I would strongly recommend a simple registry office wedding, attended only by two strangers dragged off the street as witnesses. That is unless you adore noisy get-togethers with your dysfunctional family, and are willing to sacrifice your special day for all-out war.
Jonathan Demme seems to have visualised his film as a home video, and from that point of view it’s very successful. The cinema audience will feel they are part of this wedding, for better or for worse. The thing is, I love my own family, and they can be difficult, but they are mine. This wasn’t my family, and I didn’t like them. In real life, short of being the bride, I’d have walked out.
Rachel and Sidney are hoping for a lovely, Indian style (why?) wedding in the house where Rachel grew up. Her sister Kym arrives, fresh from rehab, and immediately stirs things up. After wondering which of the sisters to side with, you realise you don’t like either of them much. This is explained at last, when you discover how ghastly their mother is.
It’s a very American and very culturally diverse gathering, while still being very, very traditional. It’s all accompanied by some dreadful music, that actually belongs to the wedding party, and I agree wholeheartedly with Kym wanting them to be silent.
Anne Hathaway has been praised for her role as Kym, and if feeling she is Kym means her acting is good, then she is really good. Bill Irwin as her Dad is excellent, and Mather Zickel makes a lovely best man. The social worker, or whoever she is, instils confidence, but she should have kept Kym with her and not sent her home.
I’d be willing to pay (not too much, though) not to have Offspring put me through anything like this. But I suppose the sign of an effective film is to stir the audience up. I’m thoroughly stirred, thank you.
At Cornerhouse from tonight.