Seyfried is wasted in the thankless role of bride-to-be. There isn't a relatable character in the bunch, making this feel like one of those weddings you just can't wait to leave.

A smart script would compensate for a roster of rascals, but this is route one comedy – here, punchlines are delivered literally (usually on the nose of De Niro), and there are two 'hilarious' scenes in which someone accidentally falls in water. A 15-rating does at least give the family feuding some much-needed edge, but such spite feels at odds with the cuddly-wuddly womance writer-director Justin Zackham is desperate to shovel come the final 'I do's. At least Nancy Meyers knew how to sell schmaltz.

In a nutshell

You'll run out of appendages on which to count the clichés. Charmless and largely laugh-free, The Big Wedding is glossy like it's been ripped from the pages of a magazine, but the characters are paper-thin as a result.

by Ali Gray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Our Kind of Traitor

    Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis and Naomie Harris star in this British spy thriller, adapted from the novel by John le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

  • Film4

    I Killed My Mother

    French Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan stars in his directorial debut, a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about the bonds between mother and son.

  • Film4

    Ted and Flash Gordon Double Bill on Film4

    Seth MacFarlanes adult comedy followed by the cult sci-fi adventure that acts as a running-joke throughout it.

  • Film4

    This Is 40 on Film4

    (2012) 124 mins 15 Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in writer-director-producer Judd Apatow's relationship comedy-drama, a 'sort of sequel' to his second hit feature, Knocked Up.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Berlin 2016: Hail, Caesar!

    Film4 Site Editor Michael Leader reports on the Berlinale's opening film, written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen... Since it follows the Coen Brothers' essayistic dive into 1960s Greenwich V

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Channel 4 announces major increase to Film4 funding

    Film4 funding has increased to a record £25m in 2016, with major new deals announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films. Film4 will be backing new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew H

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • RT @DavidWarren2015: Must watch documentary on @Film4 tonight at 10:55. Electric Boogaloo the wild untold story of Cannon Films https://t.c…

  • RT @Robert19203: Electric Boogaloo is on @Film4 tonight at 22.55. Cannot recommend enough for anyone who loves this image https://t.co/YJiP…

  • We have a real treat for cult cinema fans up next at 10.55pm: our premiere of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.

  • "Why'd you kill him?" "Because somebody had to." Consider Angelina Jolie armed and dangerous in Salt, now on Film4. https://t.co/Gq5Enb3wXy

  • RT @Film_lust: Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is on @Film4 tonight at 10:55pm. Well worth checking out. https://…

Share